As a black female, I feel as if it is an obligation of mine for me to truly understand what it means to be a minority in America. To prosper, we must know our roots. However, I am exposed to the history even less than the average amount because my family is not from America. My parents merely came to America knowing nothing about it except that it is the land of absolute freedom where dreams can come true. Growing up, I believed this concept adamantly, after hearing my father’s stories of his journey repeatedly.
Growing up in a family where my mom was a doctor and my dad was a musician, I was exposed to a lots of things in my life. For example I was able to see Broadway plays and and go on family trips to Disney every year in the winter. A lot of people would say I was very fortunate to be one of the family where I knew both my parents and they did there best to give me a lot of life experiences. But me being an African-American male it seems like I not supposed to how do experiences, I was supposed to not know my father not to be able to go on these trips with my family.
In the past I have struggled with my biracial identity. As a child I was confused about which community I belonged in because I am a mix of Navajo and Caucasian. As I got older, I began to question myself and who I was. I felt like I did not belong to either the Native or Caucasian community because in both groups I felt like someone else. I felt as if I had to live two lives that were completely separated.
I didn’t know that I was Black until the fifth grade. I mean, I always knew that I was Black as in the Black slash African American box I poorly shaded in every year on the CST and free lunch applications; but, I didn’t know know that I was Black. It was during a passing period I had between Physical Education and Science to pee that I realized what my race was. Like hundreds of times before, I entered the dimply sunlit restroom connected to the cafeteria of my elementary school; but, this time, instead of exiting the restroom, after washing my hands, I decided to look at my reflection.
First, many locations have dockworkers who are of different ethnicities. I always liked going to the place where the dockworkers had some Latinos, because I have often heard them refer to me as " Pinche Negro : or " Pinchie Miyati ". Hope I spelled those right, LOL. The first one means the F-bomb with Negro on the end. The second literally means F-bomb and N-word together.
I transferred to Pace two and a half years ago. Before, I was enrolled Caldwell College in New Jersey. The school was mostly populated with typical Caucasian students and a low ratio of African-American students; therefore there was not much diversity. I am an individual that enjoys learning about other cultures and traditions. At Caldwell, I did not feel any type of disrespect towards my race/culture like Jessie.
I am a minority, and a minority hardly gets their voice heard. One reason why is that the majority talks too loud over them, and secondly, because of fear. Fear of discrimination. This was me through high school. My faith had always been something of true importance to me, including the morals and responsibilities that came along with it.
Being from a Latin and Hispanic background, it’s hard for me to pick what race I am. If you look at my mom, you would think she’s a white European, even though she is from Argentina. On the other hand, my dad has darker skin, he looks more Mexican, but these are not races. When people ask me what race I am, I usually say I’m White Hispanic. I grew up being told I was white, and have experienced white privilege, so I do not consider myself a person of color.
I wake up in a closet. I don’t remember how I got here. The last thing I remember is being at Claire Brandon’s sleepover. It was pitch black; I put my hand on the ice-cold, bare walls, trying to look for a light switch.
walked out of the gondola at the top, and I could see the sun that is just about to rise behind the mountain further away. The sky was clear, and the cold temperature made my breath heavy. The snow crunched under my skis when I walked in the snow, and I felt that today was going to be a good day. I took two perfect runs on the slope before it was time for inspection of the course. I normally like when the course is changing from turn to turn, and the course today was just like that.
Winter of 2008, Black History Month, and my third grade music teacher, announces, “Stand up if you would have been a victim of segregation,” following with, “Now, everyone look around.” February. The month of Rosa Parks, “I Had A Dream,” marches, and sit-ins. The month I had begun to despise greater each year. The month where I would be chosen to lead many readings and join classroom discussions, as if my being ‘black’ would provide some clarity that would enhance the learning experience for my fellow peers.
Although my family dealt—and still deals— with it every day, the racial identity never was pointed out. As a little kid, I never understood why my dad sometimes was treated differently for me he always was just my dad. Later on I would understand why, but my idea “you are whoever you are” still was my life credo that I never doubted. I have never questioned myself on what I identify as before the conversation with the person that I met once and thought I would forget the next day, but it became the turning point of my life.