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Monday, August 24, 2015

Response: Principles Part 1: What I learned from my family of color

Robin Foster just published a touching and relevant Principles Part 1: What I learned from my family of color in her Saving Stories genealogy blog. She says: "The world is in commotion everywhere you turn. That is a given, but the question is "What responsibility as a genealogist do I have in what I do and say?" I certainly do not think remaining silent is an option. In many respects, I feel that I have been prepared for this day and for the current battles. Through the research of my family, I have learned we find success if we can unite  around true principles. Differences will melt away as we cease to judge people by outward appearances and stop placing people in categories where we expect them to behave or think a certain way."

IMAGE: from Principles Part 1: What I learned from my family of color
Used with permission.

Ol' Myrt here likes that word "commotion" but I don't like the world's continued prejudice against people who appear different from myself. I don't hold to the old derogatory myths about African Americans, and I pray my children and grandchildren do not as well.
Every month in our genealogy hangouts we post the following collage inspired by the United Nation's Decade for People of African Descent honoring people of color. When I created the graphic around the UN's approved logo, I realized Cousin Russ and I welcome people from all walks of life to our neck of the genea-woods. We reach out to all regardless of race, color, creed or national origin with support for researching family and documenting cultural inheritance.


During today's Mondays with Myrt the subject came up again, You'll want to catch the first few minutes here:

My response to Robin via Facebook:
Through my tears, your beautiful message offers first the tender thought of love of family, one thing we have in common.

I love the stories about your parents. It made me recall things from my own childhood.

The loving tone you set in your writing brings into view your kindly attitude. I now imagine us sitting on a porch shaded by trees in a beautiful garden as we talk about things of the heart.

It pains me deeply to hear about the unjust behavior that keeps 'bursting' at the seams.

Society never seems to purge itself from the bitter hatred for those who appear different, in this case prejudice against people of color.

You wisely note that change is made first in our own hearts and then as we interact within our individual circle of friends and associates.

I pray my heart is softened and that I am teaching my children and grandchildren to conduct themselves in a good, industrious, happy and kind manner.

Thank you, Robin, for this powerful though heart-rending post. 

I'm glad we are having this discussion "on the porch" as it is among friends that peace and understanding can best be nurtured.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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