Hello viewer my name is Nacia Russell, a 14 year old freshman at Life Academy, and you’re looking at my very fun colorful shadow box. My shadow box to me basically represents my personality and who I see myself as. As you can tell by my shadow box I am a very fun, outgoing, colorful, loving person. Not many people see me that way. I’m going to explain to you what all my objects represent about and to me.

First off let’s start at the top, as you can see there are a lot of twisted pipe cleaners, two different flags, a cup with white paper and two hearts on a stick. The flags represent my ethnicity and how I see myself my grandmother is Japanese so I hold that close but I was born in the USA so I hold that close as well. The cup represents how milk makes everyone strong so by me drinking it I become a stronger woman, and the hearts represent how I have my heart set on the two parts of me, Japan and America. The springs represent how I’m very fun and how my fun comes in different ways and colors. Now moving to the actual box part, you can see I have a picture collage, pokemon cards, pins, rainbow stickers, beads, a name made of pipe cleaners and a beautiful zebra printed floor. Starting off with the collage, this collage is in the back for a reason it represents my past life and me growing up trying to figure out who I am. It also shows how much I appreciate family even though my parents might not be together anymore I still hold all of us as a family dear to my heart. The beads are honestly just up for decoration. Now the pokemon cards are up because I admire pokemon so much it’s just something I’ve grown fond of. The pins are shows and movies that I have interest in and from my first trip to Las Vegas. Going to the name the name says Nana, not like saying grandma, it’s actually my nickname given to me when I was a newborn and it’s something I really enjoyed being called because my family uses that name more than my biological name which is Nacia. Finally I have rainbows to represent how I am very supportive of the LGBT community and how I’m a very kind hearted and loving person. After explaining all of this I feel like overall my box really showed that the dominant narrative of me being an African-American young woman is a struggle and that all Black people don’t know any better when really the struggle is growing up and trying to understand how life works and ways to deal with growing up around stereotypes.

In conclusion this shadow box shows where life has taken me so far and how I really appreciate the life I’m living at the moment. It shows how I’m worried more about life now that I am about life later/ the future. It might even also show my chosen and assigned identity, but most of all it shows my counter narrative, my race, my gender identity and expression and most of all how I am a human being who cares about others as well as herself.

#LifeAcademy, #ShadowBoxes, #EthnicStudies, #MyLife, #FunPerson

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September 12, 2018 5:33 pm

Dear Nacia,
I am interested in your box and I think it looks great. One sentence you wrote that stood out to me is “The cup represents how milk makes everyone strong so by me drinking it I become a stronger woman, and the hearts represent how I have my heart set on the two parts of me, Japan and America.” I really like this sentence because it represents how you are a strong women. Thanks for your writing. I look foreward to seeing what you write next because this art representation and your paragraph is super strong and interesting to read. I learned a lot about you and keep up the amazing work.

February 7, 2018 5:56 pm

This is amazing Nazia I never had the chance to get to know you in advisory so I’m glad I got to read this and learn more about you.

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