Photo of My Mother's Suit

In Attire
Relationship: Child of im/migrant

A giant pair of aviators, a head full of ruffled hair, and a body plastered in leather greeted my stunned eyes as I stared down at the dilapidated photo my mom had just pulled out of a musty old box. “That’s you?” I burst out laughing. “No, that would be Michael Jackson and his manager,” my mom replied matter-of-factly. It was clear that in 1984, on a day far from Halloween, and in the middle of Rufus King Park, Jamaica, Queens, my mom had reached her peak of obsession with Michael Jackson’s music. Her obsession was infectious as she dragged her fresh-off-the-boat sister into the groove. For a young girl who had crossed oceans to make a living for herself, spent her days babysitting, and knew more skills than I ever did at that age, my mother amazed me at how typical of a teenager she seemed standing there. Only a few years earlier, my mom had twirled around a tiny farmhouse after school in Friendship, Guyana to Laila Main Laila, a classic Bollywood film song. In a short period of time later, there she stood—an all-American girl who had heard Beat It blasting on the channel 95.7FM, and unwittingly musically assimilated into her new world.

Place(s): Guyana,Queens,
Year: 1984

– Priyanka Algu

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant