Mi Prima y Tío

“We share our stories of being minorities in America and we share our fears of being minorities in America.”

More stories from Desiree Carrizosa


Ten seconds, diez segundos is all the time my cousin had to say goodbye to her father before they took him. Diez segundos was all she had to tell her father how much she loved him. Diez segundos to ask him: “Qué tengo que hacer Apa?!”, diez segundos to ask him: “What should I do Dad?!” It was 10 seconds that changed her life forever.

BANG BANG BANG, the banging at the door sounded as if a whole S.W.A.T. team was outside her door, but it was worse. The word “ICE” was sewn and pressed onto their shirts. “ICE” is the only thing we see when we close our eyes because we know what they can do to us. Mi prima left Mexico when she was five years old, she had no one there, no home, no connections, nothing. The army of icemen threatened her with the removal of her DACA status if she interfered with the detention of her father. Like a dog, they threw him on the floor like he had murdered 14 people, the way they treated him. The smack of his body on the floor replays in her head over and over again.

Being a Hispanic student at an HBCU, I have been able to tell stories that represent an aspect of Hispanic lives but I have also been able to listen to the stories that represent an aspect of African American lives. In the classroom-setting, we are always able to have open conversations about serious topics. My male classmates expressing their fear to the class about walking down the street while wearing a hooded sweater, or my female classmates expressing the annoyance of being forced to hold their tongue because of the fear of being shot down. We share our stories of being minorities in America and we share our fears of being minorities in America. These fears and stories also allow us to connect with each other and understand these aspects of each others’ lives.