For much of my life I hid my identity somewhere comfortably between Mexican and Tejano. As a particularly brown girl with a funny sounding name, I could leave many confused if I started to explain that I am not an immigrant. Explaining my identity was so hard for people who assumed my brown skin meant I was not an American. It’s even harder to assuage brown people who think you are “ashamed” of being Mexican when you tell them you are not an immigrant . My family has been in Texas over 9 generations. We lost our native ways somewhere along the path but not our knowing. We were just fine being called Tejano for the most part… but I am nosy. Questions of race and identity have always intrigued me so after earning an anthropology degree, and many life experiences later, I know that there is no need for explanation for what simply is. I am an indigenous women.
For any Hispanic or Latina or even self identified Chicana reading this, I want to tell you this was not easy. You yourself may be struggling with understanding why this should even matter. I want to help you get there if I can.
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