I Am My Ancestors

I am my ancestors wildest dreams.
I am not my ancestors.

Both phrases invoke different sentiments. How do they make you feel? Do you agree/disagree? I prefer the first. I recently read a post by Stacey Patton and it reminded me that I have to speak with intent.

Malcolm X Fest, 2017, Atlanta

I’ve often been called shy by people that don’t know me because I’m not the loudest in the room. I don’t mix and mingle. I avoid small talk and the pasted on smiles. I may only speak a few sentences when I encounter new people. I’m not shy at all; I’m observant. And, I have always been that way. I need to see everything, hear how people interact, know what they’re talking about, feel a vibe, before I proceed with conversation.

In a few days, I’ll be traveling to Goree Island. I have been emotionally and mentally preparing myself. Jayla doesn’t want to go. She’s way more emotional intuitive than I am. I’d say she’s a borderline empath. I can’t relate, but I do try, to her outpouring of emotion and affection. When I told her about the significance of Goree Island, she became stoic, which is not fitting of her personality, and told me she wasn’t going.

When we visited the National Museum for Justice and Peace in Alabama, my usually talkative beaming child became silent and stiff as we walked through the memorial. It was like she was folding into herself. I asked if she wanted to leave. I was observant. I saw her physically changing even though she hadn’t said a word. It was too much for her to take in. By the time we got to the car, she was crying.

National Museum for Justice and Peace, Montgomery, Alabama

I asked her how she felt. I thought she was upset by the history and not being able to fully understand how people can be so hateful, so cruel, so damn disgusting. She just said it hurt and asked if we could talk about it later. Where I felt anger, she felt physical pain.

My baby after she managed her emotions. We stopped to eat at A Touch of Soul Cafe (nearby and black owned)

I want her to be strong enough to face the real world: physically, mentally, and emotionally. But, I want her to be ten. I don’t want the innocence of childhood to be abruptly ripped from her. I spend a lot of time determining how to ease the ugly sides of the world into her learning experiences.

The significance of her seeing and visiting these places is important. I don’t ever want her saying she’s not her ancestors.

I want her to see the strength of her ancestors and invoke their strength. Bu, I have to let her define strength in her own way and allow her to find it in her own way.

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