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.
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.
When I lived in Dominican Republic my childhood was the best. I was surrounded of my friends and cousins. I loved to play with them. When a woman got pregnant I always went to her house to help her. When the baby was born I passed the all day in that house with the baby.
I am half Mexican and half Ecuadorian. I live in a household with my mom, three sisters, and one younger brother. My parents divorced when i was nine years old and for me it was one of the hardest experiences i had ever been through. I am usually always happy and smiling and laughing. I 'm very loud
I woke up on an especially cool winter morning and looked over to my mother’s side of the bed. She was not there, I knew that, but I secretly wished she was. I swung my legs off the bedside and rushed to the bathroom to brush my teeth and get myself ready for school. This was a typical morning for me.
The world is filled with people, and like snowflakes, each person is not the same as another. Each person identifies with different aspects of their lives to create their own personal identities. I personally identify with my Italian side of my family to help form who I am today. I have found myself connecting with this side more so than the other parts of my identity. It affects how I live my life by becoming the center to the culture surrounding me.
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.
My first language is English but I also understand haitian Creole. I would say I am intermediate in Haitian Creole. I also think some words in Spanish are familiar to me because in Creole there are some Spanish words ( as well as some French). I want to be able to hold a basic conversation in Spanish or at least understand it. Eventually, i would love to be fluent or at least intermediate in the language to be able to communicate well with my future Spanish-speaking ELL students when I become a teacher.
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.
As I am driving in my yellow open air dune buggy further into the Dominican countryside, I feel the hot sun on my face, the wind blowing back my hair and the dust that is coming up from the bumpy dirt road. Everything is moving so fast but the one thing that is still is the small barefoot children standing on the right side of the road, watching as we speed by. An overwhelming feeling comes and I feel my chest getting heavy. The one and only thing holding back the empathetic tears is the fact that the children were smiling. They are happy even when they have nothing.
My parents and I moved to the Dominican Republic when I was thirteen years old. Living there as a young American came with many challenges. One of the biggest threats against foreigners is violence. Within my first years of living in Dominican Republic, I had experienced two incidents at it firsthand. The first incident happen a week before school began, I was mugged by two assailants; man on a motorcycle and another man on foot.
I identify as a Latina. I have always considered myself as a Latina, but throughout time, I believe that I have assimilated more into a white individual because of the privilege that I hold and because I have lived in the US most of my life. I have received mostly negative messages from those who are not from my ethnicity. My peers and I were told we wouldn’t graduate high school and be laborers for the rest of our lives. With the current politics, I believe that this still holds true where some people still hold stereotypes and give oppressing messages to Latinos.
Culturally, family is the base of my Hispanic heritage. As a child my mother taught me that family is the most important aspect of life. I remember my abuelita and uncle visiting every Thanksgiving and telling stories about their youth, from my uncle getting lost in Yosemite National Park to my abuelita regularly being dragged by the ear to Mother Superior’s office. When she came to visit, my abuelita would always share the family albums that she had stuffed in her suitcase. With every picture there was both a story and a lesson.
19 years ago today in a Hispanic house hold two parents three siblings and the world to conquer. Screaming, laughing, learning and growing molded this one young lady to overcome all statics .Factors such as birthplace, extracurricular activities and the simple thing she couldn’t control, her origin were deciding factors for where she is present day. New York, the city that never sleeps, a city diverse in all aspects of life, the city where it all started. 18 years growing up in Harlem wasn’t all it was cracked up to be especially for a young Hispanic female. Being surrounded with drugs, violence and public disobedience were some of the easiest of distractions that I encountered every day.
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.