Naomi Raquel Enright lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is a teacher at the Manhattan Country School.
“From one exile to another.” This is what my mother once asked Chinua Achebe to write in her copy of ‘Things Fall Apart.’ I stood right next to her and in that moment I realized the impact of my mother’s experience coming to study at Tulane University from Guayaquil, Ecuador at the age of 19 in 1965. She subsequently married my Jewish-American father, had two bilingual children with multiple citizenships, and was an impassioned, influential English Teacher at the Horace Mann School in Bronx, NY for 10 years. Her entire adult life has been spent in a foreign land, and when she returns to Ecuador, she has now become the foreigner.
In my home growing up discussions of race, culture, and identity were commonplace, and in fact were encouraged as a way for me and my brother to feel confident in a world where we could and often would be questioned or challenged.