Many feelings, but not enough words.

Tatyana Parrish,
Valley Stream, NY.

My six words are a fairly simple way to explain how complicated this matter is to me.
My father was never there, and my mom worked her absolute ass off in order to make up for that. My father is African American, and because of this I’ve come to resent the entire race. That entire side of the family treated my mother and I as outsiders.

Growing up, all I had was my mother. She is Japanese. Thus was my upbringing. Race hadn’t been an issue ever, until high school. Always with the questions, “What’s your ethnicity/background?”, “What are you?”.
When I was younger I reveled in the attention. At the time no one in town had a racial background like I have, and this validated my worth. It made me different.

I’m older now and think a little more critically. I’ve come to realize that I have to work harder, not only because of my background, but because I refuse to let ANYONE disqualify me because of it. I refuse to allow others to label me. Instead get to know who I am. I’m not my race. I’m the compilation of the many life experiences that’s accumulated over 20 years. Although I have yet to embrace the half of myself which had failed to embrace me, I wont tolerate racism of any sort, toward anyone.


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