Most people are a combination of various cultures, though I think their ancestors tended to confine their marriages and unions to one continent. Mine didn’t. As a teenager, growing up in the 1960s, I was always asked, “What are you, black or white?” I’d usually answer, “Both,” or “Neither,” not because I was afraid or wanted to fit in, but because it was true: Nicaraguan and Dominican parents, Middle-Eastern and French grandparents, and Chinese and African great-grandparents. (Hope I didn’t miss anyone). And born in Brooklyn, New York. “How sweet it is!”
This ethnic mix probably explains my preferred genres; Kid-Lit, because I am always looking for someone like me in children’s books; and Historical Fiction, because like working on a jigsaw puzzle, I travel the globe, mostly through books, in search of all of the pieces of me that, once united, will make me whole.
This quest has made me an avid multicultural reader. In every reading exploration I discover something about myself. Everything I write contains a key to who I am that reveals an aspect of my essence. It’s an awesome journey.
And while I seem to connect with everyone, I don’t really fit in anywhere; yet I love the empathy toward others that these various cultures have generated in me because it leads to a deeper kind of listening and understanding, which in turn informs and directs my writing.
I’m always learning, and changing, and growing, and I often have so much to say that I don’t know where to begin, or how to put it all together…like now.
So, thank you ancestors, for being willing and unwilling globe – hoppers. I am wonderfully made and you have given me much to think of and write about.
See you next time, on June 22nd.
Manager, Educator, and former High School Social Studies teacher, Veronica credits her love of history to the potpourri of cultures that make up her own life and to her upbringing in diverse Brooklyn, New York. Her genres of choice are Historical Fiction where she always makes new discoveries and Children’s Picture Books because there are so many wonderful worlds yet to be imagined and visited. She currently resides in Macungie, PA.
Life truly is an awesome journey, Veronica. I agree and look forward to each and every moment of mine! Loved the post, thank you.
Sally, Your words always encourage me. Thank you.
I love this post. I suspect that even people with just one ethnic background feel like they don’t always fit it.
It really speaks to the importance of seeing our oneness and looking for the ties that bind rather than separate.
I just did my Ancestry.com DNA test and can’t wait to see what it discovers about my heritage! I’m pretty sure it will reveal what I know already, mostly English with a bit of Irish thrown in. But it would be great to find some other hidden gems in my ancestry.
Hi Vicki, I see an elegant flamenco dancer in you. Maybe your DNA will reveal a bit of Spanish ancestry.
What a wonderful post 🙂 Your bright light shines, making others as empathetic and eager as you to discover diversity 🙂 And what do you mean you grew up in the 60’s?!?!?!? How is that possible when, from your photo, you are clearly no older than thirty?
Hi Geralyn, Thank you for the sweet compliments. Must be all those cultures running through me keeping me young, together with joyful living.
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