No Place Like It: Mengetsu’s “Home At Last”

People have ties to their roots.  Their hometowns give them pride.  They have loyalty because place becomes a part of people. Dinaw Mengetsu’s essay, “Home At Last,” describes a different experience.  He actively finds a place to call home because his roots were not strong and his past was filled with many different places.  He chooses the Kensington part of Brooklyn as his home.  He explains, “what I admired and adored about Kensington, was the assertion that we can rebuild and remake ourselves and our communities over and over again, in no small part because there have always been corners in Brooklyn to do so on.  I stood on that corner . . . to be reminded of a way of life that persists regardless of context; to feel, however foolishly, that I too was attached to something” (219).  We all want to belong.  That’s what civilization is all about–living together, being part of something, fitting in.  Brooklyn, along with all of New York City and some of its outlying suburbs, is a place where everyone can find a niche, a nook, a cranny, a corner where they belong.

Mengetsu, Dinaw. “Home At Last.” Brooklyn Was Mine. Eds. Chris Knutsen and Valerie Steiker. New York: Riverhead Books, 2008. 211-9. Print.

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About Christina M. Rau

Poet, blogger, writer, editor, professor
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