I started off the year like I do every year. Focused mind, goal oriented, vision board complete, and with positive vibes. Mid way through the year (and well after all of this COVID madness), I began to feel something different brewing within me. Not really knowing what it was, I continued life as usual. Then the other day, I turned on a docuseries about cooking and it really hit home.
This docuseries was displaying more than just a chef showing me how to whip up “the perfect meal,” but it went deeper into where the food came from. The deeper they went, the deeper my thoughts began to form. They started with okra and explained how it came to the US by way of our enslaved ancestors and how popularized it is today. Each episode explored a different part of the world and as he sat down with one chef, the chef began speaking about her ancestors that came from the Magnolia Plantation in South Carolina. That got me thinking, “OMG, I remember a spiritual reading that I had a few years ago where she was telling me the word Magnolia kept popping up about me and my family.”
Was this just a coincidence or something more? Of course, I think it is something that I needed to dive deeper into, because that’s just the type of person I am, lol. I asked around the family to see if they knew anything about that word or that plantation, but of course the answer came up as NO. But that’s not going to stop me! I can’t help but continue to think Who Am I…Really?
The Game Plan
I’m not one to just let a “NO” stop me from seeking information…I need to know more! Who are my people? Where do we actually come from? I know the US wasn’t our starting grounds, it just doesn’t feel like this is where my people would have begun. We don’t have any Native American features (on mom’s or dad’s side), so this can’t be where we originated. I honestly feel sadden when I see other black people that know where their people come from and I am sitting here still trying to figure this mess out. Like, why didn’t my parents or aunts do any of this? Like no one in the family wanted to know where they came from? Really? I can’t be the only one.
Since I am on maternity leave with all of this time on my hands, I need to do something about it. Here is my game plan for figuring out who I am:
- Do the research. I need to get in touch with the elders in the family and figure out their names and whereabouts
- Get information written down on paper or recorded vocally. Physically send those elders a tape recorder and have them vocally tell me stories about their times as a child and the family that they could remember.
- Do more research. After receiving the information from my elders, I then need to do more research on what they gave me. As you know, everything is out there on the internet, so maybe if I input some of the information, they give me something will pop up
- Get pictures of family members, addresses, phone numbers, etc. Even if we aren’t going to do a family reunion, I still need to know what these people look like.
- Compile all of this information into one centralized place to safeguard it. It would be a devastation if it all got lost somehow.
- Share what I have with the people in the family that wants to know. Not everyone is super enthused as I am about finding out who I am and where I come from. The objective is to get this information out to those who truly want to know and those who will pass the knowledge along. I would be remised if the information ended with me and never got passed along to the younger generation.
Put It into Action
My thoughts on those ancestry companies that asks for your DNA has changed. At first, I was down to complete their questionaries and submit all the necessary things to find out where my bloodline comes from. But then…dun dun dun…all the craziness happened. People submit their DNA and subsequently years later they are brought up on charges because their DNA was “found” somewhere at a crime scene. I am as square as they come, so no one will ever have any of my DNA at any type of crime scene because I don’t commit crimes thank you very much! But anyway, that doesn’t stop criminals, bad lab techs, crooked cops, and evil judges from having your DNA placed there in the first place.
I figured, since I was in the military that my DNA would already be on file somewhere with the government, but I don’t believe it’s the same with those privately owned ancestry companies…so it’s a hard NO for me.
So how would I identify my origins? That is the million-dollar question right there in which I am not fully sure how to answer just yet. This is all just the beginning of my quest and want to document my progress in finding my people. If…no scratch that…WHEN I am able to find out who I am and where I come from, I plan to take a trip there. I am hoping its somewhere in Africa, that would be awesome to travel to the motherland and meet MY people. Just thinking about it makes me happy and wanting to book a flight now! Ha ha, but I wouldn’t know where to book it to…slow down grasshopper.
Anyways, I can’t wait to see what I find out about my lineage and share it with my family and then with you all! Maybe one day you can begin your own process of finding out who you are too!