Black History Month Spotlight: Sarah Porter

Black History Month Spotlight: Sarah Porter


What does your Black heritage mean to you?

My Black heritage means a lot to me. The Black diaspora is so diverse. There are Black people from the Caribbean, South America, North America etc. who share African descent but differ based on unique experiences, languages, and skin tones. Growing up in San Diego as biracial, having a mother from the Philippines and a Black father from Michigan, I often found myself having a hard time feeling a sense of belonging in one group or the other. However, I always embraced my biracial identity. Point being, you can’t put what “being Black means” in a box and that gives me a sense of security in who I am.


How do you celebrate or keep your Black roots alive in your daily life?

As a child, others defined my ethnicity by my phenotypical features of having brown skin and curly hair. To fit in, I used to hide my curls by wrapping my hair up or straightening it. It wasn’t until adulthood that I decided to keep my Black roots alive by wearing my hair proudly and boldly in many different styles. I also continue to educate myself on social injustice, by supporting local groups and having uncomfortable conversations with my peers. In addition, I volunteer coach and mentor youth athletes who want to play basketball in college like I did.


In what ways does your heritage influence your work?

Representation matters and it wasn’t until my 2nd year of undergrad education that I had a Black female professor. This was important because until then, I never saw adequate representation of Black professionals. It is highly important and encouraging to see people that “look like you” in professional roles. As she did for me, I want to be a role model and make an impact in our society, not only for Black girls but for all girls.

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