where i'm from  

brianne jimenez



Because they thought my lifestyle was extraordinary, they wanted to learn more about where I was from.

If I said I was from Feltonville—if I said that I was from the City of Brotherly Love—and had the culture of a Boricua, do you think they would know where I was from? If I said that my neighbors had my back more than my own family, then do you think that they would know where I was from?

Where I’m from, Puerto Rico stays fresh in my family’s mind, not only because it’s where their grandparents were from, but because Boricuas carry their culture. It doesn’t matter where we go. We will never forget where we came from.

Where I’m from, our women are independent, but most are left with no choice. Some raise kids on their own, while others are raised having to decide whether they want to live with Mami or Papi.

Where I’m from, the City of Brotherly Love, holds the blood of its own men. You hear that noise that sounds like fireworks in mid-October? The sound that fills all hours of the night? That is the sound of guns aimed and shot at someone's child.

Where I’m from it’s not even safe in my own home. My own street is a warzone: two cars in front of the house, five bullets under my car, two bullets in my neighbor's front door, and a bullet through their front window. Two bullets fly past my friend’s head and into his steps...five more...

Where I’m from, society judges me by color, culture, and family history. Where I’m from, the law is used to promote injustice — our word means nothing against theirs.

Where I’m from, the cold and dangerous streets help me understand my mom's passionate prayers for me to get home safely: "Que Dios los siga bendiciendo y los traiga con bien, todo los dias." (Living another day is a blessing from Jehovah above.)

Where I’m from, some days are as beautiful as the beaches of Puerto Rico. Where I’m from, the City of Brotherly Love, is where you get respect from the streets, and every day that you get to live is a blessing from Jehovah above.

Brianne Jimenez is a freshman who intends to major in Business. She has a deep passion for writing, photography, and graphic arts.