One thing I kept thinking about throughout these readings is the unfairness of what is recorded and what isn’t in our textbooks. What is upsetting is that once Africans were kidnapped into slavery in America, they became apart of our history. Yet, despite them being a crucial part of the United States, their experience and perspective are almost completely ignored. They matter very much to the foundations of this country because of this nation’s actions to bring them here, but yet, there is little to nothing in our curriculum that would defend that.
After reading these stories from Michael Twitty, I feel like I learned more about the experiences of those who are descendants from slaves than I ever have before because it is a perspective that was left out in all of my years of schooling. Just from these three readings, it made me think about the magnitude of things that were lost to slavery that is never talked about or acknowledged. At this point, because it was so long ago, and there is no way to replace things that weren’t remembered in the first place, there are so many things that we will never know about. For example, one of the things he talked about a lot was food. This is something that is important in a lot of people’s families because of generational ties. Not only did he explain how it was important to his family, but southern cuisine as a whole. Southern food is a big thing for people but where it comes from is never thought about, which I didn’t know about either. There are other little things like songs and stories, like the one’s he was able to tell, that actually means a lot because these are the type of things that can connect people to their ancestral line.
One thing I thought was important to note was the internal conflict Twitty talks about a little bit. Apart of him wanted to get to know and understand more about his roots. This can be different for everyone whether they just want to know more about their ancestors in America or if they want to go even further down the line to Africa. At the same time, he wanted to escape the past which is very understandable. His family was all over the place because they each tried to get away from it in their own way.