Anjuli Sastry

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Where are you really from? It's a question immigrants of color and their kids get a lot, and the answer is often complex. It may not simply be about a place on a map. It can be about family upbringing, career aspirations, even food. The NPR series Where We Come From brings us conversations from immigrant communities of color answering this very question. Here's NPR's Anjali Sastry.

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When Ritu Krishna first arrived in the U.S., ingredients for her Indian recipes were hard to come by.

Over time, Ritu's cooking started to evolve. The biggest influence was watching cooking programs on TV.

"I had really unknowingly embarked on an educational endeavor where watching TV was the way I was teaching myself. Julia Child was probably the most influential," Ritu says.

She started to learn basic French cooking techniques and recipes, like corn timbale, even if the execution wasn't always successful.

Colette Baptiste-Mombo, a television engineer and community organizer, was born in 1958, at the height of the civil rights movement.

Baptiste-Mombo's parents came from different immigrant backgrounds — while her mother was from northern England and immigrated to the U.S. from Wales, her father was born in the Bronx. His family was from Jamaica.

While Baptiste-Mombo was growing up in New York City, African Americans across the country were fighting to end racial discrimination.

On June 7, 2021, a Supreme Court ruling found that many TPS holders are ineligible to apply for permanent residency.

César Magaña Linares is a committed immigration activist, whether he's attending rallies or in his law school classes studying to become an immigration lawyer.

Our Histories. Our Voices.

Where are you really from? It's a question that immigrant communities of color across different generations are asked all the time. In this audio and video series, we take back the narrative and answer that question on our own terms, one conversation at a time — with family, friends and experts. These are our stories.

NPR Short Wave host and reporter Emily Kwong is a third generation Chinese American, but she's never spoken her family's language.

Until now.

At age 30, she's trying to learn the language for the first time, and unpacking why she never learned it in the first place.

We have all heard the old saying: America is a melting pot. But exactly who makes up this melting pot?

Immigrant communities of color don't always see or hear their histories and culture portrayed in mainstream media. They may not learn about their stories in American textbooks, but they hear them at home. Often, it is oral stories informally passed down from generation to generation--stories of struggle, triumph, and creating a new life in a foreign land.

As the nation marks one year since the Parkland school shooting, many Americans are thinking about how the conversation about kids and gun violence has shifted.

In the weeks and months after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., students took to the streets and the airwaves to call for fundamental change in America's gun laws. Stoneman Douglas students and students nationwide rallied in an effort to prevent that kind of massacre from happening again.

Jennifer Lopez has come close to quitting the entertainment industry. "You just get to those crossroads in your life," she tells NPR's Sam Sanders. The tabloids were full of stories about her, she says, and she wanted to regain control of her career. "Maybe I just shouldn't do this anymore," she remembers thinking. "Maybe I should just stop singing, and stop making movies, and do something else."

At Union Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles, a classroom of fifth grade students are buzzing during the last week of school.

The students are high-fiving, grabbing popcorn and forming a circle around a makeshift stage.

One of those students is Dylan Martinez — he's here to celebrate a movie he made.

"My film is about a scared plumber," Martinez says. "We pretty much put all the scripts together, all the screens together, went to the places where we filmed our scenes, and we edited, put music, looked for music, and that's it!"

Chrissy Metz is best known for her role as Kate on the hit NBC show This Is Us. But before she got herself on a screen, she was helping other people get there. Metz moved across the country from Florida to California in the early 2000s to work for an agent and try her hand at acting. She eventually became an agent herself, though she never stopped believing she could be an actor. She auditioned on the side for years before landing This Is Us.

Journalist Ann Curry's parents met in Japan after World War II. Her American father was stationed there, and her mother was Japanese. But when her father asked the military for permission to marry, the military refused — at the time, servicemen weren't allowed to marry Japanese women.

Her father was quickly reassigned, and two years went by before Curry's parents reunited. Even then things weren't easy — her grandmother disapproved of the match, her mother contracted tuberculosis. But the pair managed to defeat the odds and start a family in the U.S.