Living in a Technicolor World

Most of my life I didn’t really have that much interest in learning about my past or my heritage. I always lived in the present, thinking about the family that was currently around me. Then my mother started having medical problems when I was in the fourth grade, I realized that I had to stop living in such a black and white world. In her appointments I realized that a lot of our medical history stems the family members of the past. Aside from the medical aspect, I started to get curious about my family’s history in general. I knew that I as an African American female, and I didn’t think more past that. However, after I did some asking around my family, I realized that my great-grandfather on my mother’s side was Caucasian, and on both my dad and mother’s side they had Native American heritage as well. My world that was once black and white, suddenly began to have color. 

After learning those new discoveries, I wanted to know more about my life. The opportunity arose when my sister was in the fifth grade. Her class had a project where they had to trace their ancestral lineage. During my sister’s research she discovered that on my dad’s side our Native American heritage was linked to a tribe named Tsenacommacah. I didn’t want to stop there, I was too intrigued, so after googling around I learned that the chief of the tribe was the father of Pocahontas. The movie Pocahontas was a really pivotal movie for me, so discovering that she was my ancestor, in my opinion, was the greatest discovery.  Sadly, after that my new technicolored world, started to lose its color again. 

I started to worry about other things, rather than focusing on where I came from and honoring my history, I focused on where I was going and making new history. After reading the article, I realized that it is the history of my family that helps define who I am. I have a renewed purpose, I just think about what I will tell my children when they are making a family tree, or when it comes to medical problems just like my mother, how will I be able to tell them if I don’t know myself? 

Now that I am in college, I realize that I’m starting my life on my own, and there is still a part of my identity that I do not know. After reading the article, I want to learn more about my family’s roots, and where we came from. So, I started asking my mother and father about their background, learning about our family’s history, but they suddenly realized that they don’t know much either. Now I want to be able to not only learn about me, but also really start to make a change. I’ve always supported and tried to bring awareness to any aspect of my life that I identified with, because I feel as though even if I haven’t experienced the trials that some have gone through, it could still happen to me. 

In reading the article really opened up my eyes to realizing that I was going back to the naïve fourth grader that I once was. I want to explore where my ideals and beliefs stemmed from, and who I am. I want to start living in my colorful world that I started learning about and making a difference in the other heritages that I have come to know. I want to be able tell my future children one day about their long heritage and about all the wonderful ways that they can identify. I want them to live in a world full of color.