Nguyet

The daughter of a Vietnamese woman, now deceased, and a black American Vietnam War soldier who she never knew, Nguyet is a tower of strength and pride. She has mastered her childhood of pain and persecution by confronting it directly, telling us exactly how it was. Although badly treated by the "pure" Vietnamese she grew up with in Vietnam, Nguyet now devotes her life to helping other Vietnamese refugees in the United States. Of her childhood she also writes: "One day my 11th grade teacher began talking about Amerasians as trash, not human, because they are children of the enemy. This hurt me so much that I could not control my reaction. I said, 'we are human. We have a right to live here in our motherland!' The teacher said, 'you are not Vietnamese people!' I was suspended from school for two weeks and upon my return, forced to clean the toilets for two months." Nguyet never gave up, but she did leave Vietnam following the death of her mother. Shortly before her mother's death, Nguyet's mother told her about her father, how he had courted her, how they had fallen in love in the moonlight. And how she was named for that moonlight, it is the meaning of her name.

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