With refreshing candor, photos and interviews usher us into the lives of eleven undocumented young people bravely speaking out.
“Maybe next time they hear someone railing about how terrible immigrants are, they'll think about me. I’m a real person.”
Meet nine courageous young adults who have lived in the United States with a secret for much of their lives: they are not U.S. citizens. They came from Colombia, Mexico, Ghana, Independent Samoa, and Korea. They came seeking education, fleeing violence, and escaping poverty. All have heartbreaking and hopeful stories about leaving their homelands and starting a new life in America. And all are weary of living in the shadows. We Are Here to Stay is a very different book than it was intended to be when originally slated for a 2017 release, illustrated with Susan Kuklin’s gorgeous full-color portraits. Since the last presidential election and the repeal of DACA, it is no longer safe for these young adults to be identified in photographs or by name. Their photographs have been replaced with empty frames, and their names are represented by first initials. We are honored to publish these enlightening, honest, and brave accounts that encourage open, thoughtful conversation about the complexities of immigration — and the uncertain future of immigrants in America.
About the Author
I was lucky. When I was a kid my family introduced me to art, theater, and books. Dinner talk often centered around the idea of social justice for all. I listened—and wanted to know more. My dream, though, was to become a ballerina or a stage actress. After high school I moved to New York, where I majored in theater at New York University. Becoming a character in a play was so much fun. It was not that I didn’t like being me, I was simply curious to know what it was like to be someone else. Then my uncle bought a Leica camera, and my life changed. Together we began exploring the world through the lens of his camera. Somehow the combination of theater arts and photography helped me develop into a nonfiction author. Go figure.
Beyond Magenta brings together so many things that are deep inside my bones: social justice, photography, and interpreting the lives of diverse human beings. I’ve learned so much from the wonderful teens in my book. With their help, I continue to grow.