A Christelle in a world full of Crystals.

Me in traditional Antiguan dress for my church’s International Day

November 6th, 1999 — a child is born.

I was born in Baltimore, Maryland to British-Caribbean woman and an African man. I grew up in Loma Linda, California from the age of 1–5 under the roof of my Antiguan Great-Aunt and Grandmother where religion was emphasized at school, at home, and at play. I didn’t understand where I came from. I just knew to be respectful and to speak when spoken to.

Starting high school at 12 years old.

I went to a public high school and was in for the culture shock of my life. Apparently it wasn’t cool to be African, so I didn’t necessarily mention that when I met new people. Caribbeans were cool, but if you weren’t Jamaican were you Caribbean? I had to learn to appreciate my culture, but it was very hard, when your parents never gave you a full answer. All I knew was that not everyone was raised like me. I was a young black girl with roots in Africa and the Caribbean, but I still didn’t know what that truly meant.

Me, an intellectual, at the University of Georgia.

My name is Christelle Angel Naomi Anani. I am 17 years of age and I am will be finishing my first year in college in early May at the University of Georgia. From the outside looking in, I’m just another black female, and I often get stereotyped and made out to be a threat to society, but through this project, I have found a new appreciation for my roots. They lie in Africa, the Caribbean, England, and America. I grew up confused about why my family raised me the way that they did, but after this project a lot of things make sense. The values and morals that my family instilled in me, from religion to education to mental and physical health have guided my steps to success that is me today. In this project, I focused on my Caribbean ancestry, but I am still very aware and proud of my African heritage. I used to be ashamed of my blended cultures. I didn’t know what to identify as. I know realize that it is absolutely fine to be cultured. It is absolutely fine to appreciate and represent your roots even if you’re not close to them. There are more ways to speak English than one. I have realized and accepted the fact that it doesn’t matter if I say “wah gwan,” “yo,”or “hello”. I’m still American by location, and Antiguan, Togolese, and British by blood.

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