“I am Brown” by Selena Huapilla-Perez #IamLatinx

 

Selena Huapilla-Perez from Michigan State University unpacks what it means to be Brown in the United States.

I am Brown

Brown like el Desierto.

Brown like el Rio Bravo.

Brown like el Pan de cada dia.

Brown like the radical Brown Berets.

Brown like the hands that harvest this land,

the very hands that harvested me.

 

I am Brown,

Brown like my father’s skin,

after 48 years under the sun.

Brown like my mami saying:

“Vas a ver cuando lleguemos a la casa”

and “Comete toda la comida, que aqui no es restaurante”

Brown like my abuelitos wrinkled cheeks.

Brown like La Virgencita de Guadalupe,

who my abuelita always prays too.

 

I am Brown,

Brown like mi Mexico, lindo, querido y adolorido.

Brown like mi Mexico and the 366 lives it lost to the 7.1 earthquake.

 

I am Brown,

Brown like Los 43 de Ayotzinapa.

Brown like las Piramides de Teotihuacan, la Luna y el Sol.

Brown like the YEARS, YEARS, and YEARS of Spaniard colonization.

Brown like the 55% of Mexican land lost to the U.S.

Brown like 1821, when we gained Independencia from los Espanoles.

Brown like the border, THE ONE THAT CROSSED ME.

 

I am Brown,

Brown like the American Bald Eagle

except lately, I don’t feel like an American Bald Eagle.

 

I am Brown,

Brown like la Aguila Mexicana

perched on a nopal with a serpent in hand.

 

I am Brown,

Brown like Chente’s- Por tu Maldito Amor.

Brown like Selena’s- Baila! Baila esta Cumbia.

Brown like Elvis Crespo’s- Suavemente, Besame.

Brown like El Mariachi Loco quiere bailar!

Brown like Corridos

Brown like Cumbias

Brown like Banda

Brown like Bachata

Brown like Nortenas

Brown like Huapangos

Brown like Reggaeton

 

I am Brown,

Brown like Thick Trenzas.

Brown like the Leather intertwined in my Huaraches.

 

I am Brown,

Brown like the dough of my Pan Dulce.

Brown like the Canela in my Horchata.

Brown like my Tortillas.

I am Brown and bitter like Tequila.

I am Brown and sweet like a Mazapan.

I am Brown and spicy like a Tamarindo.

I am Brown and SO DAMN GOOD like Carne Asada.

I am Brown and intricate like Mole.

I am Brown,

Brown like the Machismo that plagues my community.

Brown like todas las Mujeres, Chillonas y Chingonas.

Brown like the 800,000 DREAMers.

Brown like the dirt they tried to bury us in,

not knowing we were seeds.

THEY love

our Comida

our Color

our Clothes

our Cultura

our Stories

our Labor

our Bodies

our Lenguaje

and our Musica.

BUT THEY DON’T LOVE US.

THEY paint their face brown,

But won’t say it to a brown face.

THEY want to say

that Brown is not sending their best.

that Brown has a lot of problems.

that Brown is bringing drugs.

that Brown is bringing crime.

that Brown are rapists.

and that some, they assume, are good people.

THEY

Oppress Brown

Exploit Brown

Hate Brown

Marginalize Brown

Incarcerate Brown

Suppress Brown

Deport Brown

They are afraid of Brown.

Because Brown,

is a color, a cultura, a communidad that

Stands up

Fights Back

Resists

Protects

DREAMS.

And yes, THAT TAKES JOBS.

I am Brown,

Beauty is Brown.

Support is Brown.

Solidarity is Brown.

Revolution is Brown.

Resiliency is Brown.

Resistance is Brown.

But above all, PRIDE IS BROWN.

 

 

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