Thursday, December 9, 2010

Can you imagine not knowing your birthday or father's name?

I tried to imagine what it must have been like for slaves to not know who their father's were or when they were born.  This is an unfortunate road block for those who are trying to trace their ancestry.  One's parentage can have a great impact on one's identity.

Most slaves would have no knowledge of their lineage because 200 years of slavery erased the memory of all that.  I do have several lines where I may never be able to know the names of my forefathers in this life. That is a very difficult pill for me to swallow.

It's like having permanent amnesia.  That is very painful and frustrating for me. Once again I compare myself to Frederick Douglass.  He did not know his birthday his whole life, and he only could speculate about who his father was.  Yet, he freed himself, and remade himself into an accomplished publisher and orator.  I salute him because he was able to be successful at doing this during an era when few even could recognize the abilities of an African American let alone a former slave.

I feel so very fortunate to have examples of African Americans who faced and overcame great obstacles.

Here's a short video biography on Frederick Douglass:

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