This is Danielle ‘Jazz’ Noel, a pre-med Columbia student and photographer whose work focuses on capturing hip-hop culture.
On February 16, Elite Daily uploaded a lighthearted video Noel participated in, where exes go through each other’s phones. Noel’s ex-boyfriend Chris was initially cast in the video and asked her to come along.
It wasn’t long before Noel faced horrific taunts from black commenters, including “ape” “gorilla”, “bitch”, “ugly” and the “dirt under my fingernails”
In a feature on AfroPunk.com, Noel spoke about the bullying she faced;
“Many of those attacking me for being born this way are really dealing with their own inferiority complexes unbeknownst to them, and gain a false sense of superiority by trying to make me feel like less of a person…With lack of accountability, they’re less likely to reflect on what caused them to be so cruel, which prevents them from ever looking on the inside to get to know themselves and understand their own hurt. Essentially, social media cyberbullying has ushered in a dangerous evolution of self-hate.”
Noel says she is confident in herself, thanks to her family.
“I am eternally appreciative for growing up with such a strong family unit that nurtured my proper development and ensured my self-love, despite what anyone had to say. I’m someone who is very comfortable in my skin, and prefer my nose, lips and any other feature that makes me, me. I truly due pity anyone who feels the need to try to make me feel inferior.”
She also quoted Erykah Badu, ““Hate for anything stems from a fear of something.”
Noel, who is of Grenadian descent, was featured on natural hair blog Global Couture in 2014 where she discussed her decision to go natural.
“Natural isn’t a “trend” or a new “lifestyle;” it’s how you’re born. Don’t forget that. I actually have way more confidence wearing my natural hair. I hadn’t realize how severe my lack of confidence was back when I was straightening my hair daily.”