Asian-ish

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Tonia Darbro

At age 2, I was adopted from Hubei Province in Wuhan, China.

Bailey Darbro, Jr. Editor

Year after year, I heard voices ringing in my ears.
Asking if I spoke Chinese,
But I thought my English was clear.
Chinese,
Japanese,
Dirty knees,
Look at these,
Other kids would snear.
My quiet and shy demeanor made me an easy target.
Maybe I didn’t belong here.

 

Eurocentric beauty standards bred self-hatred.
Their words and chants culminated.
And it became my Chinese features that I hated.
Blonde hair and blue eyes.
The reflection I longed for.
Instead I was given almond-shaped eyes and black hair.
Both of which I despised to my core.

 

Sixteen years went by.
I discovered Afro Puff Chronicles
And it changed me.
Love, artistry, and sisterhood
Became the key to self-acceptance.
Joining this community meant I was finally free.
From trivial perceptions
And my own insecurities.

 

The need to fit the mold
Is a lie I’ve already been told.
I’m more than just my Asian face
And it’s not just about my race.

 

I’ve been shaped by both my nationalities.
And I’m proud to be a Chinese American adoptee.
People don’t define my identity.

 

Learn about cultures different from yours.
Seek the truth rather than a single story.
Embrace differences and diverse perspectives.
Celebrate unique narratives.
Accept others for who they are.
Expand your mindset
And you’ll expand your world.
Be an informed citizen.