I am Alejandro Rose. What’s important to know about me is that I was the first generation in my family to be born in the U.S. I was born in Brooklyn, NY, August 11, 2002. I have been living in the area in Brooklyn. I like to play basketball both in and out of school. This is a physical activity I enjoy doing. I’m pretty good at writing and speaking about topics, but if I’m new to a group or class, it’ll take time for me to adjust. I got this way because my grandmother and mom both wanted me to be intelligent in the English language because I was the first of my family to be born here. My plans for the future is to get a masters degree in engineering and getting a job for this major that pays well because I like to repair and build things.

Immigration impacted me in both a positive and negative way. I always wanted to know how the Panamanian lifestyle was, but at the same time I’m glad to be born in an urban society and can inhale all ethnic culture all in one state. I didn’t immigrate, but my family did. My family structure changed both in a positive and negative way. It was easy to get an apartment because we had money, but all things come to an end and most of my grandmother’s children had to get a job. It took time to get a job for the older kids, but at the end, they were all able to earn an income and help pay their mother’s rent. I feel happy that I’m bilingual but at the same time embarrassed because I don’t speak Spanish fluently, even though I grew up in a Spanish speaking household and understand it well.

Justice is fair treatment and injustice is the opposite. One injustice I experienced was when my mom got beat up by the police while pregnant and that resulted in my younger brother having speech problems. That has made me anxious about speaking to police and other authorities. I don’t remember what actually happened because I was young but my mother told me that she was beaten with my younger brother in her stomach. I do remember seeing the cops and my mother on the ground though and I am sure that has contributed to why I am anxious when I see police.

Photo by dee_dee_creamer

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CC BY-SA 4.0 First Generation Born In America by Alejandro is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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7 Comments
  1. Charmaine 5 months ago

    I really enjoyed this post, mostly because it speaks out on police brutality – a huge problem in our society that hasn’t been publicized as much as it should be. I, too, hope that one day our nation progresses and we’re able to put an end to this issue once and for all. I also took notice to the fact that you mentioned you’re Panamanian, can understand the language but can’t really speak or write it. I find this to be similar to my situation. I can understand when my immigrated family speaks to me but I can’t really speak it either.

  2. Ignacio 5 months ago

    I mean some I like about this is that I also don’t speak spanish fluently even though that’s my families strongest language. One question I got for you is what interest you most about Panamanian.

    • Author
      Alejandro 5 months ago

      Hey Ignacio. One interest I have most about Panama is the cultures other than African American Panamanians. For example, my mom told me about Chinese people being in Panama, being fluent in Spanish and all of that. I would like to know more about them.

  3. Lourdes 5 months ago

    My name is Lourdes. I attend Oakland Unity High School. I can relate with you when it comes to your family wanting the “American Dream”. And would you like to get to know your Panamanian background?

    • Author
      Alejandro 5 months ago

      Hi Lourdes. Thank you for commenting on my post! My Grandmother and Grandfather were both born in Panama and so was my Mother, aunts and uncles. I have never been to Panama before but know a lot about the culture and the religion Panamanian people live by. Also, what’s your backround?

  4. Lona 5 months ago

    Hi Alex,

    Thank you for sharing your immigration story.

    I appreciated that you shared some of the obstacles that your family had to overcome in their pursuit of the “American Dream.” What lessons did you learn from their struggles? What advice would you give to new immigrants based on what you learned from the challenges your own family faced?

    What a wonderful thing to be bilingual! It is great that you are able to communicate in both Spanish and English because so many young people find it hard to strike a balance and eventually lose the language of their parents.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts on Youth Voices.

    Sincerely,

    Ms. Lona

  5. Kara 5 months ago

    WOW, very informative I feel as if I experienced what you went through, through your writing.

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