Ysanet Batista
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How I Learned To Embrace My Blackness as a Dominican Woman

Article public on HipLatina.com

It Makes A Difference

It makes a difference

If you were picked up as a baby and soothed when you cried

If you were left to cry as a baby in your crib porque asi you’ll learn to cry yourself to sleep

If your dad took you to the park and played with you, watched you play joyfully

If your your dad took you to the park and forgot about you because he met up with his boy y se pusieron a beber

If your mom goes to your parent teacher conference

If your mom sends her boyfriend to your parent teacher conference

If your mom wakes up early and walks you to elementary school, even though its across the street, and says “have a good day at school, mami”

If your mom watches you through the window and screams “Cruza ahora, entra rapido, portate bien”

It makes a difference

If your parent takes times to show you how to do chores as a way to teach you responsibility

If your parent teaches you to fear them for not washing dishes or taking out the frozen meat before they get home

If you grow up making memories of reading together, making food, and being affirmed

If you grow up teaching yourself how to be emotionally intelligent

It makes a difference

If you watch your parent receive an award for some shit you don’t quite understand but you’re excited for them anyways, clapping excitedly

If you see your parent in the news for being busted for something you don’t quite understand but you’re sad he is on the tv and not with you. If the adults don’t take time to explain to you what is happening but you know your dad is now gone

If you grow up not knowing where money comes from and all your needs being taken care of because you're a child

If you grow up being told “tu me sale cara”, growing up feeling like a burden or sacrifice

It makes a difference

If you learn that jealousy is a not a good thing, "it shows you they don’t care for you — run — fast!"

If you learn that jealousy is good, "awww it shows you they really love you."

If you grow up being allowed to be soft, care-free, vulnerable, developing critical thinking that allows you to distinguish feeling from logic

If you have to grow up before you’re grown. If you have to develop a louder voice, a tough armor, a hustle spirit. A pettiness, an attitude to survive in your community, school, home

It makes a difference knowing you were loved versus understanding you were loved in the ways they knew

It makes a difference

If you are soothed when you cry

It makes a difference

If you learn to cry yourself to sleep

It makes a difference

It makes a difference

Ysanet Batista