The Skin I’m In deals with the story of a teenage Mexican American boy whose skin is pale which allows him to pass for white rather than his Mexican American heritage. His parents have always told him that he was lucky to have the skin he is in rather than to have the dark caramel skin that his father has. For a long time he never understood that by not having dark skin he lived under an umbrella of white privilege that his father had never experienced. It is not until one morning his father is not where he should be, making his breakfast, that he finds out that he has been detained by the police who are looking for, “Mexicans that look like him.” It is in this moment that this young teenage boy realizes the privilege that he lives in every day that his father can never experience. There is something to be said about the fear that lives on the shoulders of every person of color living in America today. The story shows us that sometimes the privilege that is given is not always the privilege that is wanted. This young boy wants to be proud of his Mexican American heritage and at the same time he realizes that it could also put him in danger. It is a tight rope that is very scary and difficult to walk as a teenage boy. When his father finally returns he hugs him and wishes one simple wish for him, that one day he could wake up in the morning and give his father the skin he is in so that his father can experience living free for one day. But the sad reality, is that he will never be able to wear that coat of safety armor.

The Skin I'm In

  • I still eat the same thing for breakfast that I’ve had all my life: a flour tortilla a scrambled egg and lots of spicy chorizo. Anyone else eat that for breakfast? You don’t have to be afraid or shy, worried that someone who is of Latino heritage might look at you and think that you are a complete and utter racist for raising your hand to this very simple question. So, I will ask again, does anyone else eat a flour tortilla a scrambled egg and lots of spicy chorizo for breakfast every single morning? No one? Oh, come on there has to be one person that indulges just a bit. So, I will put this to rest, and let you in on a little secret… surprise, surprise, surprise I am a Latino. Don’t look from left to right like you didn’t understand what I said here I will try it in Spanish, “Soy Latino!” It’s not a pop quiz and it’s definitely not a test because all of you would have absolutely failed.