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   IN OUR OWN VOICES
      
          
Multicultural Resources for High School Students  

Mi problema

My sincerity isn’t good enough.                 

Eyebrows raise
when I request:
“Hable más despacio, por favor.”
My skin is brown
just like theirs,
but now I’m unworthy of the color
‘cause I don’t speak Spanish
the way I should.
Then they laugh and talk about
mi problema
in the language I stumble over.

A white person gets encouragement,
praise,
for weak attempts at a second language.
“Maybe he wants to be brown
like us.”
and that is good.

My earnest attempts
make me look bad,
dumb.
Perhaps she wanted to be white
like THEM.”
and that is bad.

I keep my flash cards hidden
a practice cassette tape
not labeled
‘cause I am ashamed.
I “should know better”
they tell me
“Spanish is in your blood.”

I search for S.S.L. classes,
(Spanish as a Second Language)
in college catalogs
and practice
with my grandma.
who gives me patience,
permission to learn.

 

This website was created and is maintained for use in classrooms dedicated to multicultural understanding. 
Material from and links to other sources have been chosen because of their relevance to this goal. 
For questions or comments, or to report problems with links, please contact:
Ann Ramsey ramseyakc@yahoo.com
 
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