African American

April 30, 2010
In class we all talked about immigration. People, like animals, move from place to place to fit their needs. My nationality, most likely African American, was among the many that immigrated to and from. With this nationality in particular, there are some shaky topics. Because of the slave trade going on a lot of native Africans, over time, lost their culture. The things that stood out and were tradition like foods, clothing, ceremonies and such were forgotten years and years into slavery. Even now, there's a controversy in some of Africa's countries. It says that African Americans aren't actual Africans because we were born in America. It's unfortunate that all of this has been stripped from my culture and who I am but it's in the past and time comes to move along. Still, I find it important and vital to discuss all cultures positively as time allows progression and recovery.

When we all did our research I found that many African Americans immigrated to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and East St. Louis. The biggest migration of African Americans was from 1910-1930. They mostly went from South to North obviously seeking employment and less racism. Truthfully, it's hard to talk about my nationality. What am I? Who had relations with who and had me? It was clear through our instructions you, Mr. Yusko, didn't want just any paper. You wanted us to put what we had in it-not just clear facts. Maybe it's just me but without the facts, there's nothing I know for certain other than African Americans had to forget who they were to survive-their names, their hobbies, and their language. Now I can't just go back and ask somebody who I came from or what I came from. It's difficult not to sound selfish but whenever I got these kinds of assignments in History class, I've gotten by on a Wikipedia-based research source and fair writing skills when in actuality what matters is your voice and what you're saying. You seem to understand that.

You wanted us to put in our opinions, draw conclusions and basically have thoughts about our past and how cool it was to know your line. I think the past stuck it to my line in all honesty. Facts are, of course, that African Americans were taken from their home in Africa. I wouldn't call that a migration. During slavery, years before any now African American would even dare try to migrate, my people were beaten and thrown like trash. The government then did not care about them and they were left forgotten as a culture-a monumental part of a world-and left to forget themselves down the road. I asked myself writing this what you would think? This did take some nerve power. It'll be either sink or swim for me. Usually when these issues are discussed, especially in public, people mistake my hunger for sympathy. That would be a gift given in vain for what would it solve? What would it bring about? In my opinion, nothing is solved with only a glance back in remembrance and pity on the ones who got hurt.

Moving on, as I said in the beginning, time allows recovery and progression, slowly but surely. You wanted us to draw conclusions. Mine is pretty simple-just two words. Move on. Just like the Jews have done, just like anyone who has ever had something, no matter the range, go bad in their life, just like the seasons and time, move on. Maybe things were meant to turn out this way and we're a stronger people for it. Move on in positive and optimistic spirits. Keeping in tune with my conclusion are the things I feel my nationality has added to this world. Many many great leaders, teachers, scientists, doctors, lawyers, musicians, dancers and ect. came from "my line". They worked hard-harder than they should've needed to to get where they were. Racism held them back but legends, known and unknown, pushed through that barrier. They didn't endure what they had to for nothing or something small like fame- I'm sure they didn't know today they'd still be talked about by teachers all over America-but they hung in there for their people that were suffering just as they were. My people were all different and all unique but were separated and in turn for the violence given to my people, America and I lost out.

Today, we stand away from our homeland in Africa happy but that feeling-when everyone talks about where they came from, from whom they came from-is almost inevitable; to feel a little undone or partially whole-like there's something about yourself you'll never know that could solve something that didn't quite add up. I know I'm not alone and even people who aren't African American have felt this way. It doesn't bother me to put them in the same category or to be in the same category as them-a forgotten people, a forgotten number in an equation. My facts stand as tall as I do. My opinions are from the heart. I hope they earn what they're worth and pray this was what you wanted. I didn't need a computer or book to do my research and while it may sound like I'm angry or have a tone of discontent or discomfort, I am neither of those. I'm content because I'm alive- alone or not. I have a family and I do not live separated by racism now. I'm free from the past. Everyday I'm free. Nothing is holding me back and it's because of those great great people that will never be forgotten although they were meant to be. My nation is beautiful-a piece of an even more beautiful, growing, recovering America.

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