People at PLU: Jacob Mballow

Jacob Mballow stands on upper campus. PHOTO BY HELEN WILMOT

HELEN WILMOT; Photographer; chunghh@plu.edu

Mast Photographer Helen Wilmot caught up with Jacob Mballow about her experiences as a woman of color.

Mast Photographer Helen Wilmot caught up with Jacob Mballow about her experiences as a woman of color.

“I’ve realized that being a black woman is hard, but being black is even harder. Throughout the years, I’ve realized that if I’m around certain people, I have to act a certain way, because they’ll look at me and go, ‘Oh, she’s black. She’s probably loud, aggressive or ratchet.’

One of the things that has kept me in my safe spot away from all that is my education. I think it’s because I felt like I always had to disprove the stereotypes or disprove that I’m aggressive or loud. I felt that I had to prove my intelligence to people just so I can feel accepted.

People will be like, ‘You’re so smart, I didn’t think you could think that deep.’ When I ask why, they just say, ‘You just don’t look like it.’ But what does it mean to not look smart? I dealt with that a lot. I question why I have to sit here and be like, I’m smart and this and that, just so white can be okay with me.” ◼︎

Share your thoughts