Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Meaning of diaspora

Canela Lopez | Staff Artist

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The eyes are constantly looking for the familiar, but home can never feel comfortable, never feel right. A pair of jeans that look perfect on everyone else, but never cling to your hips quite the same. Eyes searching the sky for a flag to call your own, because the white and blue drained our blood to get the perfect shade of red. To see difference without fear. To see the black, brown, yellow, white and smile. To see the tears fall from another’s eyes and say I understand, because the seeds in your souls never grow roots.

Our homeland is in our hands. The lines of your palms only lead you to more questions, a path to a continent no longer your own. The strength of your fingers. They cling to a past, to hope, to the thought that maybe this time someone will see your humanity. Your fingernails scratch beyond the surface, into the depths of blackness, searching for a commonplace. Hands; they look just like your father’s, whose homeland is your homeland, both of you unsure of where your souls yearn for each night as you lay your head to rest.

To find home in another. A pair of legs that carried tired bodies, supported by aching feet. The plurality of the two, the unity; separated to create a whole. From the legs come a family. Creating your own home in a land you built but still is not quite yours. Legs that marched and became stronger.

Your grandmother’s home is your soul. Her voice is your strength, her pain your purpose. You smile just like her; the corners of your mouth reaching the heavens, a place where you are valued, your work acknowledged, every piece of you loved. When they take only what they want from you and leave the rest to rot, it is her voice that helps you put the pieces back together.

To be diaspora. To be resilient. To have been hated and still love with open eyes, hands, legs, souls.

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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans
Meaning of diaspora