The copper seats of Rackham Auditorium shone in the yellow stage light, engulfing the room in a warm glow. As the actors ascended the stage in unison, each step with audible purpose and strength, their voices rang out through the auditorium with power and resilience. With the last line spoken and heads held high, complexions of brown flickered in the light — a warm reminder of the unity in the room. This is what resistance looked like March 13 at the Yoni Ki Baat monologue show.
As the years have gone by, I have come to realize that “Sex and the City” is a lot like a cool aunt. For the sake of the analogy, imagine this aunt is white. As a child, you thought this aunt was glamorous, witty and exciting, but as you’ve matured, the façade crumbled. In reality, this aunt is not as smart as she thinks she is, she disguises prejudice as humor, and fetishizes Black men uncomfortably too much to be as colorblind as she claims.
Asian/Pacific Islander American Heritage Month celebrations have begun, and while I am actively taking part in celebrating A/PIA history, I have also taken time to reflect on my engagement with the A/PIA community on campus.
During this past Spring Break, several Michigan in Color editors were given the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to discover forgotten histories in our nation’s capital. From visits to the National Museum of African American History and Culture and National Portrait Gallery to traversing the now-gentrified streets of Chinatown, we were reminded of how dominant narratives in the United States erase the history and contributions of people of color and the resistance necessary to create a more equitable society.
If my experiences during college have taught me anything, it is that writing is a powerful means of expression. Somehow, even when I don’t know what to say, I always have something to write. Last semester, and this one, was really rough for me health-wise. I grew quite frustrated and could not seem to express how I was feeling. So I wrote it down. And even though “One Second” is a poetic rendering of my struggles, it still does not do me justice. I am so much more than my disease, but I am also a writer, and it feels incredibly empowering to say that.
As a Muslim in the United States, it wasn’t unusual for me to feel like I didn’t belong here. As if I was taking up space that wasn’t mine to occupy. I’ve spent too much of my life trying to convince people that I’m American enough, while at the same time almost doubting it myself. As a South Asian Muslim, I didn’t expect to see myself in any of the exhibits at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and yet, as I walked through rows of artifacts, one, in particular, caught my eye.