The items in my Shadow Box represent me, my counter narrative. When people look at me, they see a young man with brown skin. These are my assigned identities but they do not tell who I really am. In my shadow box I displayed a Mexico flag, Guatemala flag, Oakland tree, Money, and my baby pictures. My shadow box represents a lot about my ethnicity. I put the flags because I’m proud to be Mexican and Guatemalan and I love to represent my culture. I put the Oakland tree as my centerpiece because Oakland made me into me, it’s my chosen identity. Oakland raised me, I’ve lived here my whole life and I love to represent it because it’s the identity im most proud of. I chose to put my baby pictures and pictures with my family because my family is extremely important to me. I love my family because they support me no matter what and will always have my back. My brothers give me advice, they teach me right from wrong and most importantly have my back no matter what. My parents have worked substantially so get where they are today. For that I will be forever grateful because they sacrificed everything to give me and my brothers a better life. Dominant narratives about my race are, I am dangerous or poor. I’m not rich but my parents were able to put a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and food on our table. I’ve never been an aggressive person or a person who enjoys to hurt others. I’ve never threatened another person’s life. My shadow box tells my story, my weaknesses, my strengths, my autoethnography.

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Jeremy Gonzalez
Jeremy Gonzalez
April 13, 2020 4:25 am

Dear Omar,

I am a student at San Jose State University and I want to start off by saying how interesting you described your shadow box. You truly grab my attention when I read your post since I notice some similarities within your description of your life. I can see your family is your major support system considering you mention your brothers and your parents being there for you in every step that you take. Growing up as the middle child of two brothers, my brothers have been there for me whenever I need them as well as my parents who are my motivation. My parents have also worked at their best to provide a roof over our heads and encouragement to keep us going in life. As you mentioned, I am also “forever grateful” since they have “sacrificed” their lives to give us a better one too. I can see you put a lot of thought into your project especially including culture which gives a representation of where you come from by adding elements of your city, photos and your ethnicity in your shadow box. I’m glad you demonstrated a part of you as I hope you never forget your roots, where you come from and what truly makes you, you.

November 4, 2019 3:08 pm

Hi Omar,
I’m a student from San Jose State University. I liked reading about your shadow box and I think you did a great job describing the differences in the identities you have taken on. I completely agree that not one identity solely defines who we are. There is much more to us than what others may see, and it is great that you are able to recognize this. I can tell you put a lot of thought into your project by including things that were really important to you such as the Oakland tree and pictures of your family. It was also nice to read about how much you embrace your culture and the pride you take in being raised in Oakland. Great job!

Anthony JImenez
November 4, 2019 6:52 am

Dear Omar

Im a student at San Jose State University and wanted to mention how mazing your shadow looks and represents your life. I really liked how you put the type of money where you are from to show pride where you are from. Showing pictures of yourself is a great way to show who you and show others how you look and the type of person you are and great that you mentioned your family as well. I really enjoyed reading your description and telling us the kind of person you are and how you displayed it on your shadow box.

October 23, 2019 6:39 pm

Dear,omar i like how u talked about where your from and how u described everything about the domminant narative side you explained very well and ia gree with you people think the worse of others and think they are aggressive when theyre not

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