Starting about five years ago, I became a little more curious with my cultural background. I pretty much always took the label as being “black” due to the wonderful “one-drop rule” and without really knowing the full story. Then, I went through some family records on my father’s side and realized that there were not a lot of “ethnic” roots. Fair enough. So, I figured that my father was the root of all evil with my identity crisis. I began doing loads of research online and looking up my paternal family origins in order to understand.
My mother, who I thank for giving me so many of her charming traits, believed for so long that she knew who her family was. Growing up in the Yards of Kentucky, she was always surrounded by family; so, why should she ever question those around her? Until four months ago, my mother found out that the man who she so believed was her father, was, in fact, not, and instead, the man who was claimed a completely different ethnicity.
So, where does this leave me?
Excited, but definitely confused.
Now that I have somewhat of a lesser base than I started with, I am now on an adventure to trace my roots while also giving my immediate family some sense of identity as well so that our future generations do not have to endure the name calling, the hair pulling, being questioned by those around us ignorantly not wanting to understand, being in the middle of worlds where they collide as one and we do not know which one to choose. We should never be afraid of acknowledging who we are or where we come from, and I refuse to settle as an ambiguity or a question mark when such rich history is yearning to be discovered.