AHHHH! I’m so excited! I just put my PTO in for Seattle! I’m leaving in June for a week and it can’t get here fast enough. I am really nervous mixed with excitement. I mean this is family that I have never met. I might as well go ahead and tell the story huh? Then maybe you will be just as excited for me. So long story long (lol) ,my Grandmother Joyce is Caucasian, on my dad’s side. Which makes him mixed and makes me what ,.. well makes me pale. Lol. Side note: I hope I get some color while I’m over there! They are supposed to be taking me to the Pacific. Anyways yea so that’s what it is. My great grandparents on my dad’s side back in the day before any of us including my dad was even thought of were VERY racist. Apparently Washington state was heaving with racism. So of course I asked what any normal person would ask that’s inquisitive. “So grandma, respectfully if you were surrounded by such an extreme hatred how did it not rub off on you?” I asked this because, well my grandfather was black not light skinned either, he was nice and chocolate. I never met him . He died before I was even born. My mom tells me that he was the kindest man, and both my brother and I would have had cars before we even walked.
She then went to tell me that she had never laid eyes on a black person until she was in her late teens. The stories of her riding in the car with her friends well being “Stuck” in the car with her friends while they threw stones through the neighboring black homes was more than she could bare. This made her even more fascinated to venture out and get to know who they were. I actually found it very amazing that my grandmother had never seen a black person. In her mind no racism could occur. “How can you hate something you have never seen?” -Were her words. Makes sense. Let me tell you when my grandmother finally did venture out, she gained more black friends than the NAACP! I actually think she likes African Americans more than Caucasians. Which probably explains why my brother Jermaine got more toys than me growing up. HMM, yea he is defiantly her favorite. I always thought growing up it was his darker complexion.. coincidence? –I think not- As I got older though I realized it was just because I asked too many questions and in her words ‘Drove her insane with jumping off the walls”, and not that I was too light. HA!! Anyways! J She was rolling deep. Got her a black man and had some beautiful black babies.YES SHE DID. And my dad and uncle were FINE! I feel proud to come from that lol. Back to the story ,she did not allow the ignorance of her parents and prior generations to control the impartial human being that she was determined to be. After a while passed, she ended up marrying my grandfather. Her parents of course didn’t know. Grandma’s dad ended up finding out that she was married I can’t remember how, although infuriated he grew to accept it but never met grandmas husband nor wanted to. Her mom actually never knew she had married and her father didn’t tell her. Years passed and grandma got pregnant. She was so scared, and also so happy. “How did you break the news to your mom and dad?” I asked her.
Her response was this – “I decided to muster up the energy to tell my mom but I waited until I had the baby. My thinking was maybe she will be more kind hearted if she actually see’s my offspring vs. just word of mouth. So when Will (My uncle) was born I copped out and decided to instead just take a picture of his baby photo I had taken, and show it to her instead. When I arrived in Washington State and showed my mom the picture she looked at it and said (excuse this guys) “Whose Nigger is that?” I put my head down and said ‘Just a friend’s back home’ ”.
That was the end of that conversation. The look in my grandmother’s eyes still kind of brings tears to my eyes. Imagine not being able to share the joy of marriage or the joy of children with your own PARENTS!. My great-grandparents –even though I hate to give them that name knowing they would have abhorred me- died without ever knowing my grandmother had children. And my great-grandmother never knew she had even married. All…Those…Years. That was the toughest and most heart wrenching thing I think someone could go through, hiding such a big secret. Fast-forward to last summer, there’s about 3 generations after my great-grandparents and guess what… no one still knows that grandma ever had children. I think they at least knew (the later generations) that she was married for she said to me, all this time they thought that after your grandfather died I was all alone. My grandmother will be 80-something soon and she JUST told her family she had children and grandchildren this past summer. They are now all living in Seattle , Idaho, and other parts of Washington state everyone is grown up and had children of their own and was able to share the joy. She said she was tired of carrying the weight on her shoulders around and took the chance and leap of faith to tell my cousins in Seattle about all of us. The fear of them being just as racist in the generations prior has had her scared to death. Also the possibility of rejection made her all too aware of the negative outcomes had she said anything. She took that chance! My cousins ‘LOVE US and they have never even met us’, she says. I’ve talked to them a couple of times,mainly through text. Apparently there is this huge family reunion out there in Idaho each year so, we are going to drive there after I arrive. I’m REALLY nervous being that , well my past family was racist but I guess since this generation isn’t they won’t dwell on that. I’m pretty sure they are probably embarrassed because of it and wouldn’t dare bring it up. Besides that though, I’m flying across the country to meet family. It makes my heart drop more than the plane probably will. Ah.. writing this is making me even more nervous. Like what if they chop me up and feed me to some crazed pigs out there?! Ok Ok Ok lemmie stop. Lol. I’ll make sure my mom and family here has every # possible and I’m going to stay in contact every day. I know my mom even though I am a grown self sufficient independent adult , she will be scared until I come back home. MOMS…….(love you mom! Ha) My grandmother has been out there to visit them multiple times in Seattle so I know I’m in good hands. There’s a lot more history and stuff with my family but it’s time for me to go. I have to get this talk out tonight, and my talk is tomorrow. Yes, talk about stressed O.U.T. I’ll update more though as my trip gets closer. EEK I just realized I have to buy 2 plane tickets in March. Seattle and Texas! What I’s gown doo!!? I’ll make it work. PEACE!