Rejecting assimilation in 'You Sound Like a White Girl' : It's Been a Minute Julissa Arce used to think that the secret to fitting in was to "sound white" — to speak English perfectly, with no accent. And for years after her family came to the U.S. from Mexico, she did all the things immigrants are "supposed" to do to assimilate: she went to college, got a job at Goldman Sachs and became an American citizen.

It wasn't enough. So Arce decided that the solution was to stop trying to fit in, and instead embrace her whole identity. Her ideas come to life in her book, You Sound Like a White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation.

In this encore episode from this past March, guest host Elise Hu revisits her conversation with Arce about the book, and what it means to celebrate your own culture and history.

You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenaMin and email us ibam@npr.org.

For author Julissa Arce, 'sounding white' isn't a compliment

For author Julissa Arce, 'sounding white' isn't a compliment

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Author Julissa Arce makes the case for rejecting assimilation in her latest book, You Sound Like a White Girl. Aly Honore hide caption

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Aly Honore

Author Julissa Arce makes the case for rejecting assimilation in her latest book, You Sound Like a White Girl.

Aly Honore

Julissa Arce used to think that the secret to fitting in was to 'sound white' — to speak English perfectly, with no accent. For years after her family came to the U.S. from Mexico, she worked to strip away her accent. And she tried to do all the things immigrants are "supposed" to do assimilate: she went to college, got a job at Goldman Sachs and became an American citizen.

It wasn't enough. So Arce decided that the solution was to stop trying to fit in and instead embrace her whole identity. Her ideas come to life in her book, You Sound Like a White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation.

In this encore episode from this past March, guest host Elise Hu revisits her conversation with Arce about the book, and what it means to celebrate your own culture and history.

This episode was produced by Jinae West with help from Andrea Gutierrez and edited by Jordana Hochman. Jessica Mendoza and Kitty Eisele provided additional production and editing. We had engineering support from Gilly Moon.