Op-Ed: How I learned to embrace my Black and Jewish heritage
As a member of the new generation, it is easy to forget our own history, especially when trying to connect to people who do the very same. Many of our parents’ generation were Holocaust survivors, and many of us in the same generations grew up to take these memories for granted and become uneducated of the true reality. But this is a subject that is now more readily found in the mainstream media than ever before, so I thought it would be best to try and bring both my black and Jewish family’s stories together. I may not be a scholar, but I am a reader, and hopefully by offering you a look at history and my own personal experiences, I can use it to help you see what is possible and what is not by embracing a little bit of each when we come together.
For a long time I have felt that it is important to remember where we came from. After all, this is the world we have made. One of my favorite films was “Django Unchained,” and it showed the trials and tribulations that a young man must go through when he is forced to follow his father’s African slave roots. The fact that Django actually took the name of his father was a nod to how racism is so commonly practiced in this society, but nevertheless, it should not come as a shock when you consider the fact that his roots actually gave him the strength to rise above his problems.
If there was any doubt whatsoever as to my family’s true origins, I can tell you that our grandparents’ parents took slaves for a time in the Caribbean, and then moved them up to work in what is now Haiti. When they arrived, they were just as much part of this world as the slave masters in their lives. They had no interest in their bloodline and their culture, so they had no choice but to try and assimilate into the place they were placed in.
It was not until we got older and could begin to think for ourselves that we found out that our “mother’s” blood had originally come from Africa. We have many stories