Sunday, October 7, 2012

Descendant Story Continues

     First  I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to not only read my blogs but also comment on them. In one of the comments I recieved today there was a question about a part two on the posting that I did yesterday. Believe it or not that story does continue and I have no problem sharing more on that experience. For those of you who don't know about yesterdays post, well then stop reading this one and look at yesterdays post. Just kidding...let me give you a quick overview.
     I was confronted with the thought, from someone else, that I should be ashamed of my family and keep the fact that I'm a descendant of a slave owner a secret. Ashamed I wasn't, I don't agree with what my 3x great grandfather did but he was my grandfather and that was a time in history. Reflecting on our lineage, the history of our families we learn that somethings aren't always sweet and wonderful.
     Imagine her surprise when I told her what I found out about the other side of my family during my research. Brace yourself for this one, not only am I the descendant of a slave owner but also a descendant of a slave. Okay now I'll give you a moment to picture the look on her face..mine had a smile on it. You can only imagine the questions that came from her.
"Did the other side know?"
"How can one side of the family live with the other knowing this?"
"What in the world are you going to tell your kids?"
     Those were just a few of her questions during our conversation. I had to take a moment and try to explain with out the obvious statement of "are you serious".
Finding out that you are a descendant of a slave was another "tart lemon" moment. Hearing that one of your ancestors was a slave owner and then finding out that you're also the descendant of a slave wasn't that much of a shock to me. Lets face it when we start to research into our family's history chances are you'll find that you are either the descendant of a slave or slave owner. Chances are that you will find both in your lineage on either side or maybe even both sides of your family.
     To be asked the question if the other side knew was pretty easy for me to answer with a  "how would I know". But obvioiusly they worked through it, I'm here after all, along with my kids.  That brings me to the question of telling my kids. I'm so happy that my kids enjoy hearing about what life was like for their ancestors. I didn't even give it a second thought when it came time to explain slavery and how that affected our family's history. They know that no matter what you have both the good mixed with bad and it takes both of them to make life, to make history. I felt as if this was the perfect opportunity to teach them about history and what part their ancestors played during this time in history.
     Slavery was wrong but unfortunately it happened and is part of our history. We have all discussed it and reflected on it many times whether through school, church or even conversations we've had with others. I've said it before, that was part of who makes us who we are today. Should we be ashamed of the actions taken by our ancestors, should we be angred by what others did to our anscostor. My thoughts on this are no, instead continue to learn from mistakes and bad choices made by others and don't repeat this time in history.