This week’s reading brought a breath of fresh air. In contrast to our previous readings, Michael Twitty gives us a personal account of his childhood and adult life as a black, Jewish, homosexual man. Although Michael didn’t live during the period of time we were previously reading about, I still found his dialogue extremely interesting and thought-provoking.
Like Twitty, I have a similar experience to growing up in a certain culture. My mother’s side of the family is from New Orleans, Louisianna since her ancestors immigrated here 4 generations ago. I grew up in the rich culinary tradition that many people from the Bayou possess. Whether it’s Jambalaya, crawfish boils, or king cake during Marti Gras, our culture is one I have a ton of respect for.
Unlike Michael, however, I never went through the hardships he went through. I am very grateful to be able to find where my ancestors came from, something Michael was not able to do. I did not have to deal with rejection as he did when he came out to his mother. And of course, I never had to face any kind of prejudice or racial stereotypes that he had to throughout his life. Despite all of this, it is remarkable how Michael embraces his culture and has a deep reverence to those who have gone before him, even though he may never know who they are.