A few weeks ago, I was asked to write an essay on the K-Pop band DAY6, who was coming to play at the Fillmore in Miami Beach. It's a beat I've enjoyed covering before: I've written about K-Pop's growing popularity and what it feels like to be a minority in Miami. Here's an excerpt from my recent essay, which is about how I coped with racism through music.
"Infuriated by how my Korean identity made me a target, I numbed myself with work, pouring myself into my academics, piling on more extracurricular activities. But even my coping methods came under scrutiny: I battled the myth of the model minority, having to be apologetic for my strengths because they made other people feel uncomfortable. I couldn’t wait to get away, to start over, and shuffle off the coil of my Asian-ness.
My battle with depression also began during my teenage years. When all the anger of racial injustice quieted, when I wasn’t burying myself in work, Blink-182’s “Adam’s Song” played softly in the background: “I laughed the loudest who’d have known?/I’m too depressed to go on/You’ll be sorry when I’m gone.” As a Korean-American girl with attitude and ambition, I was told I didn’t have a place in a white world. There were only two options: escape or perish."