Don’t You See?

(Personal Reflection)


“I can see you’re not from here. Where are you from?” This has been one of the key questions in my life. It has taken me a long time to understand it, although I have been hearing it since I was a child, and even more often since I arrived in the United Kingdom. It was 1999 and I was studying for my MA degree. I remember going to a black students conference in Southampton. I was very excited. I had never seen so many “black” people in one room in my life! I was truly fascinated, curious, observing, looking at every single one of them. There, I started talking with a group of people, and at some point the conversation turned to issues of identity and “race.” I told them I was a little bit confused about identifying myself as black. I explained I had been born and raised in Mexico and that I basically consider myself Mexican. One young woman looked at me impatiently, and pulled my hand towards her own and compared our skin color. She said: “Look, you are black, what are you arguing about, don’t you see?”


White People Mexican Mestizo Thursday Morning Vote Booth Election Authority 
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© Erynn Masi de Casanova and Afshan Jafar 2013

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