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Scholar Spotlight: Sejahari Saulter-Villegas

This week’s Wentcher spotlight is on Sejahari Saulter-Villegas! Sejahari is a senior at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts majoring in Drama. A native of West Humboldt Park and also Kenwood Academy alum, Sejahari has used his Chicago upbringing to inspire his artistic journey at NYU.

 

In addition to creating space for Black and Brown students to get free and express themselves through the arts, Sejahari has written, acted in, directed plays during his time at NYU. His latest work titled Pretty Boy, serves as his thesis project which will answer questions about perfectionism in Black people and the sensationalism of Black death. Starting off as a poem Sejahari wrote in 2017, Pretty Boy is a film that intertwines Sejahari’s love of fashion with his Blackness. The story follows a young man who moves to New York City in hopes of becoming a famous writer. Struggling financially, he quickly finds that his face and body can provide a lifestyle for him that his words cannot, and so he decides to pursue modeling. In his modeling career, the main character encounters colorism, sexual harassment, and unfair compensation. Sejahari is really excited to bring his vision to life as this is the first time he will be acting and directing in a body of work that he has written himself.

 

Post-graduation, Sejahari is slated to move to London where he will pursue two Master’s Degrees as a Marshall Scholar. In his first year he will be studying Black Humanities at the University of Bristol, and in his second year he plans on pursuing filmmaking. In addition to his educational pursuits, Sejahari will continue working on his own clothing line God of Gold, inspired by his daughter Zanairo.

 

We asked Sejahari what he has taken from his experiences at NYU, and he told us about how he learned to create art through struggle stating, “Artists in educational institutions will grow through the relationships with other artists that they create and the injustices they endure and fight against through their work.”

 

We at the Wentcher Foundation are extremely proud of Sejahari and cannot wait to see what is in store for him! 

To learn more about his projects and to support his work, visit

https://linktr.ee/amaru_ler

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