Jaelin White Showcases Original ‘Natural Diaries’ Film During Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month, Westminster College organized a variety of activities and events on campus, including a Feb. 9 virtual presentation on natural hair that was facilitated by Jaelin White, Student Life Administrative Assistant.

White and Reverend Kiva Nice-Webb, Director of the Center for Faith and Service, facilitated a conversation about natural hair and its importance for Black women.

The event started by showing a documentary called Natural Diaries that White created, where African American women talk about the importance of keeping their hair natural. The video explained how it helps improve their self-esteem. A question-and-answer session regarding Afro hair followed the video.

White stated that Black History Month is “a time to recognize and celebrate everything that is Black. Black History Month is not just about celebrating accomplishments and historical figures, but also our culture, where we come from, what we’ve overcome, and where we’re going.”

She says the position she holds on campus allowed her the opportunity to organize many events this month.

By giving this presentation and talking about natural hair in Black women, White hopes that it will influence students, faculty, staff, and alumni to start having conversations about beauty standards.

White says, “I feel that my documentary makes it easier for all races and ethnicities to open up about their cultures’ beauty standards and also provides the opportunity to learn more about the Black experience.”

By keeping her hair natural, it is easier to take care of, and White feels more confident.

According to White, natural hair is “an element in Black Culture that has evolved over time and is continuing to do so.”

White received a degree in Psychology and Digital Storytelling in 2020 from the University of Missouri. She says she chose to work at Westminster for its unique environment.

White explains, “I wanted to see how much I could contribute to the Student Life department, and the close relationships throughout campus between students, faculty, and staff are a couple of the reasons I chose Westminster.”

Other Black History Month activities at Westminster included a partnership with the area’s George Washington Carver Cultural Center for a Black History Month display in downtown Fulton, a Black Panther movie night, and an artistic de-stress event.





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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.