Our Space: A Reflection
Eight months ago, I was at the airport with my friends catching our flights home from spring break. Miami, along with many other schools, had just announced that we would be having an additional two weeks off due to the increasing Covid-19 threat around the world. I was flying home, while everyone else was going back to school and while hugging everyone goodbye, I jokingly said, “see you all in the fall.” One of my friends looked at me like I was crazy and said, “girl, it’s only two weeks.” I think about this moment a lot and how I wish he was right in that moment.
Being at home brought back a lot of my mental health issues that were easy to put to the side in Miami, from my heavy class load to my social life at school, it was easy to be distracted. I was my happiest self on campus and it took being removed from that environment to realize I needed my peers and a collaborative, creative outlet to find purpose.
Over the summer, Julian reached out to me and asked if I would participate in a photoshoot for a new magazine that he was starting with Jayda and Morgan. The photoshoot, The Light of the Earth, focused on the beauty of black women. It felt important to participate, not only because of the growing BLM movement over the summer, but it also finally gave me a space to be creative after feeling stuck for months. Joining the magazine was the best decision I could have made for myself at the time.
Gravity has had an amazing first year and I am so proud to be a part of it. We were able to discuss and express important topics in the black community that are not always addressed in society; Masculinity: A photoshoot and the Brown Skin Photoshoot . Beyond the serious topics, we did have some fun with the Black Fashion: A Blast to the Past and the Black Perception of Self: Let Your Hair Down shoots. We worked hard together and produced incredible work that can truly be appreciated by everyone. Blackness and all the beauty it holds is often misrepresented in the media, and it is rare for young people to be given a platform to express themselves and their identity; but Gravity provided just that. The magazine is a living embodiment of the hope for a better future, at UM and beyond.
Gravity is our space. It is a space to create, to express, and most importantly to learn. 2020 was a trying year but one of the best things to come out of it was this magazine. From every photo shoot to every article, we were able to share our voices, and looking back on last year continues to make me more excited for our future.
Writer: Clarke Weddington
THE ART, Gravity Magazine, 2021