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By Crissinda Ponder:
Her mother encouraged photography; her father advocated school. She brought both to fruition.
It’s around 7 p.m. and DeKeisha Teasley sits down at her cherry wood computer desk, in front of her MacBook Pro. She peruses an application reading “The Red & Black” at the header. But she doesn’t wish to write for the university newspaper—she wants to be a photographer.
Teasley wants to capture important moments in people’s lives, the kinds of moments she had with her father before he was violently taken from her.
She’s a striking figure at the head of the table – salt-and-pepper dreadlocks, square spectacles in front of her face, an oddly-shaped red charm caressing her neck. But it’s what Valerie Boyd has to say that has 11 students enraptured.
She’s ready to take on the pressing questions her class of graduating seniors has about what lies ahead. One student is expressing concern about her options for finding a journalism job. She is engaged and has to find something close by …
Boyd, an associate professor of journalism at the University of Georgia, makes her mark in this class as she has been for many years, both as educator and journalist. It was a book about another writer and one of her heroines, Zora Neale Hurston, that opened the door for her to later inspire others.