Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother + Daughter History

My breath was taken away when I first saw this picture. I had never seen it before. My uncle gave it to me. It's one of the photographs that I treasure the most. Four generations. Me, my mom, her mom, and her mom. That's a lot of mothers and daughters!

Recently, I mentioned that I've been researching my family tree. My great-grandmother was born in 1878 in Virginia. My grandmother was born in Boston in 1911. My great-grandmother was the daughter of a slave. I'm trying to learn more about her life in Virginia and how she decided to move to Boston. Those years between 1878 and 1911 were a pretty profound time in our nation's history. And I can see the that time in actual lives looking at my family.

On my father's side, I have similar questions for that time period. My paternal grandmother was born in 1906. Number 12 on my life list, pertains to her. I never got to ask her questions about her life directly, but I have learned more from speaking with my father. I do remember her voice. She had an accent that sounded Jamaican. I was always very confused by that, because I knew that she was born here in the United States.

Now I understand. She was born in the Low Country in South Carolina. African-Americans from this area are called Gullah or Geechee, and speak an English based creole, which is actually related to Jamaican and other creole languages. The culture is strongly influenced by West African traditions. The movie, Daughters of the Dust, explores this culture and shows the beauty of the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina. My grandmother left there and moved to Boston. What a huge cultural difference that must have been for her!

Well, these are some stories that I'm thinking about today. I'm getting ready to bake a cake for my mom, which is now her favorite cake of all times. I make a chocolate layer cake using an adapted version of this cupcake recipe and this frosting.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there! Tell your children some stories today and help to pass down your history. Because you are living history!

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Bellini Valli said...

Happy Mothers Day to all the special women in your life Anali. We are truly blessed.

T. said...

A breath-taking photo and post! Thank you for sharing this beautiful portrait with us.

Nisrine said...

This is such a prcious photo. Perfect for today!

El said...

Such a gorgeous photo. Amazing. Very interesting post. Thanks.

Tracy said...

BEAUTIFUL photo and history, Anali... WOW... four generations of women, that is very special photo to have in your possession. :o) Hope you had a great weekend ((HUGS))

alessandra said...

Really beautiful photo, I guessed it was you the baby.

josephine said...

what an incredible journey! that photo is such a treasure, thanks for sharing!

Anali said...

bellini valli - Yes we are! ; )

t - Thank you! I'm glad to share it.

nisrine - Welcome and thank you!

el - Thanks!

tracy - Mother's Day was great and my mom loved the cake and her gifts. I hope you had a great weekend too!

alessandra - Yup! That baby is me. ; )

josephine - I love old family photos so much! I'm on a mission to find more.

Can-Can said...

What a wonderful photo - such beautiful and powerful women. Daughters of the Dust is one of my favorite movies. I drug my daughter to see it when it first came out - on a big screen at the Coolidge Corner Theater. She didn't want to see it - she was 14 at the time - but I made her and she ended up loving it. Best of luck on your search to learn more of your family's history. I've been able to wrestle some photos from various family members because I can scan them and give them back.

Anali said...

can-can - I really should buy the movie, so I can see it again and just have it. Some of the information that I've been looking for might be easier to find than I thought. Very good news!

Ms Bev said...

What a beautiful photo, the history from this photo leave's me awe stuck! I know you will cherish this photo for a lifetime.

I'm trying to put my family history together and looking at this photo I know the project should start soon!

Continue to be blessed in God's spirit!

Ms Bev Brewer
Oklahoma City, OK

Anali said...

ms bev - Thank you so much for your visit and taking the time to comment! Best of luck with your family history project. I'm sure you'll find many treasures as well. : )

Disclaimer: Nothing stated on Anali's First Amendment should be construed as legal advice. No attorney client relationships have been formed on this blog. © 2006-2016. Anali's First Amendment/Lisa C. Johnson. All rights reserved. Do not use writing or photographs without permission.