Oh, to be Young, Gifted, and Black: BUGA Under the Lens

By Jamari Jordan

When I started planning for this documentary this summer, my goal was simply to impact the black community here at the University of Georgia. I looked at this film to be a call-to-action for my African American peers and myself. I wanted to stop the pettiness, the hearsay, and the lack of support we have for one another. After the screening on Monday, I realized I completed my goal and so much more.

Freshmen females voiced their concerns with upperclassmen. What could’ve been a battle royal in Tate Theatre turned into a counseling session by the end of the night. I’ll be the first to admit, BUGA is SHADY.  But, you shouldn’t let some jabs and jokes people made stop you from being an active, involved member on campus.

My class (UGA ’16) got called lame all freshman year (and some upperclassmen still calls us that). But we didn’t let those false allegations stop us from being involved and having a good time. People are going to talk bad about you until the day you die, then sometimes even after. It’s life. Is it unfortunate? Yes. But we all have to adapt.

I was overwhelmed with the discussion that took place after the discussion. So many great points were made. For over 90 minutes, over 75 black people sat in a room and didn’t fight, yell, or call anyone out of their name. That is the impact I wanted this film to make. It’s time people stop stereotyping black people as angry. We are a group of people trying to find our way, just like every other race of people.

Through the film, I hoped that I conveyed my stance on BUGA. I hope that I painted every student in the way they wanted to be portrayed. I hope that this film’s message and purpose wont be buried next to every conversational movement we attempt to try in BUGA. I hoped that using the avenue of film-making and story-telling that it would make students look as this situation differently.

God gives everyone a voice to convey his message. I whole-heartedly believe that he gave me the gift of story-telling to use as my voice. I said coming into this, “If one person’s view of BUGA changes for the better or if one person feels more welcomed and understood as a black person, then my work with this video was worthwhile.”

30 minutes after the documentary and the discussion was over, women in UGA 16 and UGA 17 stayed after to talk to a handful of freshman students and exchange contact information. My goal was accomplished. 

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