If you don’t know where you come from…

Know your place!

Over eight years ago I began a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. A black woman would be the very force to push me to claim who I am.

Not because she wanted me to see the beauty in me!

Not because she welcomed me!

Not because she accepted me!

Not because she wanted me to celebrate a shared history!

She wanted me to see who I am NOT!

She wanted me to know that I was not black!

To her I had no rights!

To her I had audacity!

She wanted me to know MY PLACE!

In response to her questioning my integrity, my blackness, my identity I wrote and published my first story.

To her I say thank you… not only AM I LATINA, but I AM AFRICAN… not only is it MY PLACE but it is MY RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY to know where I come from, who I am and share that KNOWING with the world!

To my father I say thank you because you are who has raised me with the knowing and life mantra; SI NO SABES DE DONDE VIENES COMO VAS A SABER PARA DONDE VAS? If you don’t know where you come from how will you know where you’re headed?

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We are Two Cultures Marching to One Drum (click link for PDF article)

And so it is! Ache

8 thoughts on “If you don’t know where you come from…

  1. I say this with love and respect. It is unfortunate you had this experience. You state you are both Latina and African. There was a time when Latinas/Latinos ran from being associated with Africa. This happened in the Black community as well. Its foundation is the indoctrination of systematic racism. Even today, many Latinas/Latinos denie their African heritage, other Latinos/Latinas embrace their heritage in spirit and truth.There’s a major cultural divide even though we share an African heritage. Blacks are looked on with suspicion and less than. I’ve attended Latina/Latino events and felt like and was treated as the other. I like to believe this young lady was not
    attempting to put you in your place, rather she was puzzled. You see, Blacks in this country are
    the descendants of enslaved Africans, this is our heritage. This goes beyond claiming an African heritage. We’re speaking about our lynched, raped and murdered ancestors. I ask that this is respected. There is still much pain. Only Blacks can understand our cultural nuances. Perhaps, this young woman was unaware of colonalization on other shores.The last thing needed is descendants at war over whose African and who is not. Your poem is your experience. I find it
    offensive to Black women and divisive. Thus, the cultural divide remains.


    1. Hi LC, I appreciate your comment and sentiment. As I sit here in mourning I thought this would be a good moment to respond. I acknowledge you. I hear you. You have not written anything that I have not felt being a black woman, a Latina woman, a woc, a lesbian woman. All the ways I have been violated our abused or discriminated against in my own personal experience. My poem is my response to an ignorant comment about “knowing my place”and my work, my words, my acts of service and how I show up in the world is my response to said ignorance. I know who I am. I know where I’m from. And the blood that runs through my veins is a shared story. I thank you for visiting my work. I lovingly disagree, this dialogue is a beautiful example of a bridging divides. The ancestors are proud. Sending love and blessings. Alicia

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My sincere condolences for your lost. I pray peace and comfort for you and your love ones. I read the article. I do not question the sincerity of your intentions. You have every right to your heritage. Walk proud in your heritage. I am a direct descendant of Africans on the continent and of enslaved Africans in this country. It was my ancestor mothers and fathers who were raped, lynched , castrated and brutalized. This specific ancient pain, memory and experience is not a part of your blood. We will have to respectfully disagree. Blessings Always.


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