As had been suggested to me over and over, I was very likely the first black woman many Kunmingers had ever met. Being first meant carrying the burdens that came with it.
Aaliyah Bilal writes fiction and non-fiction. Her work appears in The Rumpus, the Chicago Quarterly Review and the forthcoming volume New Moons: An Anthology of Muslim American Writing. She is currently working on a memoir of her years living as a black woman in East Asia.