Amani Hayes-Messinger

Staff Blogger

Amani Hayes-Messinger identifies as a Black, biracial, Jewish woman who hails from Boston, and is currently studying at Brown University. She was raised in a racially and culturally diverse circle of family friends woven by two loving mothers — a white Jew of Eastern European descent and an African American woman.

Outside her home, Amani has always navigated nearly all white educational, religious and family spaces. She has often been “the [only] Black girl” in the class, and her racialization has led to shock at and questioning of her intellect, curiosity and belonging, particularly in these educational spaces. It was not until her high school and college years that Amani began to engage more critically in understanding systems of oppression and their manifestations and began working daily to claim the identity Woman of Color as we understand it in its political sense.

She now wears her uncolonized hair proudly, and believes it is best complemented by a burgandy/maroon/black aesthetic with matching lipstick and blended eyeshadow. She is passionately searching for ways in which to engage young people in self, communally and globally race critical exchange and leveraging the platform educators have to do so. Amani chooses to begin dialogue at school with her first year mentees and at home with her younger brothers (18, 18, 13, and 11).