HOW HAS YOUR BACKGROUND AFFECTED YOUR LIFE/ WORK?
Much like most Dominican families, mine refrained from exploring our roots, leaving me with a cloudy sense of pride in a sort of racial limbo. It felt like I was facing a foggy mirror, with a deep yearning to see & embrace they who stood opposite of me. There was no specification on which box I should check in the race section at the beginning of my standardized test, which I couldn't focus on; did I check the right box? There was no conversation at the dinner table on why 90% of the Dominican population possesses African descent, yet 5% claims blackness, or why we treat our family in Haiti with such resentment. My own people were willfully & proudly holding a steamer to my mirror, hoping I wouldn't notice but as I started to notice, the need to see who stood opposite of me in that mirror started to fade; I knew it was me, I knew who I was. My background *is* my life/work & always will be. It’s lit a fire in me to exist undeniably proud to be everything that I am, for those who need to see me be.