Saturday, 4 February 2012

My Roots Part One

Shalom:
I have always been interested in history. Not just American history, but world history.
At an early age, I known that the history books were full of what white men and women had done to build this nation. I learned the role of the then 'Amercian Indian.' But I did not see people my own colour in my history textbooks.
So how did my people get here? My mother and grandmother had always told me we were part Indian, that my great-grandfather was of the Chickasaw tribe. But still, how did we black folks get here?
It wasn't until 5th grade that I would get my answers.
That year, my sister and I were attending a mostly black school and for the first time I learend about how Black people came to these shores.
I learned some came as servants, working seven years as free men, though servants and after their years of servant was over, they were free to go on with their lives. I learned how Native Americans were first enslaved, but knew the land too well and ran away.
Thur the Slave Trade.
I learned during my very first Black History Week, how black men and women, first as slaves, then as free men and women worked to build this nation. I learned the roles they paid in the American story.
And while it would not be until my son started school that I saw black faces and stories in the history books, I had already told my son about the heroes and heroines of this nation. Heroes and heroines who came in every colour.
In seventh and eight grade, I enrolled in the Black History source. It was an elected course and it ran the whole school year.
It was an amazing class. Not only did I learn so much about our contribution to this nation, but to the world, I came home each day with more and more facts to share with my mother. It was the only time in my life that I liked school.
During the summer of my four-teen year, a friend of my mother gave me novels and comic books that were African American history. During this time, I would how my own family fit in the pattern of Amercia's quilt.
Then the mini-series Roots came out. Like some many blacks, the story of Alex Haley awaken in me the desire to know about my own roots.
I went to the library, spend hours upon hours, week and week and finding....
Nothing.
Until after I married Mark and he gave me a year's subscription to Ancestry.com.
It was then, six years ago, the pieces began to fall into place.....
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