What does it mean to be Black? Depending on who you ask, the answers will undoubtedly differ. Not just because each individual has lived his or her own experiences, but because the African diaspora is so widespread and diverse. To be Black is to be African, Caribbean, Afro-Latino, Southern, et al. We are a melting pot of cultures and traditions that exist under a singular umbrella of Blackness, but our passions and interests expand far beyond who or what others expect us to be. 

We are not a monolith. We are not defined by presumptions and stereotypes. We do the unexpected. We ski, we swim. We skate, we fly. We invent, we invest. We love, we travel. We do anything and everything because we are Black and unlimited

This year, as part of Black History Month, we celebrate this diversity with 28 Things About Me, a four-part editorial series where members of our own community share their personal stories around Blackness. First up is Complex’s own On-Air News Anchor/Editorial Producer Claire Ateku, a daughter of Kenyan parents who lives out her dreams as a well-traveled woman that is comfortable in her own skin.  

Be sure to check out Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4