“We are sisters and she is our cousin. Our mom got a job here and brought us to Anchorage from Nebraska for a better life. Other members of our family were already out here. When our mom told us we were moving here, we said hell no. She is the single mother of seven kids. Ten now, she just had triplets. We take care of each other.
It can be boring in Alaska, but it is better than Nebraska. There weren’t black people in our town, so we didn’t see people like us. There is so much diversity in Alaska. I didn’t know about natives or Samoans until we moved here. It opened our eyes. People are surprised to know there are black people in Alaska.
It took about a year and a half to adjust to Alaska. Not just to the people, but the weather. It is six months light and six months dark. I went through a deep depression for my first year, but you get used to it. I am still not used to the cold. We hibernate in the winter and explore during the summer.
Covid shut our jobs down. Two of us work for a seafood company and hope to start back soon. You can make more money here when everything is good. Africans in Anchorage are a community. We work together and share our resources. We live close together. It is like the Backyardigans. We had a happy family and everything was good, but my nephew’s father was murdered in his sleep three years ago in our home. When we moved here in 2009, it was not like that. When you run away from the problems of the world, sometimes they still follow you.”
This is Our Alaskan Souls week with stories from Alaska.