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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

I’m a girl from immigrant parents, but that is not supposed to make any difference between me and anybody in this world.

By Nafissatou  |   From : Saint-Denis France  |   School : Suger High School

Hello everyone,

My name is Nafissatou. I’m 17 years old. I am french by birth and African by blood. I was born and raised in France (in Saint-Denis) with my family. My mom and my dad are immigrants, my mom was born in Guinea and my dad in Mauritania (African countries). These are my roots.

I like having fun and make people laugh and be happy. I really enjoy singing. My first love is music. It is what makes me feel good or even better, it is my way relax and just chill. When I am with my headphones and listen to my jams I feel like I am traveling the whole world. I find a bit of  myself somewhere in between all these lyrics. That’s my land. It seems like these vibes make my heart beat better. That is a moment to myself and only myself. I listen to every kind of music (slow jams, R’n’B, pop, hip hop, soul, reggae, groove, trap, electro, blues… ). My favorite songs are the old ones.

And of course I love traveling as everybody does . I have traveled over Italy, Germany, Mauritania, some places in France and in August I was in New York and after in Washington.

My parents had a lot of problems to come to France. But it was their dream so they took all the risks and made it. But it was not easy. When my mom was in Guinea she wanted her own independence and she knew she had to leave to find something better for her life, so she decided to travel alone. At first she went to Morocco to study. It was really hard for her because she didn’t speak the same language, but she tried, she did her best and she succeeded. Once she got her diploma, she decided to go to France, especially Paris, but she was jobless and she was undocumented. She asked for French documents, but it was very difficult . She was brave so she kept on moving and found a job to buy a house.

For my dad it was different. When he was in Mauritania his family was poor, he was the second boy in his family. His father died when he was 8. He took the responsibility of the family with his big brother. He went to school and each time he was finished he ran quickly to a field where they grew wheat. At the end of each day he hid some wheat to bring that to his mom. He had only 2 hours to sleep and it was the same every day. When he grew up he decided to give a better life to his mom and his sisters. It was the most important choice if his life because it was the first time he would leave his mom, but it was for her so he did it. He went to Moscow. He studied there and then he got his Master degree. He found a job and when he had enough money, he went to Miami. He wanted to learn English. My dad didn’t really have a childhood. He was very early considered as a man. When he accomplished his English studies he went to Paris.

Now for my mom and my dad it was the same story in Paris, both of them asked for a French identity card, but they refused. Yet they didn’t give up. They kept on fighting.  It was harsh because of  racism and segregation. They fell like they would never succeed in what they wanted. They told me “we thought it would be easier than that, but when the race becomes a problem, everything is different.” Now they accomplished their life in France.

But you know, some people still think that because of our origins or our skin color or our language we are different. When I was in middle school, my friends circle was multiracial, but you know there is always THIS person who targets you as a stranger. One day a girl touched me and said ” Oh I thought I would have black color on my fingers.” I was with my cousins from Germany and we were like “Is she serious or what ???? ” I mean imagine I was to touch white people and then I would  say things like that ! Like wow what is that? It is so stupid !

We all have stories. Some of us don’t want to say all the truth because maybe they are ashamed. I can understand that too because I didn’t tell you everything. Some things are personal so… But you know the most important.

Now, this is my chance, it is my moment, it is my life and my success. I want to make my parents proud and to be proud of me and to show to everyone who thinks that because we are different we will never succeed or we are doomed to fail in everything, they’re wrong ! I’m a girl from immigrant parents, but that is not supposed to make any difference between me and anybody in this world and now this is my turn to say that I am here.

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