The Writing of
Michelle Duster
1894 - Michelle's Writing


From Ida From Abroad written in 2010
by Michelle Duster


            One thing that struck me as particularly interesting about traveling overseas was that most people didn’t assume that I was American.  People assumed that I was anything from North African (Egyptian, Moroccan, Lybian, or Tunisian), Hispanic, Caribbean or South American.  A part of that assumption could be based on the fact that I spoke both Spanish and French.  Even when people learned that I was American they insisted that I had to be first generation and my parents were originally from another country.  It was incomprehensible to most people that I could be a seventh generation American of African descent who grew up on the South Side of Chicago.

As a result of the experiences in both our neighboring country of Mexico and the numerous countries I visited in Europe, I am convinced that people around the world are more alike than different.  I truly feel that I am a citizen of the world, rather than “only” an African American woman.  There is a common experience between women of African descent in particular, and all women in general.

During my travels I met many people who truly didn’t understand the concept of discrimination based only on race.  The more questions they asked me about prejudice towards African Americans, the more difficult it was to explain.  These challenging conversations reiterated just how arbitrary and ridiculous it is to treat people differently based only on skin color.


          

 

 

 

 

 

 

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