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THE COMPLEXITY OF IDENTITY
By ODETTE FREDERIK TATANGMO MENO ‘21
A simple way to define my identity is that it makes me who I am. For most of my life, my identity has often been a part of three specific categories; Cameroonian, female, and a scholar. I am a born-raised Cameroonian, from a Francophone background. Both of my parents are from the Bamileke tribe; one of the most dominant tribes in Cameroon.
A coconut is socially defined as a black or brown (non-Caucasian) person who, in many ways, is perceived to embrace and embody white culture. They’re defined by the way they speak, their friend group, their music playlist, the way they dress, their goals and aspirations, and the kind of education they receive. I’ve learned that in the U.S., these individuals are usually labelled as Oreos. In some Asian countries, they’re labeled as bananas and almonds.