Earlier this week I was texting with a friend, and we were chatting about an activity her son is doing at the school this week. His class is putting on a cultural fashion show and they’re all asked to dress in clothes that represent their culture.
“Tim’s 5th great-grandmother was full Comanche Indian, so he’s going to dress in traditional Comanche clothes,” she said.
They were still working out the details of the costume, but have since pulled it off, as they always do.
“That’s so cool he has a Native American history ancestry,” I said. She said it was new to her as well.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my family’s heritage, and history and I’ve wanted to learn more for myself, and especially for the sake of my kids.
My parents didn’t teach us black history growing up. I don’t think it was so much that they didn’t want to as much as it probably was that they just wanted us to focus on “fitting in.” Growing up I didn’t realize what I was missing, but now that I’m an adult, I can see gaping holes in my life where knowing more about where I came from, would have made me more confidant in who I am.
I don’t want that to happen to my children. I don’t want them to fumble through life asking themselves “Who am I? Where do I fit in?” I want to arm them with a solid knowledge of where they came from, so they are confidant in who they are. Especially since their lineage is so diverse.
I’ve been thinking about sharing my experiences of discovery on my blog, and writing about ways I learn to teach my kids about their diverse history in age-appropriate ways. But I wasn’t sure if many people would be able to relate.
I posed a random question on Facebook asking if many of my readers were in interracial relationships/marriages and/or had biracial kids, and I got a whopping 175 responses, almost all of which stated they are in interracial relationships with kids.
The few that said they weren’t were so sweet in saying they’d still be interested in reading about it. And let’s face it, —Like my friend who didn’t know about her husband’s background—We all can learn from our past.
When you embrace your heritage you’re not only learning to accept your own differences, but also the differences of others, and in turn it can help us all to be more accepting and give us the ability to remain open-minded to other cultures.
Lil’ J, Big T and I plan to watch the cultural fashion show, and I couldn’t be more excited.
I’m excited to learn for my kids, learn with my kids, and I hope you’ll join me in learning and sharing about your history. Together we’ll be making strong roots for our children.
Tags: making strong roots