I am a descendant of one of Jamestown’s first Colonists. He arrived here to North America in 1620 on the Bona Nova ship. He is my 11th great grandfather on my father’s side. I discovered this information while researching my family tree.
I am a descendant of someone who survived the transatlantic slave trade. They were taken from their tribe(s) in Africa and brought to North America. I cannot confirm the year(s). My 2nd great grandfather was freed from slavery when he was about 40 years old. That is the earliest direct information I have for my African roots on my father’s side.
I am the two sides of the coin. Although I look like my African family, I also have European beginnings. If you were to look at me, you would only see Africa and if I were to look at you, I may only see Europe, or Russia, or China, or India, or whatever your dominate ethnicity may be. The truth of the matter is that no matter what society deems acceptable, our ancestry tells a different story.
We are both sides of a coin… no matter how that coin gets flipped, there will always be ONE coin. You can deny the side that doesn’t show but that doesn’t negate its existence. We are connected and will continue to be connect to each other.
Knowing what I know about my ancestry, helps me to understand that hate is useless against my fellow human. The stranger I walk by could very well be a distant cousin. Why would I hate my flesh and blood when they’ve done nothing against me?
Family is everything to me. Whether I know you or not, I love you. I have known loss for all my life. For most of recorded history, my African family was not considered people and because of that, I don’t know a lot of my family history and what I do know hurts. Can you feel my pain of knowing that my sir name is that of my family’s slave owner as well as my 3rd great grandfather?
It is so easy to dismiss and hate a person based on your ego, fear or pride but there are better ways to live life. I was taught to treat people the way I want to be treated and I find that a great way make sure I am honoring all sides of my coin.
I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes for you to ponder:
“Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you can only spend it once.”Lillian Dickson