“One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963)
Before coming to Pasadena I rarely thought about how significant the color of my skin was to my everyday life. I was raised in a neighborhood in Miami, Florida where I was part of a majority consisting of residents who were either immigrants, multi-lingual or people of color.
But when I came to Art Center I realized I no longer fit in as easily. It was here that I was first asked: “Are you black?” This made me realize that race was going to make an impact on my experiences. It’s normal for people to be affected by stereotypes and visual representations. And it’s normal to make assumptions about someone by the color of their skin. So when I was asked this, I responded, “Yes…I mean I’m not white. My parents are Dominican, my ancestors are African, and I was born in America. So technically that makes me African American as well.” I learned that question alone helps me define who I am.