I questioned my belonging on earth, in general, due to the violences I experienced in Japan, verbal and physical, as well as what my mother and our friends (childhood friends and their parents) experienced when I was around, or whenever I overheard.

Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd writes: “When I run into and get to know mixed-race American-Japanese people in the U.S., most of the time, they mention histories of being confused about who they were, their identity. Although, let’s say out of fifty persons I knew, seven or eight of them did not tell me that they questioned their identity, about confusion, the others did. I am one who never had any questions of who I was. But I also began noticing that those who questioned their identity, were mostly born in the United States, or left Japan as a child, before they could form too many sentences. Since American-ness is a place of individuals disconnected from communities, where people must craft their intimacies and friendships and relations, it began to dawn on me that this was not a surprise.”

Click here to read more on My Early Puzzling Racial Questions. You can check out additional stories on Cloyd’s blog, Dream of the Water Children: The Black Pacific. His first book: Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific, will be published by 2Leaf Press (New York) in November 2017.