Timena Mano, Northern CA. Since I was a young child, one thing I knew for sure was that I was Samoan. I am Polynesian but again, more specifically, SAMOAN. I remember in middle school, a classmate asked my friend Ofa if she was Samoan, and she quickly shouted in an offended tone, “No!” I recall […]
Kaniela Kelekolio, Captain Cook, HI. The legacy of slavery and, for much of history, the demographics of the USA have led to ‘white vs black’ being the central racial discussion. But as America grows more diverse and East and South Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic communities and white and black ethnic subgroups flourish, they challenge a […]
Morgan Engelhardt, Norfolk, VA. A lot of times I get shut down for calling myself Pacific Islander or Asian because I look white. The truth is, I’ve always preferred to identify myself with my Filipino ancestors rather than my white ones. It feels like home to me.
Beth Watson, Tacoma, WA. In ‘post-racial’ ( I use this term sarcastically) America, living in the Pacific Northwest, I can’t believe how many times I have been asked outright, “where did you get her from?” in response to seeing me and my bi-racial daughter in public. This question, of course, comes at the end of […]
Lee, Saipan, MP. Oceania is the proper geographical name of a defined region, as are North America, Europe, Asia, etc. People are Native American, European, Asian… I am, among other things, Oceanic or Oceanian; a person descended from ancestors from Oceania. Specifically, Micronesia. The term “pacific islander” as a racial category is an oddity that […]
Bryce, Denver, CO. ha•pa (hä’pä) adj. 1. Slang. of mixed racial heritage with partial roots in Asian and/or Pacific Islander ancestry.
Nick Albuquerque, NM I love spam
Nikolette Joseph Union City, CA People always ask me what is my ethnicity. I respond saying Fijian and they look at me like what the heck is that. I explain to them that its an small island next to Hawaii. ”Ohhh okay” as they say. The Fiji water , that’s where you come from? So […]
Chantilly Mers New York, NY I am the daughter of parents who migrated from Palau, a small cluster of islands between Guam and the Philippines. Ethnically, I am Palauan and Chinese, and my siblings and I grew up in Hawaii. Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian is usually the box I check. In addition to my inherent multi-cultural […]
Karina Irvine, CA I live in an area that has many distinct Asian groups who are first generation Americans: Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc. My grandmother was first generation Filipino and my Grandfather and father are both Caucasian. That makes me part-Asian. But to my Asian friends who are first generation, they see me as […]
Sarah Pasadena, CA I love the words “Check all that apply.” I proudly check white AND Asian. Sometimes even Pacific Islander to honor the island where I grew up. I refuse to only check ONE box. I will not choose between my Asian heritage, my white experiences, or my island culture.
Luis David Garcia Huntsville, TX I am Mexican, my wife is Pacific Islander and our girls were born in Virginia and Texas. My girls are the minority among minorities and yet are lumped together with the largest population in the planet (Asian/Pacific Islander). Now try to tell my Chamorro wife that she is Chinese and […]
Jan Mason NY Born and raised in paradise as a Haole (white) person I had more than my share of discrimination but living on the “mainland” where I “fit in” with the white majority(?) my island heritage is invisible. I have taken to checking the box or “Pacific Islander” though I feel guilty about if […]
JayJay Porcadilla Colorado Springs, CO I am Filipino and Portuguese and much more! I was always afraid of the song “Play that funky music WHITE boy” I don’t know why, but it had so I would check white so I would feel like I was part of everyone around me! To this day I am […]