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Reflection Paper

1952 words - 8 pages

My family has an interesting history, with the fact being that we did not just appear, my great parents were likely slaves; I know that my great-great grandparents were. Since slavery did not end very long ago it is a pain that still lingers though I had never experienced the fullness of slavery myself. The historical monstrosity that took place then translates itself into the subtle monstrosity between blacks and whites today. I am aware of my place in America as not only a woman, but as a black woman. I am aware of the racial profiling I will receive based on the color of my skin, and I am aware that I have had family members to thrive despite the barriers of race and ethnicity. Therefore, I have taken the initiative - even before this paper - to understand my family background and why the color of my skin is an immense determination of my trajectory in life. Regardless, I have had the chance to learn as much as I can from a people whose identity were stolen from them long ago.
My father was born on January 27, 1955, in New Orleans, Louisiana; my mother, July 17,1960 in Los Angeles, California. My father’s name is George Ramon Reed, he is the second child to my deceased grandmother, Nancy Reed. This is of the siblings he is aware of. Nancy was born on January 17, 1922 in New Orleans, Louisiana–according to my father. My father’s sister, Elizabeth Reed-Paul was born on June 23, 1941 in New Orleans. My father’s father, George Robert Reed was born in Alabama, we are unsure of which city or his date of birth. My grandmother Nancy moved her family, my father and my aunt, to California after her mother-Cecilia Gussett, died when my father was around age two. Her father’s name was David Gussett, both assumed to be born in New Orleans. Aside from leaving New Orleans, my grandmother moved her family to California for the sake of opportunity in 1961, she was also a comedian. In California, my father attended Nevin Avenue Elementary, George Washington Carver Junior High and Thomas Jefferson High School in South Central Los Angeles. His birth certificate labels him as African-American.
My mother’s name is Ginette Newman-Reed. She was born in Los Angeles, California having grown up on 22nd street in South Central Los Angeles attending both 20th Street and 28th Street Elementary, George Washington Carver Junior High School and Thomas Jefferson High School. My mother has four biological siblings and three siblings by re-marriage. All of which were born between the years of 1960-1970. There names are: Angela Newman-Iglesias (June 4,1963), Shonital Newman (July 18, 1965), James Newman (February 1, 1967) and LaWanda Turner (November 4, 1970). Her brothers by marriage are Jonathan Polk, William Polk and Michael Polk. Her stepmother’s name is Carolyn Newman, born on June 17. My mothers parents are James Albert Newman born on September 3, 1939 in Lake Providence, Louisiana and the deceased Lillie Pearl Wallace-Newman born on January 17, 1942 in Shreveport,...

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