One major adversity I face in life is simply being different from everyone else. I struggle with my identity because of my race. What am I? Am I black? Am I white? Am I Indian? Michael Jackson said it shouldn't matter if I'm black or white, right? Let’s start from the very beginning. My parents are West Indian from the Island of Trinidad and Tobago. My dad is French Creole and white, but on his birth certificate his was race was labeled Negroid. My mother is West Indian, whic
The Token Asian
Growing up as the “Token Asian,” I never stopped to consider the jokes at my expense. Slant-eyes, always smelling like fish, Pacific Islander-whatever-you’re-all-the-same comments would fly above me and hover in a circle just above my head from the time I moved to a small East Texas town as a nine year old to my high school graduation. Imagine my surprise and shocked when I moved to Denton and into a very diverse university. I wouldn’t know what to classify Texas Woman’s. The
The American Way
I must admit I don’t think I ever felt different until I was about 7 years old. Prior to that, I had always been surrounded by people like me: Mexican Americans or Chicanos in South Texas. My parents rarely went outside their comfortable circle of family and friends in the small town where I grew up. Even when I was about 4 or 5 and we lived in San Antonio, we stayed in our (Mexican-American) area of the city. We all spoke Spanish and sometimes English. We were all brown skin
If It Looks Like a Duck...
I was born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. My parents divorced when I turned five, and my mother, grandmother and I left Brooklyn and moved to the suburbs of Queens. We lived in a racially diverse neighborhood, it was about 1/3 Black, 1/3 Polish, and 1/3 Italian. My mom (a recently converted Catholic) tried to enroll me in the nearby St. Joseph Elementary School but she was turned away because I didn’t speak Polish. (Hmmmmm!?) So I was enrolled St. Pius V Cat