Language-Less & Latina

Written By Kai Deveraux Lawson

Growing up, I was exposed to all of the elements of the Latin culture I was born into, except for what seems like the most important one: language. The music, food, dances, values and traditions were all a part of my day-to-day experience, but the Spanish language was as foreign to me as my parents were to this country. I remember looking forward to my mother’s evening routine of coming home from work, cooking dinner, sipping wine, and watching telenovelas. I would sit in the kitchen with her and focus on the television screen in hopes that if I watched the shows long and hard enough, I just might be able to simulate an immersive experience and be able to fluently understand the words and speak to the words perfectly.
For context, I am a first generation, American-born Afro-Latina. I come from a family of Black, Spanish-speaking immigrants who’ve traveled to the United States, in search of opportunity and success. My mother was born and raised in Cost...

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