Faces of African Diaspora: Cameron Kelly

Full Name: Cameron E. Kelley

Age: 24

Where are you from? Hartford, Connecticut

Where do you currently live? Montgomery, Alabama

Where is your family from? Hartford, Connecticut

1. Do you or have you ever experienced issues with cultural identity?

I think there's cultural identity issues in the black community but personally it's never been something that has left a negative impact on my life or self-esteem. Most African Americans really don't know what their cultural identity is. Hispanics have Cinco De Mayo, some Europeans have St.Patrick's Day; African Americans have Kwanzaa but barely celebrate it. We kind of just take on "American" culture and that's about it. So I guess you can kind of say I have cultural identity issues to a certain extent because I don't celebrate our cultural often. But I do feel that we are creating new things within black culture, and we are slowly finding ourselves again.

2. What does being African mean to you?

Being African means that you come from a rich history, a background that many don't know about it. Being African comes with the pressure of having to protect your history and informing others what the culture is really about because so many people put out false information about Africans.

3. What are the biggest challenges you face being a child of the African diaspora?

The biggest challenges you have to face being a child of the African diaspora is that you may take on cultural identity issues as mentioned previously. And now we are somewhat in the stages of having to create a new culture for ourselves which may take a while to establish. Having a lack of cultural identity makes it harder for people to unite. Once we all meet on a common ground I think we will be able to make massive progressive moves within the social and political realm

Anything you’d like to add (perhaps a not so well known fact about yourself, your proudest moment etc..)

I'm very much so into all artistic expressions; music, drawing, graphic design, video, and especially photography. I was presented with the opportunity to serve Alabama State University as the SGA Chairman of Student Activities & Events. And with that position I was able to showcase my artistic skill set. I was able to create visuals that contributed to the marketing of ASU in a great way. The art is what enticed many of the students to want to be involved and active on campus. At the end of the year I was surprised with the Directors Student of the Year Award, which was definitely my proudest moment because it came from the student body and the upper administration as well. ASU has helped many of my portraits go viral on multiple occasions; it's an amazing feeling.

Check out my first African Diaspora post highlighting Abu Bakar Fofana here.

#AfricanDiaspora #BlackCulture

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