TBH: I Thought I Knew This Place

Updated: Apr 9, 2020


Growing up in Fort Lauderdale, I would had liked to believe that I was exposed to a wide variety of cultures. After all, there are many Colombian, Italian, and Chinese restaurants all near my house. It seemed to me that my knowledge of cultural diversity was about as good as it would ever be. It turns out however, that I was very wrong. Some of my most cherished childhood memories are with my father’s large family. Different houses, different aunts, and different cousins all with one thing in common, they never left their hometown of Miami. In fact, my father is able to trace his family all the way back to his own great grandfather “Tars” Horton, who was born around the mid to late 1800s. Back then they tell me, Miami was in the middle of nowhere marked by orange groves and plantations. This was of course, a Miami that I never knew. The Miami that I knew, or thought I knew, was simply my family’s hometown, a larger version of Fort Lauderdale with a university that they all went too and were hopelessly obsessed with. To this day, there is not one person in my family who speaks a word of Spanish, and I would have ever thought that there would have been any need too. After all, I naively thought, none of us live in a Spanish-speaking area like southern Texas. In fact, my grandfather, who was about as much of a Miamian as possible, always had a thick southern accent just as so