Ancestors and Descendants, Still Celebrating My Heritage

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. A lot has happened. But being Black History month (as it is known), a lot of thoughts come to mind.

I don’t know what the future holds for my descendants, who they will become, what direction they will take, what life lessons they will learn and pass on to their children. In the words of Bishop L.M. Bell, in the early days of his ministry, at the little brown church on the corner, “children will pass on what they learn at home.” Ironically, Dorothy Law Nolte came out with a poem in 1998, “Children Learn What They Live.”

Living with my Grandmother, I had the advantage of growing up in the church, going to the country every summer, being taught to say “yes maam and no maam”, “yes sir and no sir”. Any other derivative would find your teeth knocked out. In those days, we were taught to “get somewhere” when grown folk were talking. You could not put your two cents into the conversation. In those days, children were taught to honor your parents(regardless of who they were, where they were, or what they had done), grandparents, and any of those who were in authority or in an eldership position.

In those days, “the village” raised you. My village was my grandmother, Uncle James, my paternal grandparents, the Pastor, the Sunday School Teacher, the neighbors – Ms.Johnnie, Ms.Fannie, Ms.Fannie Mae, Ms.Jean, Mr.Hubbard- the list goes on. These people could chastise me, tell my mother, and my mother or grandmother would give me a whipping, no questions asked. I am sure that my ancestors had the same upbringing and I appreciate what they passed on to me.

I am grateful that my ancestors handed down such a legacy. If they could see what’s going on now, they would probably ask, “what is happening to my descendants?” As older generations would say, “they are probably turning over in their graves.”

While society evolves, family values and standards should not change. Those things that were taught to us should be passed on from one generation to the next. The difference is, we inclined our ear to hear and our hearts were made teachable. I don’t know what will become of my successive generations as family dynamics change. The thought is really scary.


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