People frequently ask me, “Where are you from?” When I reply with the unsatisfactory, “Cincinnati”, they shake their heads and further and ask, “Oh, I mean, where are your parents from?” Reluctantly, I give them the answer they want.
I find it frustrating because it allows others to define me by my ancestry and the preconceived notions that are associated with it. Taiye Selasi tackled this topic in her recent Ted Talk called “Don’t Ask Where I’m From, Ask Where I’m a Local.”
She explained that there is a three-step test in determining where someone is a local: through rituals, relationships and restrictions. Continue reading