The Story of a Korean War Baby


This is an interview my friend Ida Hart and I did about ten years ago when she was in Korea looking for her mother. Ida is now a high school science teacher in Los Angeles. (Please check out the link at the right titled “South Koreans Struggle with Race” and “Adopted from Korea and in Search of Identity.”)

Ida’s story

I was born in Korea in 1953, the year the cease-fire agreement was signed.  My mother is Korean, and my father is a black American soldier. I grew up in a Korean village, and everyone knew that I was mixed.  … Read More

The Great Flood, Part 2

Being in a flood can change your entire relationship to water: you hesitate around puddles, you shriek when accidentally splashing water on yourself, you hear the sound of rushing water in your sleep, you get anxious when it rains—which is unfortunate during rainy season. Mary still has flashbacks of calling my name and hearing only rushing water, while I remember going out the gate first and yelling repeatedly, “Come on, Mary. We have to get out!”

Then there’s the flood mud. We had the thin, slimy stuff that can be washed off with a hose and scrub brushes, not the … Read More

The Great Flood, Part 1

Until September 26, Xavierville 1 was a tranquil, middle-class subdivision, or gated community, in Quezon City, Metro Manila. It was a safe place of medium-sized and large houses, each house behind its own gate. There were coconut palms, bougainvillea climbing over walls and lush tropical foliage. Some houses were well tended, some streaked with the dark mold found in the tropics. Probably every household had domestic help—maybe two maids and a driver who also helped out with the gardening—but unlike the posh neighborhoods there was a community pool, not a private pool outside every living room. Apart from mild concern … Read More