NCCU student highlights HBCU experience through documentary film

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
NCCU student highlights HBCU experience through documentary film
The documentary titled "Essence: Nothing Can Control Us," features the aspiring filmmaker's journey as a student at an HBCU.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- It was a dream that started nearly two years ago when Cameron Elyse got the idea of creating a fashion documentary and detailing the experience via YouTube by showcasing various Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

"So here I am reaching out to Howard University, FAMU (Florida A&M), (North Carolina) A&T," said Elyse. "And it's so crazy because I didn't even know I could do this. But here I am continuing to do the work."

Admittedly, Elyse said it became challenging when those same universities and marketing directors failed to complete memorandums of understanding and contracts.

"This whole process, I'm proving to myself, 'You know you can do it, Cameron,' she recalled. Elyse remembered learning about North Carolina Central University through her aunt and an affiliation with the school's alumni association. So she took a leap of faith and enrolled at NC Central.

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"And when I came to Central, I was immediately welcomed with this air of we want to help you. We see what you're doing. We see your vision and that's where I am now," she recalled.

The documentary is titled "Essence: Nothing Can Control Us," with the latter part of the title an acronym for NCCU. It features her journey as a student at an HBCU.

"The ups, the downs, and the in-betweens," she said. "Here I am thinking it's going to be a fashion production, but here I am with a whole team, you know? It's about following the path that God has laid out for you and being obedient."

Elyse envisions the documentary to be more of a docuseries with four main parts. Each part represents her four-year collegiate experience with 20-30 episodes within each act.

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"It's more or less about what we did, but more so how did you get there. So I think people seeing how we did get there, I think that'll be very impactful and inspiring," she said. "It's really forcing me to be a leader, which is a great thing. Because even for my own trajectory, leadership in business is definitely one of the things that I am going to be accomplishing."

You can watch episodes of "Essence: Nothing Can Control Us" on YouTube and other social media platforms.

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