16th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People

“ My Uncle Joe’s ears and nose, my mom’s eyes and skin, my father’s hair and ears, I look at my features and I look at these pictures and I see where I come from. Our family and our ancestors mean so much to us. They determine what kind of people we will be before we’re born. What kind of habits we’ll have. Family is important. When I was younger I had a rough time dealing with my identity. I’m biracial, my mother is Hispanic, and my father is of European decent. I grew up being called the stereotypical names for Mexicans and I didn’t understand because I was like them, and at the same time I wasn’t. I would feel like I was faking being Mexican when I was around my Hispanic friends. I finally came to grips with the beauty of intersectionality of my identity. I’m made up of many parts. I’m Hispanic, I’m white, I’m a male, I’m a brother, friend, son, and all of this makes me unique, our identity isn’t one thing, it’s a mixture of things. Just like our characteristics and our personalities. We take things from people—our music tastes and our favorite foods—and we use them. When we think on these things we don’t just think about the object itself. We think about the memories with it and who was involved. I used to think I was an outsider, and now I’m learning ever so slowly that it’s better to be an outsider than an insider.”

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 11.2018
Date Uploaded: 11.2018
Photo Location: Ruston, Louisiana, United States of America
Copyright: © Keith Matthews