Meet DJ A: Words of My Truth by Amandine Cardichon

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I was born in Boston 15 years ago to a Haitian family. Throughout my life, I've lived in Hyde Park and Dorchester-- both places not well known for the nice people who sleep with their doors unlocked. Although I don’t remember much of my time living in Hyde Park since I moved when I was 5, I have a clear memory of being at the park not far from our house. I was in one of those tunnels that connect one structure to another when there was a loud banging sound. Not yet being stained by the sins of the world, I thought that someone was shooting fireworks. My dad, knowing what had happened, told my brother and I that we were leaving the park to go to the store to buy some candy. I can never seem to remember getting any.

Moving to Dorchester wasn’t any different. We lived in an extremely cramped two bedroom, one bathroom apartment in Hyde Park that barely had enough space for my brother to do a cartwheel. Our new three bedroom, two bathroom condo was much nicer and modern, but the violence had not really decreased. Not too long after we moved into our new home, a pregnant woman had been shot a little ways from my house. I remember passing by the flowers and candles in front of her building and wondering why such a pretty lady had something so bad happen to her. As much violence as there had been near and around my homes, my parents have managed to keep me shielded from it and provided me with the best childhood they could afford. I have never really been spoiled, but even without many material possessions, I’ve had more than I could ask for, and a lot more than a lot of people have.

I am a sophomore at Roxbury Prepratory High School. I am not very big on sports, but I do greatly enjoy reading, writing, dancing, listening to music, photography and drawing, even though I’m still learning how to improve my skills in many of these things. I am more of a quiet and reserved person, but once I get to know a person well enough, I become my best self; I am one who does the most random things at the worst times, makes nicknames for everything and laughs at the smallest things. I consider myself a very complex person; I’m serious yet foolish, rude yet angelic, detached yet caring, corny yet hilarious, stubborn yet a listener – in other words, I’m a walking oxymoron. Being the interesting person I consider myself, I have many opinions on the things around me and how weird humans are. I think about EVERYTHING, from how our president is failing us epically, how the world is falling apart, how music has drastically changed from storytelling songs about love, life and family to loud, crazy songs about drugs, gangs, and belittling women, to why we are taught about quadratics, photosynthesis and other things that, in my opinion, are irrelevant to life. Any and everything goes through a whole process in my mind.

I have been independent, from the moment I knew what it meant and how to spell it. Independence, in my words, is being able to rely on yourself and not needing anyone. Other than my family, I have never really needed to depend on anyone to provide for me. I am strong. Independence and strength go hand in hand. To be independent, you have to be strong and know that you can rely on yourself. I am a cool cat. Not really. But, I say I am because why not? I am Amandine Cardichon.

Tekeisha Meade