Gen Y on D&I: I Am From…

This week, Na Shai Alexander, a contributing writer for our Gen Y on D&I column, shares her “I am from…” as part of our Black History Month series.

I am from….
By Na Shai Alexander

I am from rich red clouds of Texas clay, golden sunflowers, and brittle Chicago winds. I am from warm, friendly kitchens, shades of cream, chocolate, ebony, and coffee. I am from active duty, PCSes, OCONUS, moves every three years, and TDY.

I am from salmon croquettes, Italian beef, black eyed peas, red beans and rice, spicy chicken, lemon meringue, and family dinners at Shoney’s.  I am from fresh presses Sunday morning, gospel choirs, and cocoa butter. I am from curls, kinks, and coils. I am from real sweet tea, fried catfish, and weekends spent in Pop’s camper.

I am from Goosebumps, Harry Potter, and hiding underneath my blankets to read. I am from spelling bees and trips to the public library. I am from “There’s no place like home.”

I am from Brenda and Lane, with a little bit of Juanita, Ernest, Lester and Iris mixed in. I am from “Bandits” and “Peanutheads”. I am from “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always.” I am from baby Lou, Disney marathons, and teepees in the basement. I am from love.

I am from the Good Old Song, Black Voices, Carter G. Woodson, OAAA, the BB, and poetry nights at Tuttle. I am from the Lawn, and a village of mentors and mentees. I am from late nights at Clemons, studying in the stacks, and ice cream dates at Splendora’s.

I am from “Do your best”, “Always try”, and “You can do anything you set your mind to.” I am from determination, strength, and “firsts”.  I am from rhythm, poetry, and jazz.

I am from prayer, faith, hope, beauty, and miracles.

I am.

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