What’s Good? I’m a Nuyorican, baby!

Christina Labrador,
Copiague, NY

“Are you Indian?” The man behind the 7-11 counter asks me.
“Are you Egyptian?” The parking attendant asks.
“You look Israeli.” The bouncer at Cafe Wha? says.
“Girl, you black.” My Israelite friends say.
“I know what restaurant you’ll like.” As the man handing out flyers on the street gives me a menu of an Indian eatery.
“You’re boricua!” The dapper gentleman with a sharp suit, black sunglasses and fedora proudly guesses.
“You sound like a Brooklyn, Puerto Rican.” The Hipster girl says with a curious head tilt after her and her partner ask where I’m from.
“I thought you were white, I had no concept of Latino.” Says the boyfriend.
“I thought Latinos weren’t black.” Says the racist with pores glowing neon red once I reveal my black, indigenous culture.
I get mistaken for Italian, Brazilian, Iranian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian… it’s rare when people guess Puerto Rican. But when they do… there’s a little dance I do inside my head. I maybe might express it outside too.


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