I have understood the power of words since a young age. I distinctly recall the first time I published a piece at age 13, and the apprehension with which I described my sentiments as a bi-ethnic second-generation Tibetan in exile.
As a child, I used to think about the stories and poems I wanted to write when I got older. Whenever something funny happened, I thought of how I could write a story about it and make someone else laugh too. Yet, I never actually put pen to paper.
I spent my whole childhood defining my Blackness with words that were not mine for the choosing. My peers defined Blackness by hip-hop, poverty and a certain accent, and when I didn’t fit their stereotype, I was flippantly called an Oreo.