As much as I enjoyed my experiences in academia, the entertainment industry, and the worlds of personal and spiritual development, I never enjoyed the unspoken rules which demanded that I conceal my perspective as a woman-of-color in order to fit in. Even when I was among other people of color, there was a tacit agreement not to bring up race and ethnicity in ways that would make white people uncomfortable. It was an isolating experience that I didn’t question for decades, because I thought that was how life had to be: assimilate or be left behind.
It was only when I claimed my identity as a mixed Latina from the Bronx, that I found myself able to share parts of myself that had long been obscured. And it was only when I began sharing these parts of myself with other people of color, and exploring the role that white supremacy had played in the formation of my life and identity, that I began to find my voice as a writer and a teacher.
Our culture is increasingly mixed — which is a great thing — and I believe it will grow stronger, more interesting and more vital because of that. But I also believe in providing a space where writers of color can be free from the pressures that come from a mixed, but still white-dominated, environment (pressures white people often don’t understand) and discover their voices undisturbed.