News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Being Hispanic

As part of the 2013 Ohio Diversity Latino Talent & Leadership Conference, I had a chance to meet a talented high school student who shared this poignant essay. Her words deserve to be heard. 
Raul Ramos y Sanchez

Being Hispanic
By Kimberly K. Maldonado-Torres 
People have different opinions of what being Hispanic is, for me being Hispanic is that difference. I can’t possibly truly define what being Hispanic is, because it is a colorful mixture. There are so many pieces that I find it a shame I can’t delve into them all. I can say this though, it is like the pull of the tide, it is the sway of the palm trees, it is the heat that comes of the dancing flame. This is what I think being Hispanic is; the merging of many components that leads to diversity matched by few. Being Hispanic allows me to see beyond just race and color; I rose from a rainbow like family and can see the attributes of others no matter where they come from. I personally see being Hispanic as not just a few races, many times I forget race is involved, I see being Hispanic as an upbringing. It is a connection that binds us all. Even though we come from different places, our core is derived from the same concoction. That color, those feelings within us all, drive us forward and helps us shape the world around us. I still find it difficult to put it to words, but I feel that even with everything that makes it up, above all being Hispanic is about unity and acceptance, no matter your roots. 

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