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Shayla Montero On Powerful Hair and Multiculturalism – Part 3

Image by Kayle Kaupanger via Unsplash
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In Part 1 of this series, Culturs chatted with poet Shayla Montero about her hair and inner beauty. Part 2 covered her inner confidence. In the third and final segment, we discuss how multiculturalism has played a role in the making of Montero’s poem “Awaken.”

Discovering the multitude of backgrounds that a Third Culture Kid (TCK) and multicultural people have is one very important way of discovering your true identity, and Shayla Montero has some insight on this topic.

Montero and her multicultural heritage

Montero identifies as an African-American but her last name is Portuguese and her father is Cherokee. Although she has grown up identifying as a black, African-American woman, she has not had a chance to explore her other identities yet.

I really haven’t had a chance to explore the other identities of myself.

Multicultural feet (Image via Pixabay)
(Image by Daniela Mininni from Pixabay)

Montero says the description of herself in “Awaken” as lost in the state of ambiguity points to the fact that she hasn’t had a chance to explore her other identities yet. She says the “big chop,” i.e. cutting her long hair short, has given her the opportunity to begin discovering her background fully.

I’ve been raised to know about my other identities, but haven’t been able to explore those identities.

Montero hopes to find her core by walking in all her identities. To be truly “whole,” she needs to acknowledge all of her backgrounds and to be “all those things in one.”

Through that ‘big chop,’ I really want to explore all my identities further.

Culturs TV programs are presented on dptv.denverpost.com through a partnership with The Denver Post. Ramproductions in the Department of Journalism and Media Communications at Colorado State University produced the video.

Click below to watch the video on XOTV.me.

Culturs TV: Shayla Montero
Photo by Kayle Kaupanger on Unsplash
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