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Photo Caption: Synchronicities… I searched for imagery on reparations to share with my post and had a full circle moment (below). How are you healing ancestral trauma?
Shortly after I started high school I met the principal as I was heading home. He was a very tall, kind black man who shared the same rare family name.
I mentioned this to my grandma who immediately pointed out that my ancestors a few generations back could have owned his ancestors. I was floored. Embarrassed. Ashamed. Curious.
Ancestry has been a curiosity since I was quite young. Our way back ancestors didn’t get much acknowledgement. Their stories were fairly untold. These seemed like secrets and mysteries worthy of exploration.
Much of what I have learned has come through tidbits of data, clues into how we survived. Some required unpleasant digging into family trees to unearth long-buried truths about how my forefathers helped fight for the United States.
I have a grandfather several generations back that fought for the Revolution (and took indigenous lands). His later descendant grandson was enlisted and fought for the Confederacy but shortly bolted. As difficult as this was to learn, I was relieved he is our family’s quitter in that atrocity.
But that grace was small in comparison to tragic fact that my family owned slaves. As I’ve searched for how to absorb, transmute and heal my ancestry, I realized among the clues of our resilience is the literal blood, sweat and tears of dozens of people that slaved for my ancestors to thrive.
Also unknown is whether we have relatives through the rape of black women slaves. I pray this isn’t part of my family history. From what I can tell my tiny bit of African DNA is from my indigenous lineage.
With help from my therapist years ago, I came to see the often abusive ways my grandfather and father made us work for the family were generational abusive cycles that required ending.
(cont in comments)
£20 million over 20 years.