Maegan Barber

Research Symposium Presentation

Title: "The Transformation of Negative into Positive: Black Creativity as a Response to Black Trauma and the Space it Creates"

Author: Maegan Barber

Faculty Mentor(s): Regis Fox

Maegan, on her experience in the English Honors Program:

Being a part of the Honors experience here at FAU has left me with far too many things to say, not only in regards to the work that we did within the course, but how this course has helped to shape me as a person and a scholar. I can honestly say, after graduating and reflecting on my last year of college, that I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without this program.
This program pushed and pulled so much out of me that I never knew I had, showing me that I am capable of anything I dare to attempt. Proving to me that my words are more than just a few letters; they are thought, they are feelings, that their power surpasses supernatural, and they have the capability of weighing more than all of the campus building combined. And for that alone, I will forever be grateful.

Maegan, on her project:

The fact that my topic and presentation was able to have a lasting impact on someone really makes my heart happy. I'm glad my project can provoke great thought and emotion relevant to the crucial and on-going topic of black pain and black trauma being transformed into something else.

abstract: Admittedly, there are times when being a Black person feels bleak and suffocating. Existing with the crushing knowledge that, at any moment in time, your life has the ability to drastically change for the worst due to the meaning America has attributed to your skin and thus your very life. Focusing on the gloomy aspects of Blackness can be incredibly depressing and possibly lead to variations of self-hate. In an attempt to avoid that, Black people have chosen to do something greater with these troubling emotions. Overtime, Black people have developed a specific skill in response to traumatizing occurrences within Black history, the skill of transforming their pain and frustration into outpourings of creativity in various art forms. Instead of completely wallowing in sorrow, we take these moments of great distress and pain and use them as creative inspiration, directly and unapologetically turning these negative incomes into positive outcomes.

11th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium | April 9 2021 | Florida Atlantic University

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