designer/black woman/transplant
Turn the volume all the way up, you still can't hear me speaking, just me inhaling a chicken liver plate between bites of salad. Can you blame me? Between the menu and talk of oxtail and butter beans, roasted pig and chicharrones, it's a wonder I ever left Tillery Kitchen. Somehow, I left hungrier than on arrival but with a renewed appreciation for the food that makes South Florida feel like home.
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"I think a key part of my identity is where I'm from not necessarily where I am." 
On home 
"It’s all about ropa vieja and chicharrones. If you don't love the pig in the box, I don't want to know you because you are foul. You have no idea what good food is."

"If you don't think that family equals standing around a pig picking at his skin while you drink beer and yell at the TV. There's something wrong with you. That's one of the great things I can always remember being with my friends' families on Noche Buena. whiner. Eating chicharrones straight off the pig and while someones abuelo is yelling in the background TV. It’s probably a rerun but, those are some of the greatest times I ever had."

On the move to Austin 
"I came to Austin hoping to find a higher opportunity for design. I wanted to advance in my career and I was finding that being in Orlando was becoming a little stale. I was looking to more a tech/advertising community and Austin was my choice." 
On being minority in a new place
"Moving to Orlando, meant that I was no longer in a place that understood me. I was now in a place where people looked at me as the outsider. It’s a small difference of 250 miles that stretches between Miami and Orlando. But in Orlando, I am the minority and I'm not the person that they expect to see. They don't understand my culture. They don't understand why my hair is so nappy. They don't understand why I use cocoa butter so much. So I was constantly asked about those things. Asked to touch my hair. You know all those crazy things you hear about, but growing up in Miami I never experienced. 

When I moved here to Austin I guess I was already privy to what the world was going to think about me and what I was going to experience as the person that I am. So I've been able to adapt much easier this time versus from Miami to Orlando."
​​​​​On battling yourself
"There's always someone that you're fighting and a lot of times for me that someone is myself. I'm constantly fighting myself with this mounting stress. It starts in my lats and then it hunches over my shoulders. Working at a keyboard you just turn into the hunchback and you realize you're fighting yourself for just solidarity to be. Just to feel like you're doing all the things that you should be. Am I working hard enough for my job? Do I need to relax or do I need to do this? I think that me versus me mentality is a conflict I often struggle with."

On friendship
"An old friend of mine wanted to be in my life but she intrinsically had no want to try. It took me two years to realize that. The only reason why we stayed so close is because we were in the same place with each other. I think that by me moving out to Austin, it made her have to try to be my friend and she didn't want to. She wanted to be able to just pop in whenever she felt like and I don't think that's what friendship is." 
On her place in America
"My sense of place in America sits on two levels. One is my actual sense of place as in being in Austin. The second is my sense of place of being a woman in America that's black. 

In Austin, I feel that being a Black woman is something that is very is still very rare. Of the black women in Austin, we're all in a situation where we're the minority at all times and we don't work with a lot of black men.For the most part, we're the only black person that most people see directly. And being a woman it makes it a situation where they call upon you for intake but not decision-making.

I've seen play out here in Austin is when you looked to the women that are big leaders in our community they're most often white or Hispanics. I don't see black women at the forefront of that because I think that a lot of times that decision is being given to a black man versus a black woman. And I think that's also just men in power being uncomfortable giving power to a woman."

On beauty standards
"As a black woman, I rarely get approached. And I think that's because there is such an affluent white society and that's all they see. They don't even recognize the beauty of the other cultures here."
From Miami, Fl.
Lives in Austin, Tx.
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