Not so Black and White: My Family History

Not so Black and White:

My Family History

Read the previous post here: Review of Firmoo.com

As soon as I learned my colors, I knew something was different about my family. There were so many colors involved. The various hues and saturation of browns with rich undertones of yellows and reds. I’ve always been a curious person, even at a young age, I constantly wanted to learn and I asked questions.

”As soon as I learned my colors, I knew something was different about my family. There were so many colors involved.” Click To Tweet

My mother tells a story that when I was four years old, I walked up to her and said, “I have a black grandma and a white grandma.” She asked me, “Who’s your black grandma and who’s the white one?” I told her, “Daddy’s mom is my black grandma. And your mom is the white one.” She laughed and said, “My mom isn’t white!” And I told her, “Well she ain’t black!”

Now, I have to say I was a pretty precocious child. My siblings were a lot older than me, and I entertained myself by listening to adult conversation. There was such shade variation between my paternal grandmother and my maternal grandmother that I knew that they were different. But it wasn’t until I got older, that I learned and understood what those differences were.

I told her, “Daddy’s mom is my black grandma. And your mom is the white one.” She laughed and said, “My mom isn’t white!” And I told her, “Well she ain’t black!”Join The ME Project

My paternal grandparents were from Montgomery, Alabama. They moved to Pittsburgh, PA when my father was young. My paternal grandfather liked to tell me stories that he was related to the husband of famous civil rights leader from that area, but I never knew if he was telling the truth or not. He had a silver tongue, and he could pull the ladies in his old age even without having any teeth.

He had a silver tongue, and he could pull the ladies in his old age even without having any teeth.Join The ME Project

My paternal grandmother couldn’t tell me much about her family, but she knew that her grandmother was a slave. Sadly, my parents separated when I was 12 due to domestic violence and my father moved back to Pittsburgh, PA. My paternal grandfather died in 2005. My paternal grandmother is still living, but I don’t know if I will get the chance to see her.

Because of my parents’ separation, I grew closer to my maternal grandparents. Funny enough, my maternal grandfather was also a storyteller. His family was Blackfoot Native American. He was originally from Mount Sterling, KY. They had a horse farm there, but it was gone by the time I came around. The family name could be traced back to Kentucky, it was the slave master’s name that was given to the slaves.

Not so Black & White: My Family History- As soon as I learned my colors, I knew something was different about my family. Read the article to find out more.- jointhemeproject.com

The only mystery that I had was my maternal grandmother. After the conversation that I had with my mother when I was four, I went up to my grandmother and I asked her why she didn’t look like everyone else. And why my mom and my youngest aunt had brown skin, but the rest had light skin (turns out that’s just genetics). But she told me that I was the first person that had ever asked her that question.

“My mom was my mom. I never thought to ask her about her family.”Join The ME Project

And to this day, whenever asked about it, my mom will say, “My mom was my mom. I never thought to ask her about her family.” Well, I had to be the odd one out, because I did. Turns out, my grandmother was half-Chinese. She knew that her father had a small shop downtown at one time, but then he left and went back to China. She never got to meet him.

My grandmother died in 2006, from Colon Cancer. This was just a year after my paternal grandfather had died, but this affected me more because out of all of my grandparents, I was closest to my grandmother. And just a few months later, I started my freshman year of high school so there was a lot going on.

During this time, I was stuck in a ball of emotions and I was looking for something that would connect me with my grandmother. So I started to write. Write down my emotions. Write down my memories and realize that not everything is black and white.

As soon as I learned my colors, I realized something was different about my family. Check out this article at jointhemeproject.com

As always, let me know what you think in the comments below.

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17 Comments

  • Reply Della

    Thank you for sharing this about your family history! It was really interesting to read x

    January 22, 2019 at 2:14 pm
    • Reply Erika

      I appreciate you taking the time to read it

      January 22, 2019 at 4:33 pm
  • Reply Tessa

    What a beautiful and fascinating story of family history. It’s so sad how all too often questions about family never do get asked, so I’m so happy for you that you did ask, and got some answers. Thank you for sharing.

    January 22, 2019 at 2:29 pm
    • Reply Erika

      Thank you.

      January 22, 2019 at 4:36 pm
  • Reply Sandra

    Great story to share! Family histories are not always and simple as we think they are and I think this is a great example.

    January 23, 2019 at 6:02 am
    • Reply Erika

      Thank you for reading my story. I really appreciate it. I know I don’t always share personal stories so I thought I would share this one.

      January 23, 2019 at 4:36 pm
    • Reply Erika

      Thank you. I’m really happy I made the decision to share it

      January 24, 2019 at 2:02 am
  • Reply Sara

    Cool! It’s so interesting hearing about different family heritages.

    January 23, 2019 at 7:26 pm
    • Reply Erika

      Thank you for reading Sara

      January 24, 2019 at 2:03 am
  • Reply Miriam

    Thank you for sharing you story. I often ask myself about my family history but since my grandparents grew up in a place where not much records were kept its makes it difficult to find stuff out.

    January 23, 2019 at 7:33 pm
    • Reply Erika

      I often think about shows like Finding Your Roots, and how they search for information like that.

      January 24, 2019 at 2:23 am
  • Reply Julie

    I loved this post! Finding out the details of our families and their history can be so interesting and revealing! Great post!

    January 23, 2019 at 7:35 pm
    • Reply Erika

      Thank you, Julie!

      January 24, 2019 at 2:24 am
  • Reply Ashley Sugimoto

    I love revisiting family history and applying it to our lives now. Yours is so special. Thank you for sharing!

    January 26, 2019 at 2:40 am
    • Reply Erika

      History has always been fascinating to me. I’m just happy that I got to have a close relationship with my grandparents before they died

      January 26, 2019 at 3:32 am
  • Reply Suzanne Kopecki

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love how curious you are. I truly believe to understand ourselves better we must understand where we came from. Learning about your grandma helps you know yourself better.
    From FibroMomBlog

    January 26, 2019 at 3:21 am
    • Reply Erika

      Exactly! You truly took the words from my mind. I believe that history helps center us on who we are and better us for who we can become in the future.

      January 26, 2019 at 3:34 am

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