Made in the U.S.A.

The skinny and the fat

Born and raised in the city of Chicago, I was surrounded by a mix of ethnicities and cultures.

In my neighborhood of Rogers Park we were a delightful blend of spices. A little creole seasoning, chocolate molé, spicy salsa, green curry and other delicious sauces. Me, my classmates, my friends could have represented many of the countries within the United Nations. Countries many of us never visited or will visit. Countries whose language was lost on the boat or plane that brought us, our parents or other ancestor. Countries whose culture was stuffed into a suitcase or strapped to our backs. Cultures that tried to blend with those found in this new country.

Fifth grade Fifth grade

With all of this diversity surrounding me, my identity became an amalgam of cultures. I loved hanging with my girlfriends who would put french braids in my “horse hair.” Cook refried beans – with lard!

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