#UMDMelanin Define Your Blackness

“This series was to represent every African-American student here at the University of Maryland College Park, every African-American student who read the derogatory email thread from the Caucasian student stating ‘black girls are 78.45% easier on this holiday, its a proven fact’,” says Oladubomi.  UMD Melanin showcases 17 women of distinction, all coming together to show that we respect and embrace the color of our skin and our value to the world."

1 of 16 Olasubomi Adesoye.

Name: Logan T. Nelson

Major: Communication 

Location: Baltimore Ave. 

Instagram/Twitter: @logantylerr 

I am a firm believer in being unapologetically Black, respecting the journey, learning to fail forward, and a passionate advocate for empowering women of color.

2 of 16 Olasubomi Adesoye.

Name: Angela Townsend

Major: Criminology & Criminal Justice major

Location: Hornbake Plaza—Frederick Douglas Statue

Instagram: @lalaamorena

I chose the Fredrick Douglas plaza as my location because it is one of the newest additions to the University of Maryland community. Although the space is small, the statue and quotes speak volumes especially with the current racial climate on campus.

3 of 16 Olasubomi Adesoye.

Name: Ashley D.M. Lyles

Major: Criminology & Criminal Justice

Location: Shuttle UM Bus

Instagram/Twitter: @Vivalalyles

4 of 16 Olasubomi Adesoye.

Name: Breechaye N. Milburn 

Major: Psycology

Location: Administration Building

Instagram/Twitter: @slimchayedee 

“Black-womanhood includes remaining true to yourself and your values, being confident, collaborative, resilliant, and proud. Black women are uplifters. Motivators. Leaders. Thinkers. Innovators. Risk-takers. Compassionate and caring beings who would give you the shirt off their backs, but put you in your place if needed.”

5 of 16 Olasubomi Adesoye.

Name: Nicole Ofosua Dei  

Major: Broadcast Journalism 

Location: Mckeldin Library 

Instagram: @nikkidei_27 Twitter: @alldei_nikki

"At first I was really nervous, because I can be super body conscious at times. But I realized that this would be an amazing opportunity to do something out of my comfort zone while telling such a powerful message. I am strong, resilient and passionate, and I believe that these are all the qualities that black women have."

6 of 16 Olasubomi Adesoye.

Name: Rae-Ann Jaziel Steele

Major: Physiology & Neurobiology

Location: Riggs Alumni Center

Instagram: @_Raebandzz  Twitter: @_Raebandzzz

“I exemplify everything a black woman is because I am able to stand strong and provide a voice for those who may not always know how to vocalize the importance and unity and support in our community.”

7 of 16 Olasubomi Adesoye.

Name: Bria Sladden 

Major: Finance

Location: Memorial Chapel

Twitter: @briasimones 

“Simply being in the same space with likeminded BLACK women was a statement.  We commanded attention and let our black girl magic shine through.  This project truly made me fall deeper in love with my blackness and with blackness of others.”

8 of 16 Olasubomi Adesoye.

Name: Chioma Agbaraji

Major: Geographic Information Sciences

Location: Annapolis Hall Tunne;

Instagram: @ayacron 

“I am cross-functional, diverse in perspective. I deviate from the norm and remain sultry. The essence of my blackness is not only my color, it is my being. And by being black woman, I represent black women.”

9 of 16 Olasubomi Adesoye.

Name: Aysia Monae Morton

Major: Government & Politics

Location: Xfinity Center

Twitter: @kween____

“Completely embracing and embodying everything God created me to be; my hair, my skin, my body, my soul, and my mind. As black women, we are multifaceted; no one of us is the same. To me that is the most beautiful thing.”

10 of 16 Olasubomi Adesoye.

Name: Jade Campbell

Major: Nursing

Location: Francis Scott Key Tunnel 

Twitter: @ItsMy_Curiosity

“I can only be me and black women are more than just me. They are, We are, a movement, a power house, a force to be reckoned with and that is what exemplifies black women. We are a family, and thats what makes us so powerful, because you do not mess with family.”

11 of 16 Olasubomi Adesoye.

Name: Alesia Gabriella Rosie Robinson

Major: Public Health Science

Location: The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

Instagram: @alesiaa_

“Some people misconstrue what we exhibit as passion for something more negative. But I found it empowering to be strong, independent and passionate. We are the backbone of so much change and I want to be apart of the change that continuously gives light to what people often ignore. If we, as black women don't do it, I fear that much won't get done.”

12 of 16 Olasubomi Adesoye.

Name: Mariama Hawa Bah

Major: Geographic Information Systems

Location: Art-Sociology Building

Instagram: @blaaand Twitter: @_bland

“As black women, we are constantly being put down in a society that perpetuates the notion that we are anything other than extraordinary. I choose to be unapologetically me everyday, despite any naysayers. I am choosing my own path, and riding my own wave, and I am flourishing while doing it, all while remaining black, bold, and beautiful.”

13 of 16 Olasubomi Adesoye.

Name: Courtney Rianne Humphrey 

Major: Criminology & Criminal Justice 

Location: Nyumburu Amphitheater

Instagram/Twitter: @herroyalcourtt

“I think possessing internal and external strength are ways that I exemplify what a Black woman is. With so much going on on a daily basis, maintaining composure and being adaptable in any and all circumstances is how I personify and emobody the traits of being a Black woman.”

14 of 16 Olasubomi Adesoye.

Name: Alexis Ashley Brown 

Major: Journalism 

Location: Van Munching Hall 

Instagram: @luloveslex


“As a black woman I try to uplift those around me especially other black woman who may not have the same love and appreciation for themselves.”

15 of 16 Olasubomi Adesoye.

Name: Gabriella Simone Davis 

Major: Intended Individual Studies Program 

Location: Maryland Stadium  

Twitter: @gabbbysays

“I'm constantly learning something new about my family from both sides. There is so much history, sacrifice, and knowledge that come with my skin color that I can't do anything but love and embrace it.”

16 of 16 Olasubomi Adesoye.