Family History Essay

1186 words - 5 pages

Family History Essay During the hard times in the year of 1900, a beautiful baby girl named Catherine was born in Seneca, South Carolina. Catherine was my great-grandmother. She was a mixture of Indian and African- American. She was a caramel complexion with long, wavy black hair. By the age of two, Catherine?s father gathered her and her siblings together, put them all into a truck and moved to Cleveland, Ohio. Her father hoped for a better living in Cleveland rather than their unstable, prejudice, and segregated living in the South. Cleveland wasn?t as segregated and was known to have better job opportunities for Blacks back then.Catherine never knew her real age because in 1900 when she was born, the Seneca, South Carolina City Hall burned down with all of her important documents in it. Her age really wasn?t of a big importance to her. What was important to Catherine was staying alive in her then, segregated world.Catherine met a man name Elmer and later married. Elmer was born in Maryland in 1897. Elmer was a mixture of German and Black. His family also moved to Cleveland for a better living. Together they had three children. When the children were born, Catherine didn?t work much. In those days, it was the woman who usually stayed home and took care of the cleaning and the children as the men worked to support their family.Elmer worked in an Ice Cream plant for years. Catherine was a strong woman and when her children were off to school, she refused to stay home and clean all day. At age 40, Catherine found a job as a cleaning lady making $5 dollars a week. Everyday she cleaned on her hands and knees to help her husband support the family. Catherine finally sent information to Washington to find out her real age. She was in her late 40?s or early 50?s when she finally found out.Catherine and James raised all three of their children to be strong and respectful just as they were. Of the three children, my grandmother Geraldine was the youngest. She was born in 1929 and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She was tall and slim just like her father Elmer, and had pretty hair just like her mother Catherine.By the age of 19 Geraldine married my grandfather. My grandfather, Arthur was born in 1932. He was three years younger than my grandmother was. He was so in love with my grandmother Geraldine that he refused to let her know his real age up until they went to get their marriage license. My grandmother was upset for a little bit, but her love for him was too strong for it to matter.They later moved to East Cleveland, Ohio where they raised five children together. They were one of the only Blacks living on their street. Despite the racial problems in the world then, they still grew to have fun and love as any other family. My grandmother, as her mother did, didn?t work much after having her kids.Of the five children, my mother, April was born in 1958. She was the second youngest. My mother graduated from Shaw high school in 1975 at age 16. April went to...

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