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Busy celebrating the best of what Polish culture had to offer, I rarely paused to think about the darker parts of my heritage. But moving out from my childhood home and joining a Polish community during a formative time of my life brought this willful ignorance into stark relief.
An African-Canadian woman I know became very tired of being asked which "island" she came from. Her family had lived in Canada for many, many generations, so her answer to this question was "Toronto Island." But what happens when a child is quizzed in this way? If we are not careful, our children will learn to internalize the assumptions that others make about them.