9.Aug – { My Low-Key Obsession with my Roots }



I stand on the firm belief that the blacks in this country are one of the most alienated and displaced people groups in all of God’s green earth.   This believe stems from the fact that 99.9% of us don’t have a sense of identity, namely because of the middle passage and the bleaching of our heritage.  You ask most blacks (sans the blessed ones, like Jackson Heights very own; Tina Enagbare) where their people are from, and they’ll give you a state – because that’s as far as we can go back.

It’s a shame that we’re from the biggest continent on this planet and can’t identify ourselves with what country our people are from.   And i dare a white person to toss my way that we should say ‘Murica – because we live here…well, Sir…Madame… a lot of you have the luxury of having a last name to assist in you in belting out “Kiss me, I’m IRISH”…. most of our names that we bare come from slave owners, then when dare try to change it – or give a name that means something to our culture – we’re called ghetto and then we don’t get jobs.

I wouldn’t say that it was just my sensitivity to racial issues that sparked my interest in starting a journey to find out where my people are from – but it was coupled with multiple encounters with people that have stopped me in public (and randomly too, might I ass) to ask me what my ethnic background was – more often than not, they asked because they had already declared that I was from one of three countries: Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritrea.  The first time this happened was years ago, and I thought it was interesting to find out – but I wasn’t pressed to do so.  Since then, this has happened eight different times, and the same three countries are mentioned – so the fact that this happened yesterday…pushes me even harder to do it…it also inspired a flipping blog post.

SO I GO TO ANCESTRY.COM – and I start to fill out a lot of the general information.  Then it gets to a part where you have to decide what type of membership you want…the “worldwide” membership gets you to records outside of the U.S! – I’m over here raising the roof in 2014 because I’m getting closer to getting the answers that sway doesn’t have…. and then THIS HAPPENS:

Discover your immigrant ancestors and learn more about your family’s homeland in detailed passenger lists, border crossings and more!”  

then it goes on to say…

“Learn about your ancestors in more than 60 countries outside the U.S., including the UK, Ireland, Canada, Germany, Australia, France, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and more!” – 

My face froze…they don’t have records of the middle passage MAN!, this was a completely unjustifiable and barbaric evolution!…

then I saw this…”Make discoveries in Ancestry.com special collections with records and help focusing on African-American and Jewish family history” – and i was like “LOOK AT GAWT….WON’T HE DO IT?”…

So now i have to cough up this money and get this information.  Perhaps if you’re reading this – some interest has sparked in your heart to do some seeking about where you come from as well…if not – use that money to keep turning up on the weekends – while spending it on Baby Phat and JNCO jeans.

– Kenneth