If it weren’t for her setting me free, I may still be a caged bird today, holding my own daughter captive on a shit-laden perch.
Hip-hop is storytelling.
I have never bought into the idea that blood is thicker than water. Love and respect are meant to be earned from our children, our spouses, our families, and our friends.
Hip-hop, this thing we love that loves us back, is our lingua franca.
Foisting an identity on people rather than allowing them the freedom and space to create their own is shady.
I guess it all depends on whom you ask and when you ask. Race, I’ve learned, is in the eye of the beholder.
Even the juncture in history and the zeitgeist we live in is something we choose, setting the scene for the spiritual fodder we need to grow and achieve deeper elevation of our souls.
Nobody, she felt, understood her–not her mother, not her father, not her sister or brother, none of the girls or boys at school, nadie–except her man.
For some, excavating the past isn’t an adventure, it’s more akin to tearing a Band-Aid off an open wound.
I remember feeling that pieces of me were scattered around the world; I belonged to her, Mother Earth.
More than anything, this place feels familiar. I bury my hands in the hot sand and think about the embodiment of memory or, more specifically, our natural ability to carry the past in our bodies...
The hospital room was as cold as dead skin, the hallway crowded with lost souls and reeking of illness.
I think Dad wanted to feel the pain, to feel his body cry, an urgent reminder that he was still alive. I pretended not to notice.
…being Latino means being from everywhere, and that is exactly what America is supposed to be about.
When we illuminate the road back to our ancestors, they have a way of reaching out, of manifesting themselves…sometimes even physically.
Women destroy me. I allow them to.
Sometimes opposites attract, or so they say, but Paloma and Rocío were like arroz and mangú: they didn’t really mix well.
Alice’s razor-thin blond hair is what people in Santo Domingo call bueno, but I don’t understand how that kind of hair can be good. It doesn’t move at all, or ripple like the water in...
We travel with the same clan over and over again, from one life to the next, until some ultimate purpose is fulfilled and we no longer need to return.
Traveling further ingrained my desire to connect to a place other than an island that is slightly older, in a New World way, than the United States, especially after I found characteristics of my face...
I fall in love with Paraíso. It’s like a giant playground where I’m never scolded for running around recklessly, where I’m almost overwhelmed with the amount of attention and love I receive from Mami’s family....
This thing I am feeling, I’m almost certain, is the closest I’ll ever come to standing somewhere in between truth and reconciliation.
Are Latino-Americans white? Black? Other? Illegal aliens from Mars? Or are we the very face of America?
Paradise is a state of being, more than just the name of a suburb or a home.
The Dominican Republic is my holy land, my Mecca.
Globalization by the way of McDonald’s and KFC has captured the hearts, the minds, and from what I can see through the window, the growing bellies of the folks here.
The truth is usually left for us to hunt and gather independently, if we are so inclined.
The tension between people is palpable, and the ideal of what it means to be and look American becomes a preoccupation to folks around the country, including me.
Our identities are as fluid as our personal experiences are diverse.
A mother isn’t the person who births you; it’s the person who rears you and shows you love.
I wish she’d said something different, but patriarchy is as prevalent around the world as racism and xenophobia are. We can’t hide from it, not even here.
Come to think of it, maybe God is a He after all, because only a cruel force would create something this beautiful and make it inaccessible to most people.
Lately, Mami’s eyes have been so dark, I don’t like looking into them because I’m afraid I’ll fall in.
You are meant to be, despite how you got here; you’ll see someday.
Listen kid, it’s just you and me now, so let’s help each other out. Always be honest with me, and show me how to be the mother and father I never had. I’ll make a...
To me, travel is more valuable than any stupid piece of bling money can buy.
Support and encouragement are found in the most unlikely places.
The things that come to us easily, our propensities, are carried on a deep subconscious level into our next life. There are no coincidences.
She looks like an empty shell of a woman with her soul hovering above her. We believe in spiritual guías in Santo Domingo. Hers is her own self. I can see Mami’s soul desperately trying...
Shakespeare had it right all along: Love will kill you in the end.
Hip-hop…has been the proverbial key that’s opened the door for me to roam this breathtaking planet.
Individually, every grain of sand brushing against my hands represents a story, an experience, and a block for me to build upon for the next generation.
This is what I know about my parents. They spent the next several years trying to forget each other, and me.
While America will always, I think, feel foreign to me, New York City is my home. This is where I can construct my own identity freely and reject labels imposed on me.
Perhaps finding out that we carry New World history in our genes will transcend racial checkboxes altogether and enable Latino-Americans to rethink what America is supposed to look like.
The past is buried deep within the ground in Rabat, although the ancient walls in the old city are still standing, painted in electrifying variations of royal blue that make the winding roads look like...
If Aphrodite chills at home in Cyprus for most of the year, then Fez must be the goddess’s playground.
We aren’t encouraged to think for ourselves and ask questions. We are expected to accept what they teach us as infallible truths.
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