Still Nigga is a photograph and essay that explores the multifaceted experience of one Black student at UT Austin. Though this is just one narrative, there’s a common thread of struggle that many students of color share.

This is written for us by us, so just know it’s okay if you don’t get it. 


This capstone project is an extension of a larger project called “The Black Yearbook”, which was my original project I began working with. Over time, I realized the scope and size of that project wasn’t ideal for capstone, so I created this artifact to create a bridge between the two bodies of work. This project is inspired by many things, but at the root of it all, these are the facts.

On a campus of 49,000 students, only 4% are black. The black student population at UT has flatlined for the past ten years. It’s been about 60 years since the first black students were allowed to step foot on campus. Two years ago I showed 25 images and interviews of black men at the George Washington Carver Museum to highlight their perspectives. I found that there are roughly only 925 black men at UT. This led me to exploring the narrative of the larger black student population. Alongside Oluwaseyi Odufuye, a fellow black student, I conducted 100 interviews to uncover the narrative of the few but many. 
To read more about the original artifact, check out this i-D feature below! Click the image to open. 


Due to the pandemic, the release of The Black Yearbook has been delayed, but it is scheduled to be released when we find a new normal to live with. 
Process book samples below. 











Click the image below to download “Still Nigga”. Acknowledgements and reference materials below. 

Still Nigga Essay


Acknowledgments:

This has been one of the most challenging academic school years I’ve ever encountered, but it was transformative to say the least. I would like to thank Jason Wilkins and Greg Foley for helping me find my narrative in this project and offering me insight that will last beyond my years in college. 

Thank you Kelcey Gray for aiding me in thinking unconventionally when it came to exhibition spaces and even though my work is living in a digital space, the support you provided was invaluable. I am also very grateful for the support of the UT Photography program’s facutly support. Riel Sturchio, Eli Durst, Matthew Cronin, and Amber Shields have guided and supported me a ton through this process of photo making. 

Double thank you to Jason Wilkins for helping me find a way to bridge the world of photography and design. This project has been extremely challenging, and I appreciate all of your wisdom and guidance. He was one of the first professors to give me constructive feedback on work I created relating to my identity as a black man. 

I would lastly like to thank the UT College of Fine Arts Council,  Ritambhara Singh, Jorge Zapata, UT DDCE (Division of Diversity and Community Engagement), Dayjah Harris, Carma Gorman, Malik Crowder, Hypatia Sorunke, Simona Harry, Jun Tan, Charlie Bonner, The Onyx Honor Society, The Warfield Center, and The Tejas Club. 

Sources: 

https://www.are.na/share/SuNogpW
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin