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I am commonly perceived as a foreigner…

July 14, 2008

“I am commonly perceived as a foreigner everywhere I go, including in the United States and in Mexico. This international perception is based on my color and features. I am neither black nor white. I am not light skinned and cannot be mistaken for “white”; because my hair is so straight I cannot be mistaken for “black.” And by U.S. standards and according to some North American Native Americans, I cannot make official claims to be india.

Socioeconomic status, genetic makeup and ongoing debates on mestisaje aside, if in search of refuge from the United States I took up residence on any other continent, the core of my being would long for a return to the lands of my ancestors. My ethereal spirit and my collective memory with other indigenas and mestizo/as yearn to claim these territories as homeland.”

Ana Castillo

from “A Countryless Woman: The Early Feminista,” Massacre of the Dreamers: Essays on Xicanisma

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