Who I Am Essay

1144 Words5 Pages
When I look in the mirror I know whom I am, but society makes it difficult to understand who I am, because I was born to immigrants of Nigerian descent, and I am a first generation American, that term is sometimes used so loosely. By looking at my name they assume that I am from some island, but I am so quick to tell them that “I am Nigerian”, there is another statement that normally follows this. “You do not have an accent”. I wonder if I had an accent would I be considered Nigerian and not American; then I say that “My parents are Nigerian” and then that changes, so to them I am just associated with the Nigerian culture it does not make me Nigerian, there has been many discussion between my friends who are the same like me confused to…show more content…
I currently enjoy shocking people with my heritage because there is still a stigma about what a "Haitian" should look like, sound like, etc. I'd say that because I was such a scared little kid who didn't talk much, my family could do little to support me because they didn't know I was having issues (A. Benjamin, personal communication, Dec 1, 2009). This is saying that if you do not walk, talk, or think like them; then you are not considered to be of that ethnicity. Everyday I am on a constant race to discover who I am as an individual. I am fighting this battle whether I choose to acknowledge it or not. Donald Hernandez has written in his book Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance; he talks about major key points, but the most important one state “Third, because life chances differ greatly according to race and ethnicity in the United States, and because of the race and ethnic composition of immigrants to this country has shifted markedly during recent decades,” (3). That is true trying to be one thing is very hard in USA society has an effect of how you may become as the individual. If I were in another country they would just see as an American and nothing else, but the place that I was born and raised they see me as what my parents are Nigerians. I am not American because my parents are from Nigeria; this has been a very constant thing, because of several definitions of what it

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