Thursday, February 12, 2015

Learning About Your History Isn't Free #BlackHistoryMonth

Martin Luther King Jr. Sojourner Truth. Mary McCloud Bethune. Rosa Parks. We could go on and on about the legendary people who changed history and forever have pages in the books. However, what about our own family histories?

Recently an entrepreneur asked a very important question to groups of people on social media. She asked them how much do they know about their own family history, because every year during Black History Month we talk about the same legendary people. This question was spread around to see how different people would respond. There were some that could proudly name ancestors that found themselves in the newspapers, but there were others who didn't care to answer the question. There were some who thought the question was dumb.

However, knowing your own family tree is important. It teaches you what type of people you've come from and why you are the way you are. I'm not talking about your parents and grandparents either. I'm not referring to the aunts and uncles you see regularly or the cousins you know so well. Who were your great grandparents? How did they survive? Who were their parents and how did they survive? What made them happy? Segregation only ended around 60 years ago.

I've asked a few questions and done some research (short of paying When families don't document their history as far back as possible, it's almost as if they are born and then they die. When researching I've been able to find birth dates and death dates. Those names have also been able to connect me to other names I've never heard of. However, they are all just names.

If we want to learn about our history we have to pay. We have to pay with time, with emotions, and financially.

Do you know your family history past your great grandparents? Has your family kept documents on who was who, what they did for a living, how happy they were?

Disclaimer: The photo doesn't belong to me.