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.
My family’s background has always been confusing to me. When people ask about my background, I usually say I’m Chinese and Thai, but the truth is a little more complex. My grandparents are from all around Southeast Asia.
My trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. was a poignant one. The visit started with an elevator ride down to the building’s lowest level. “1968” … “1954” … “1948” … “1865” — the years on the wall counted down as the elevator descended.
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.
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.
I’m about as far from a fine arts critic as one can get. I don’t consume art and I definitely don’t study art. Whenever I go to art museums, I usually spend more time on the benches than looking at the art.