Home Away From Home: Clara Matonhodze Strode on Creating a Home In A Complex Racial System



As the writer and creator of "Home Away from Home" I would be remiss not to speak on what it’s like to create a home as an immigrant in a country strife with racism – deliberately practiced or unwittingly doled out; institutional or personal. As such, I decided I needed to explore my own coming to America story within a racial context.


Racism in America consumes me just as much as it consumes Black America. It is a never-ending topic of discussion. A constant source of worry, and dabbling into self-doubt – Is it me, or was that...? Sometimes it paralyzes me; it generates emotions in me that I had no idea I could feel. I have wished I didn't care; I have practiced blissful ignorance. Many a shameful time, I have turned a blind eye, creating physical and psychological stress that I am only now coming to terms with.


I fought with all my might to never play the "race card," often blaming myself for making mistakes within a system built to disadvantage me. Even as I write this, I recoil at the last sentence because deep down, I'm still prone to blame myself rather than point a racial finger. After years of living in America, I am well aware of the subtle microaggressions and outright hostility – it’s not a construct of my imagination. It runs through American life like a tsunami; sooner or later, it will consume you. 


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