Embracing Liminal Identity : Uncovering Hidden Diversity : Celebrating Cultural Mobility


Author Terry McMillian: Find Your Voice

Terry McMillan, author of Who Asked You, Waiting to Exhale, and other fiction and non-fiction books, spoke about her work to a rapt audience in Northern Colorado this February. As a black woman, McMillan writes stories based on African American characters, as well as some of her personal experiences.

Born in Michigan, McMillan has traveled around the country teaching English, and sharing her work and insights. She encourages young people to learn about the culture around them, and discover themselves through writing.

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Terry McMillan reads from her book “Who Asked You” at CSU. Photo by Stefan Rodriguez.

After the talk, I had a chance to sit down with Mcmillan:

“We don’t even know what defines us,” she explained, “Sometimes it’s gender, race, religion, but I like to think that as a human being, I am a work in progress. My beliefs and opinions have changed from what they were when I was in college. When you’re younger, people tell you what to believe, but then as you grow up, you develop your own beliefs. You reject things and you evolve.”

McMillan explained that in America, there is a mix of cultures from around the world, and people feel alienated in their own homes. She encourages all students, whether they are from America or another country, to use writing as a way to find their own voice. “You can be free, and writing can do that for you. Stop writing to impress. Write what you hear, and write how you see it. Your ‘otherness’ is yours.”

By: Courtney Deuschle

Courtney Deuschle was born and raised in Colorado. Although her biggest move was just across town, she has left her footprint in many countries all over the world. As she grew up and found her identity, she developed a passion for two things: writing and traveling. As a world traveler, Courtney has an open mind and she loves to learn and experience different cultures that are completely different from her own. On the outside, people see a blonde haired, blue eyed, American girl, but they don’t know about the experiences she cherishes the most that have shaped her into the person she is today. Courtney plans to continue traveling for the rest of her life, and even sees herself living in another country someday.