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Adolescents & International Transition

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« I know what my identity WAS! But when I moved overseas and then returned to my home culture, “I think it changed?” | Main | Reflections on the Beginnings of a Life as a TCA »

May 10, 2007


Dera Williams

Oh, I forgot to add. Another book to add to your Books on International Transition is
A Wealth of Family by Thomas Brooks. His story of becoming a TKC adult is very inspiring. See my review on

Dera Williams

I have not lived internationally but I would like to make a few points in regards to what I have seen of children who have lived abroad.

A family from my church moved to Japan due to employment through the Naval Base. The four daughters were in elementary and middle school. They are now back in the States and these young ladies are either entering college, in college or have graduated. One is taking her junior year in China. These young black women are poised, ambitious and obviously have a wide range of views about the world and their place in it. They are truly citizens of the world as they easily move among their African American cousins their age, and equally so among international students on their campuses and those from different parts of the U.S. from a number of backgrounds. Undoubtedly, their living abroad and visiting a number of other countries have given them a global view.

It is my wish that African American parents make travel a priority in their children's lives and expose them as broadly as possible. I have traveled to Canada and Mexico with my parents as well as other states in the U.S. in the 1960s. However, I know for a fact that there are children in Oakland who have never been out of the Bay Area and as a result their world is narrow, provincial. I have a friend who was an army brat. They spent time in Europe and Japan. When he got back to the states, he and his sister were teased, not praised because they spoke other languages. They were told they were trying to be something they were not and worse that they were acting "white." Unfortunately, this is an ongoing problem in the African American community. Other blacks from the African Diaspora, be it Africa, the Caribbean, South America or Europe who come to the States have a global view of the world. People can learn so much from the different people of the universe.

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