“Man is more than white, more than mulatto, more than black. Cuban is more than white, more than mulatto, more than black.” -José Martí

 

How would life be if race was not a vital component to someone’s everyday identity? I can not help but put myself in this mindset when appearance is the first impression someone perceives you as. I walk around campus with my white friends and me as a brown girl. What people do not know about us is that we are all Mexican but I am the only recognizable one. José Martí statement in his writing is powerful for humankind. Society wants to order people in a category and sometimes that makes everything unorganized than structured. My life is not a box, I wish man was more than race. I am more than race. I am Bryana.

José Martí was a leader in Cuba but his message resonated with other islands like Hispaniola. When I was learning about the Dominican Republic and Haiti’s relationship in my first-year of college, I did not know about the brutal history that island had. As a person with Mexican descent, the Caribbean were only perceived generally as a multi-mixed region that looked normal. I was unaware that there was such a thing as limpieza de sangre that meant a blood cleansing which the Dominican government wanted its people to clear any Haitian blood. This is problematic in so many ways because it represents an attempt to erase the black race and the history attached to the enslavement of a people. It ultimately leads us back to what is race and why it is important to our society? It only adds to people having to choose what they are in terms of race rather than who they are as a person.