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June 12, 2020

Jeune femme aux cheveux frisés

By Alysha Sarasua

How can someone be half of something
Does that make me less than or more
Better off or worse
Am I nothing?
Forced to choose one
I faded away

No box can contain me
Sitting for my PSAT
Stumped on the first page
Puzzled I ask my teacher
Am I African-American? White? Latina?
It took her seconds to answer
African-Americans automatically get more points
They are at a disadvantage

What do you get when you breed a donkey and a mustang?
A term to sum up
What I have to offer
To judgy eyes

Will I always be measured by my lack of blackness
Our ancestors may have different roots
But they were all linked by chains
That trauma binds us
To the forces that captured our souls and destinies.

Or by my lack of whiteness
White people ask, you must be mixed with something.
You have a je ne sais quoi
An exotic look
Does that make me one of them
Or one of you?

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  • Alysha Sarasua

    Alysha Sarasua


    Alysha is a 24-year-old biracial woman from an English-speaking community in Quebec. Raised by her white mother, she grew up with few ties to her black community. She hopes her work will help heal the wounds and isolation she suffered as a young girl by creating a space for women of color. She is looking forward to completing her degree in political science with a minor in economics and moving on to a master's in education.

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