Current Role: Uni student (1st year)
What racial, ethnic, cultural community or communities do you identify with?
When and how did your family come to the United States? Where were you born?
My parents immigrated from Tchad (Africa) to France before I was born. They simply ask for a visa card and they started working to survive here, which they did and I'm really, really proud of them for that.
What are the strengths and challenges of being Black?
I will probably say our greatest strengths are our rich backgrounds - the fact that us, minorities (not just my community), have decades of really interesting history but also culture. I will also say, our resources.
Perhaps, I think one of our unnoticed strengths is the cultural and historical similarities that does bound us, minorities. By that I mean, in the Western society, where minorities are always depicted as different and somehow "inferior," we understand and sympathize easily with each other's situations because we have gone through similar ones. We understand other cultural mindsets and traditions as it resonate with ours.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
That's a really hard question, to be honest. I will say, getting accepted to one of the top universities of the country and successfully winning all the prejudices that I went through during my scholarity. I'm really proud of myself. Even when people in the past didn't label me as "smart" because of my dyslexia and because I was a really slow learner, I never gave them the chance to concrete their thoughts.
What is one thing you learned or appreciate from your family growing up?
Never give up! Even if the whole world gives you all the reasons to, just work hard and be patient! That is for me, my biggest inspiration brought up by my parents. Looking at them now, I am happy to tell that they are my biggest inspiration in life.
Do you speak your family's native language? Why or why not?
Unfortunately, I'm not fluent in it. I can understand it pretty well but in terms of engaging in a conversation, I could not. This has to do with the fact that my parents were probably really scared that I couldn't speak French properly (as my teacher warned them about it). So, I only got to know the language at an early age. Plus, finding people who will actually teach you the language is really hard to find (not to say it is impossible), so I only know the basics.
What advice do you have for the younger generations in our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community?
Don't consider yourself as different in a bad way. Everybody is different, even people who aren't part of the PoC community. None of your differences define you as a bad person. If you don't recognize yourself in how the media or how anybody depicts you, don't force yourself to identify as what you see and how you are treated. Know that your differences are your strengths - it helps you and allows you to shine. Your hair, your skin color, the languages that you speak and even your accent isn't a weakness. They are a strength of yours against normality.
What gives you the greatest joy in life?
Making my family and I proud, helping others. Because even if my voice isn't too loud to help everyone in the world, I can do it at my own scale.
Are there any projects you have created that you'd like to share and promote?
With one of my friends, we are currently working on a project that we will develop on Instagram. We want to discuss about various topics which are currently crucial for our generation but we also want to let others speak their truth.
If you would like to share your voice as a person of color, please read the directions and fill out this form here. All ages, backgrounds, and generations welcome. Thank you!
Who are we?
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color voices in our communities.
We want to create a space to bring in more voices and celebrate our brothers and sisters from other communities of color.
There is power in our collective love, empathy, and understanding as we fight for racial equity for all. We, AAPIs, are your allies. Let's celebrate each other and seek our common ground!
Darrell L. Nelson II
Inez Adilene Tapia
John W. Fraser III
Maya A. Singletary