I still remember the first time I celebrated Black History. I was in the sixth grade and it was Black History week. Up until this time I went to mostly white schools and black history wasn't taught there. It was only in the black and inner cities schools at the time.
Thankful, things have changed.
Up until then, I didn't have a clear picture of how we as a people got here or what part we played in the building of America.
But then in sixth grade, that changed. I learned about Africa, slavery, and how we truly part of this country. I remember one teacher asking us to ask question of our families, because there is where much of the story laid.
I didn't learn a lot. It wasn't until I began researching my own family tree that I could get a better picture of the tapestry.
But I did learn that my grandfathers and uncles fought in the Spanish-American war, World Wars I and II, cousins who fought in Nam and later the Gulf war. That my great-grandfathers were farmers and that is where we get our green thumbs from.
My great-grandmother was a needleworker. A skill she passed onto my grandmother and she to her daughters. Mummie could sew, but didn't like to. But she would help me in my home ed classes. Aunt Lucille had three boys, but made my sister and my Sabbath dresses. And today, the worst sewing student in the whole school (me) is now a needleworker.
My sixth grade teacher was right: how often we look for heroes amoung the massives-Martin Luther King, George Washington Carver, etc., when they are really right there in the circle of our family.