The benefits of taking a break
Taking time off is as much a reward as it is a necessary refueling. I give work my all every day, moved by the urgency of our mission — to elevate voices and perspectives from historically marginalized communities — and the awesome task of shaping stories that are told from the points of view of the New American Mainstream, a loose coalition of Black, Brown and Asian Americans who have redefined the American identity.
We are you. We are all.
Organizations that don’t embrace this understanding of Americanness are already being left behind. If you, like me, are left unsurprised by what you read or listen to in legacy media organizations, it may well be because you, like me, no longer accept the top-down approach of explaining the other.
You are the other. We are all the other.
I write this as a thin blanket of rain clouds covers the sky in Edinburgh, the second stop of a nine-day trip to the United Kingdom. Here, my child and I have learned that “white” is an oversimplification that fails to capture the amalgamation that defines the Scottish identity, one that is made up of many parts: Britons, Picts, Angles, Gaels and Norse.
London came before Edinburgh. There, my child and I enjoyed the vibrancy of a world made of many parts. We stayed with Londoners of Indian descent, ate Lebanese food alongside Muslim families breaking their Ramadan fast, munched on dumplings in Chinatown, and traversed tourist areas on foot, listening to languages we did and didn’t understand or recognize.
All of that has left us wanting more: more traveling, more culturally foreign food and experiences, more people whose heritage is different than ours — a mix of Portuguese, African and Indigenous on my end and, on my child’s, that and the Irish and French Canadian she inherited from her father.
We return to New York on Saturday, knowing that we belong wherever we are. This is our home. This is our land.
With love and purpose, always.
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