What is a Coconut?

Posted: October 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

My first post on my first blog.

coconutspeak

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…

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