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Updated: Dec 31, 2020

Artwork by Isabelle Lu, staff artist

It is being a seed sown

on one soil but cultivated in another,

the stem bridging the distance

between the budding flowers and

the anchored roots.

It is the safe space over the kitchen table,

The tumble of languages in the tangle

of our conversations,

The stories of sacrifice and blazing ambitions

entwined into our dreams every night.

It is the English words that

trip off our tongues now,

but it was our native language

nestled into our young minds first.

It is being the weak link

in the chain of culture and traditions,

and bearing the weight of criticism

from relatives and strangers.

It is hearing racist slurs

reverberating in a classroom,

the first slashes at our capes of pride and

the ugly unveil of the tainted world.

It is the shame

cowering behind a wall of confusion and lies,

the embarrassment adorning

every rejection of our culture.

It is the condemnation that

greets our every breath and

the stereotypes that welcome us into

the country of liberty.

- children of immigrants


Noreen Chen is a Chinese-American high schooler from New York. She has a great interest in the arts, especially writing, drawing, painting, and graphic design. She has recently unearthed (yikes sorry) a passion of learning about environmental issues and sustainability and hopes to become more educated on these topics. When she not brainstorming ideas, you can find her watching YouTube videos.

Isabelle Lu is a 16-year-old creative from Long Island, New York. She is a winner of the New York Times Student Editorial Contest and the Scribe Writing Contest in poetry. She likes collecting strange earrings, which when worn may hinder activities like playing the cello and putting on sweaters. In her daily life, she can be found doodling and enthusing about books to unsuspecting innocents. Her art career began with magical girls.

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