AACC’s ‘The Vision’ uplifts black creativity and encourages well being


AACC announces new event on campus (File Photo/The Daily Campus)

The African American Cultural Center (AACC) released its latest installment of “The Vision” on Feb. 8.

This installment is a black arts and wellness journal including poems, photography, paintings, recipes, essays, lookbooks and graphics all created by students at the AACC.

The 90-paged zine-styled journal celebrates black beauty, creativity and includes discourse about self-care and wellness from the perspective of black students.

Director of the AACC, Dr. Willena Kimpson Price, said that “The Vision” originally started as a newsletter then became a booklet including articles written by students about sports, entertainment and politics and slowly progressed to what “The Vision” is today.

“There’s so much variation in this and you are getting so much about what people believe and what they think and what they feel,” Price said. “And the expression and the color and texture is so beautiful it practically takes your breath away.”

Price said that she wanted to students to have a physical place where they can express creativity as well the ideas they have, from the symbolism in the movie “Black Panther” to mental health in academia.

Price said another goal was to encourage thoughtfulness in the readers as well.

“I wanted it to be something that was thoughtful, planned, intentional. That’s what’s going to encourage other people to be thoughtful, reading it,” she said.

Price said she found the focus on the intersection of being black and a college student to be important as well.

“No one is unidimensional in terms of who they are,” she said. “It’s important to embrace all of the dimensions of our identities.”

Editor-in-chief for “The Vision” and sixth-semester women and gender studies and human rights double major Alleyha Dannett, said her goal was to have “a physical object of what black creativity can look like.”

Dannett said she also wanted to have a holistic approach to arts and wellness, as she said they are not often uplifted.

“Those two areas can kind of be shallowed in a way that isn’t advantageous to our actual identities,” Dannett said.

She said this is why there are many types of art including traditional forms as well as nontraditional forms such as essays.

“There should be a space where you can have that be highlighted and uplifted and praised,” she said.

Dannett said that the “Sexy at School” article in the journal, which talks about the taboos surrounding the conversation around sex in the black community, shows why highlighting the intersection of being black and being a young adult is important.

“There’s definitely cultural differences and when it comes to our education system at large it doesn’t tend to accommodate the different dynamics and the different beliefs and the different things in terms of how people are raised,” she said.

Dannett said that because of this it is important for people of the same community to talk about these issues together.

Between the pages of beautiful photography and stunning pieces of writing, there are also affirmations like “I am whole. I am complete. I am worthy. I am loved and supported beyond measure.”

Underneath these, there is a space for the reader to write something they love or celebrate about themselves and the last page even has a section for the reader to write their name in as well.

Dannett said she wanted these spaces for the readers to be introspective and to acknowledge their own visions.

“It’s a part of claiming your vision, claiming your sovereignty and the fact that you can create what it is that you want,” she said. “And part of how we can create that is by being in touch with ourselves.”

“The Vision” is available for sale at the AACC.

Gladi Suero is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at gladi.suero@uconn.edu.

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