Where I’m From

I am from steel drums and soft, fragrant breezes, from green, yellow, and black, and from chicken that brings tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart.

I am from my father’s eyes, knowing and piercing when I want them to be and soft and loving when I don’t.

I am from pride, strength, compassion, and drive.

I am from picnics in the living room, with pillow forts, mugs of hot chocolate, and soft twinkly lights.

I am from a new generation of Americans, with the world at my fingertips. From “We came here to give you a better life” and “The only thing you should be worried about is getting some degrees”.

I am from gunshots late in the night outside my window, from tightly clutching my mother’s hand as we passed thugs down the block, and from prayers for safety over all of my loved ones every night.

I am borne of Euterpe, Polyhymnia, and Terpsichore, from dance and song and praise.

I am from lips that are soft and full, and a little bigger. But how else would I be able to talk about all my big hopes and dreams?

I am from “Where’s my white niece?”, “Oh here come the black girls and Ashley”, and countless other Oreo and ‘jungle fever’ jokes. I am also from the confidence to pursue whatever interests me, regardless of racial perceptions.

I am the mahogany in a sea of ebony.

I am from hips that will serve me well when the time comes, even if they are a little big.

I am from abs that seem to always be flat regardless of whether or not I exercise (thanks Mom!)

I am from a house full of music, from reggae and jazz and classical and bhangra and merengue and so many others.

I am from something pretty amazing.

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