Tag Archives: genealogy

Language of Family History, and Choosing your Hill…

  Tracing the Black Nuns in your family, thanks to this new book from Dr. Shannen Dee Williams, just got a bit easier.  Her “ 1st book, #SubversiveHabits, will be published by

in May 2022! It provides the 1st full history of #Blacknuns in the US & recovers their activism & leadership in the fight for racial, gender, & educational justice.”

The challenges of family history, particularly a family full of mostly Enslaved Persons, and some Free People of Color (free before the Civil War and subject to the Black Codes in most states), means learning the language of genealogy, and then learning your own family language, with names that run in families, especially middle names, and have certain meanings known only to the inner circle at that time.  In order to survive, each of those People of Color had to decide and choose which hill they wanted to die upon: the hill of passing for White, in some cases, despite loosing family to do so, the hill of fighting to educate other Colored people, despite the many hurtles, as my 2xs great grandfather and his daughter, in her turn, did, or the hill, today, of bearing the torch to help educate all people, as many of us are choosing in this difficult time.

  Their story inspired me to write my book Do Better, in the hope of inspiring others to take up the work of changing our system to a more empathetic, ethical, and kinder one for all of us.  That is the hill I choose to die upon.

What hill do you choose to die on? Building or choosing ‘Found Family’ for me is about connecting deeply and personally with other folks who share my values, as my great Aunt Sr. Mary Felix Manzilla did,

MargarFelixManzilla-4

when she joined the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first Catholic sisterhood open to Colored women, in 1914. I seek to help build community that honors safety and Enough for All, and is willing to die upon the hill of Empathy and Compassion, fighting for Everyone to have Enough of everything that each person needs to live with human dignity. But I seek that community as one looking to build personal family connections, to walk, to teach, and eat together, to look after one another and if necessary, to die for and with one another. In other words, Family, like my great aunt found, with the OSP.

Dear Readers, please consider the people and institutions linked above, and

Action Prompt:

    Share your Hill, if you wish.

 

  Thoughtful Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

 

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Click here to read, if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows, Lupin…

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

– Black and Jewish Americans fight together for human dignity… in Spain…

As we discussed my all time favorite show, El Ministerio del Tiempo (sorry B5!!), a friend recently told me that one of her relatives had fought in the Spanish Civil War as part of the Lincoln Brigade which turned out to have been known officially as the Lincoln Batallion.

Looking into the history of the Lincoln Batallion, I found, among others, Oliver Law, a Black man who had to leave the USA to become the first African-American in US history to command a military unit (not counting NCOs during the US Civil War like Robert A. Pinn, who picked up the standard and command after the deaths of all of his officers), during the Spanish Civil War.

In total, one Black woman and 54 Black men volunteered from the United States, where they were treated with disdain, to fight racism and oppression on the other side of the Atlantic. They hoped to change things back home in the US, and they were following the calling of their consciences, to fight racism and oppression where they could: in Europe.  For Tom Page, it was the first time he was treated with human dignity, and for Salaria Kea, the only Black woman to volunteer, it was a dashing of hopes upon returning home.  But for all, it was honorable service to humanity.

Like Delmer Berg, the last surviving American to travel to Spain, 1/3 of the volunteers were Jewish. This was in keeping with a long but little-known tradition of cooperation between the Black and Jewish communities well before the 1960s.  In that sacred tradition, led by Dr. King, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Gandhi and many others, we must continue the cooperation between individuals, families, communities and states that so desperately needs to continue, to move us all forward as a united human race.

May all of their memories be a blessing to us all, and a reminder of Human Cooperation
Zichronam LiVrachah,
Shira Destinie Jones

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !
ShiraDest
March 16th, 12017 HE

– One use of genealogy: restorative justice

FYI for anyone possibly descended from slaves sold by Georgetown University, if this is true: check your genealogy and apply for that (alleged) scholarship!! Details: https://www.wikitree.com/…/are-any-descendants-slaves-sold-… Please see the full article here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/restorative-justice-based-genealogy-creative-ways-help-landrac
-ShiraDest.
13 Feb. 12017 HE