The Black Yearbook: Universities and the Black Experience

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For so many young people, moving away to college is their first taste of real freedom—a chance to explore passions, make new friends, and bond with people who share similar interests. But what happens when you arrive to campus and realize that most of your fellow students don’t look like you? Adraint Khadafhi Bereal explores this experience and more in his gorgeous piece The Black Yearbook.

Unlike traditional yearbooks, The Black Yearbook includes 200+ portraits and interviews from Black students at The University of Texas at Austin. The goal is to share the joys and struggles of being a Black student at a predominantly white university. Of the 52,000 students who attend UT Austin, only 4% of them are Black, and only 1.5% are Black men.

“I started this project two years ago, when I interviewed 25 Black men on campus and showed the work (portraits and interviews) at the George Washington Carver Museum in East Austin,” Bereal told The Texas Observer. “A lot of people perceive it to be a literal yearbook because of the title, but it is far from that, and intends to showcase the reality of Black students.”

After raising nearly $5,000, Bereal turned his digital project into a 360-page physical book. It’s currently out of stock, but you can sign up to be notified when it’s back. Learn more at