photo 2I certainly don’t make it my claim to fame that I am a child of immigrants. I guess it is of some interest that I am first generation American but I never quite saw myself that way. Being from another place or having parents from another place was my entire world most of my life. My neighborhood -East Flatbush, Brooklyn NY was filled with nothing but people like me. All of my friends and neighbors were from an Island somewhere from the time I was born until I finished college they were my schoolmates. Only after finishing Medgar Evers College and heading to Columbia University for my Master’s degree did I really take in my minority status.

Of course growing up Muslim propelled me into that status long before but being Muslim and black -though it earned a level of strangeness after 9/11, wasn’t necessarily a big deal. After all, Malcolm X was one of our greatest heroes and he too was black and Muslim -he even had some Caribbean from his mother’s side (smiles). Post 9/11, of course, the comparisons to Osama Bin Laden flew my way, but only every once in a while. Despite my headscarf and religious affiliation it really isn’t so easy to wage a comparison between a young black girl and some Afghan guy over yonder.

My parents never told me much about how to be different, about just the right way to be different, in some ways I think it was for the best. Because I grew up black in a black neighborhood listening to black music and playing with my black dolls in some ways racism was something out there -real but not really a part of my everyday life. Later on, I learned about institutional racism and realized just how intertwined we were.

The world is difficult in many many ways and I know it is this that gave way to my interest in psychology. These days I’ve been playing with a theory that validation is one of the most important aspects of the client-patient exchange. How often do we spend our lives not being validated? People tell us what to think, what really happened, how we should really feel, but there in the therapists’ room someone finally says, with or without words, “I hear you”. Not “I agree with you” because that isn’t the point but “I hear you”, your thoughts, your feelings, your experience of the world, matter.

So with that in mind, my blog is self-validation, lots of reflection, some retrospection and the occasional odd post on something out the blue. If you read I hope more than anything that you truly read, truly listen and I hope you ask the same from others.

(Written October  2nd, 2015)


Text, +19294342561 | Email, info@nuriddeenknight.com

All rights reserved © Fig & Olive 2015 · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie