Part Three: Personal Experiences: Walking in Two Worlds

This is one of the interview segments my dear friend Lara Trace Hentz posted on her blog.

lara trace hentz

26487_1293977706690_1147731241_30741016_7796006_n Carol Hand

By Lara Trace  (author of ONE SMALL SACRIFICE: A Memoir)

Welcome to Part 3 of my extended interview with Anishinabe Elder Carol Hand.

QUESTION: Carol, this quote from the Mic Check post really hit me. “When you try to be a bridge between two cultures, you should expect to get walked over by some people from both sides.” This speaks to oppression and a mixed race ethnicity, something we both have lived. How are you handling this today?

Carol Hand: This is such an important but complex question, Trace. In my silver-haired retirement I face different challenges than I did when I was a child, student and professional. The only way I can do justice to this question is to explain a little bit about how my experiences changed in response to different times and settings (in this post) and the strategies I used to blend cultures in…

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2 thoughts on “Part Three: Personal Experiences: Walking in Two Worlds”

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Stuart. It’s heartening to hear that you are able to embrace your own culture while remaining open, respectful, and appreciative of others.

      Bridging cultures for me is a metaphor for living in a space between the two predominant cultural ancestries into which I was born. For me, it has meant not only reconciling profound cultural differences, but also negotiating the space between hegemony and liberation, inclusion and marginalization. The challenge is not only to understand external factors that divide people along the lines of socially-constructed statuses, the strengths and weaknesses of these two different cultural worldviews and their current manifestations, but also to honestly assess how I have internalized them. And to continually go deeper to reflect on the shared humanity underneath these cultural divisions. In retrospect, I am actually grateful for the challenges this has presented in my life.

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