Nina Talbot

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Koreen's Story
Koreen's Story
pastel 22" x 30"

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From Demerara, Guyana to Queens, New York

The name Guyana is an Amerindian word meaning 'Land of many waters'. Koreen says, 'We are known as the country of six peoples: African, East Indian, Amerindian, Chinese, Portuguese and European'.

Koreen's heritage is Amerindian, Chinese, African and Portuguese. Her mother, Edna Wong is Ameridian and Chinese and her father is African and Portuguese. Edna who worked as housekeeper, is a woman of strong values, and one who exhumes dedication and love. "She will give you a piece of her heart", says Koreen of her mother. Her father went to England when she was just six years old and he 'passed away' in 1997. She is married to Samuel whose racial mix is East Indian, African, Amerindian and Portuguese and they have four children who are Denise, Marcelle, Michelle and Michael. She and Sam are the proud grandparents of six. Koreen also has a sister who was named after a Spanish goddess, Fabiola. Before emigrating to the states, Koreen taught Spanish at the teacher's training college, CPCE and her family operated a 'beer garden' and grocery shop from the first floor of their home at Industry, East Coast Demerara.

Guyana has endured several years of racial strife and political conflicts especially among the Africans and East Indians. Being mixed with several races, Koreen when about ten years old, was told by a group of East Indians that they would beat the 'black' out of her if her mom did not remove her from the school in the East Indian neighborhood. About thirty years later, her eldest daughter was threatened by a group of Africans who wanted to beat the 'Indian' out of her.

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