Carefree White Girls, Careful Brown Girls
“Nobody will stop a young blond girl, that’s the truth,” you said. This was when I grew angry with you, when I wanted to scrap our week-old friendship.
Must be the clouds,
Cinelle Barnes is a memoirist, essayist, and educator from Manila, Philippines. Her work has appeared in Catapult, Buzzfeed, Literary Hub, Hyphen, and TAYO, among others. Her debut memoir, MONSOON MANSION (Little A/2018), was an Amazon First Reads Editors Pick and a Booklist Starred Review. She is currently the writer-in-residence at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, and is at work on a collection of essays. More about her at cinellebarnes.com.
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Papa left the summer I turned eight. The emotional toll of a wife who blamed him was too much to carry along with the burden of repatriating thousands of Filipino citizens.
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Often we only talk about what the immigrant gains, or what they “take.” We don’t consider what they have left behind.
Each time I am lured by the mirage of progress, someone knocks at the door and I am reminded of being thirteen and having nightmares about ICE at our door.