My name is Aissata and I am from Guinea but was born and raised in Harlem I also practice the religion Islam, growing up I always tried to make sure I didn’t say my name the African way I always tried to Americanize it because I didn’t want anyone to know I was African because of the fear of getting bullied. However, as I grew older I started to accept my self for who I am. My name is very important to me because it is apart of me, even though I don’t identify myself only with my name of course, there are many more thing that defines me better than my name, however, my name is something I am born with and will be following me around for the rest of my life. When you say Aissata (eye- sa- ta) it stands out for some reason, maybe because it is not a name you hear often I also inherited my name from one of my close relatives who I am very close to. When I introduce myself to people they often don’t get my name right the first time, they often try to give me nicknames so it can be easier for them to pronounce such as “ice” or “sata” but I always make them repeat my name till they get it right because it is rude.
It’s been a difficult year for us, for the groups we belong to, so let’s write about it!
I’m Jackie Blain, and you can find me on our Slack workspace or via email DBlain@citytech.cuny.edu.