Who Am I Where Did I Come From

937 words - 4 pages

Running Heading: WHO AM IWHO AM IWho Am I and Where Did I Come From?Coloni BrownOur Lady of the ElmsWho Am I and Where Did I Come From?Family history is very important to an individual identity. By knowing where one comes from, they can have a better perspective on their lives. Having a clear understanding of your family background allows one to better appreciate the things that you would normally take for granted. The house an individual lives in, the car they drive, and the even their clothing may look better when one sees the sacrifices their family has made. An individual's roots and origin is one of the most important things to explore. It alone can bring us closer to self-discovery.There are two sides to an individual's family and both play a major role in one's development. My paternal side to my family has been traced all the way back to slavery. This side of my family originally came from a Georgia plantation. Although my father is Afro-American, he claims that his great-great-grandfather was a white, and owned slaves. This was a fact that took me a few minutes to wrap my head around, I could not believe that I came from a family of a slave owners. Although, I've heard many stories of slave owners sleeping with their slaves, but to find out it took place in your family is surprising to say the least. I've learned that many of my family members were bi-racial slaves. My maternal side of the family is all from the island of Haiti and I can only imagine that their story was totally different. My grandparents moved my mother, her two sisters, and brother to America when they were very young. They migrated from Port Au Prince Haiti to Chicago, Illinois. Growing up I never was able to get the full story on my grandparent's migration for their native island to the United States. It seemed to be a crime to ask my grandparents about the island. All I was ever told was that they came here to give their kids a better opportunity, so I should be thankful.Being of an African heritage my family has always been looked at as the underdogs. My maternal grandmother would often tell me stories of the racism she encountered. She explained how it was important for her to walk, talk, dress, and think like an American. The hurt she must have felt being called out her name and forced to lose her ethnic identity just to fit in must have been a hard pill for her to swallow. My mother's father seemed to live with little regret. My grandfather felt that America was the holy Mecca. He was so proud to be an American...

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