Eva, 27, Western Mass


Eva Frias, 27, Western Mass 

Tell me about your upbringing...

I'm one of 4 siblings. I grew up with my grandparents, and they played a huge part in raising me, it helped me learn Spanish. We grew up in a 3-decker with my uncle. I realized as a young kid that I was different, I was the darkest. I would get teased and I wish my parents spoke more often about color.

Talk to me about Dominican culture and race...

I think there are definitely comments that are made that point to colorism. I think many Dominicans are confused when it comes to race. I think your race is not determined by a language. Many Dominicans will say that they are Spanish, or Hispanic, but it's rooted in the language, not the color of their skin. Most people think I'm just Black or Indian here in the States. I think its funny when people say, "Oh, I thought you were Black." Because I think to myself, "Well, I am." 

When people ask you what your race is what do you tell them?

I tell them I'm Black.

How do you think growing up in the States has changed about you?

For me, I think I was really confused until about 5-6 years ago. I had never learned what I did about the Transatlantic Slave Trade until I took a course in college. I noticed that I was closer to Black American culture than to Dominican culture though I love both. I didn't even think of it until recently. I didn't really dance to like merengue or listen to bachata growing up, but I'm not really sure why that is, but I like my experience and what I've learned.