Robert’s Story: Uncovering My Narrative of Color | Robert Castro-Terrio | 6 Min Read

My name is Robert Castro-Terrio, and I am Guatemalan, Italian, Spanish, Yucatan Indigenous, Cameroonian, Malian, Ghanian, Portuguese, and Irish American. What does that even mean? I can tell you that it has been a long journey to figure out myself. 

My journey mirrors the same challenging work that all people of color must do to figure out what it means to be American and live in the United States: it is navigating a complex history and society, and we are still learning. My story and experiences are different from many other people of color in America. There are points that relate, but my background is unique, so my story needs to be told in another way—just as the narratives of other American People of Color require an alternate narrative. Schools make this difficult because for decades, textbooks have presented Black History as a single story, and as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie taught us, there are dangers to a single story. So how does one include all the narratives? To do it right, the focus needs to be on the journey. 

History textbooks portray the Black experience as one master narrative: there was slavery, the Civil War, emancipation, Jim Crow, the…

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