What is a Coconut? (Reblog from 20 July, 2012)

Posted: July 19, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

To most of the world, a coconut is exactly what it sounds like. It is a reminder of exotic beaches, umbrella drinks and beautiful sun-filled distractions. If the word could first – or even better only – mean that to me, then I wouldn’t have to question my own identity.

‘You’re a coconut’ said my Chola cousin Mel. Brown on the outside, white on the inside. Why should I care what she thought? I cared. She was my age and she was my father’s niece. I was 15 and lost.

So, I ‘talked White’. I spoke near perfect Spanish and absolutely perfect English. Mel spoke Spanglish, poorly. Her uniform consisted of Aquanet, Spandex, tank tops and gaudy costume jewelry. These were the required elements of Chola gear in Choloville, USA, otherwise known as Whittier and more so East L.A.

I don’t know anybody who didn’t want to fit in when they were a kid. This insatiable need to fit in ruled my life and even today is the constant devil or angel on my shoulder.

What is a coconut? It’s a terrified, needy, bright Chicana who sounds White.

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Comments
  1. Yikes – I think Mel’s uniform was close to mine! Great new blog, keep it up!

    Like

  2. lol…aquanet and spandex. yea that sounds familar for sure. and now the name “coconutspeak” really makes sense to me. *sigh 🙂 I guess im a coconut too.

    Like

  3. coconutspeak says:

    Reblogged this on coconutspeak and commented:

    My first post on my first blog.

    Like

  4. Heather says:

    Very thought-provoking… always like reading your stuff!

    Like

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