“What Island you from?” - FamilyEducation

“What Island you from?”

August 24,2010
Talia's Blog
Talia Rivera

Talia Rivera is a 33-year-old mother of two. As Executive Director of Villages without Walls, she works with high-risk gang members in Boston. [Read more]

Two West Indian men crossed the street pulling a water cooler on wheels. The water cooler was filled with fruit and water. One of the men asked if we wanted to buy some fruit. “Me have bananas, watermelon, pineapple, Mon.” A girl I worked with this summer brought two oranges. She gave me one. Before the fruit men moved on, one asked me, “What island you from?” “I am not from an island.” “You must have island blood?” “No, I don’t.” Then I thought, “I don’t know anything about my father or his side of his family. I could be anything. And I’ll never know.” I suddenly felt very sad. Did my father come from a line of junkies like my mother? Or is his a family of writers, lawyers, and doctors? It was the first time I ever felt emotion for knowing nothing of my father, except his first name.