Identity Is Vital For Times Of Struggle And Crisis Essay

1086 Words May 20th, 2016 5 Pages
Identity is crucial in times of struggle and crisis. As a first generation Korean-American living in the United States, I understand that adversity is omnipresent and inevitable. Throughout my life, I have faced hardships solely due to my race. For example, I constantly experience discrimination on the basketball court and lacrosse field. During my first varsity basketball game, I heard slander in the opponent’s crowd as someone screamed, “You don’t belong in this gym, go back to China!” In that moment, rage and fury overtook me–I wanted to climb the old, wooden bleachers and punch the heckler in the jaw. Moreover, during lacrosse, I constantly get bombarded with “Open your eyes” or get referred to as a “Chink” or “Gook” by opposing players. But time after time, I remember who I am and evade the disparagement, focusing on my own sense of place. Although the situations differ slightly, the life of Esmeralda Santiago and her family are interchangeable with me and my family. In Santiago’s memoir When I was Puerto Rican, she recalls her life as an adolescent in Puerto Rico, having the responsibility of taking care of her many siblings. The memoir transitions into her hardships of moving to Brooklyn, New York, where she is unaccustomed to the culture and way of life. Esmeralda and her mother find their sense of place through immigration, assimilation, and identity.
In 1994, my parents, who are both Korean citizens, immigrated to America to provide their future children with…

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