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Article Credit: Eric D. Williams
Growing up as an African-American boy, I was always curious about my bloodline and the lives they lived in a world that was designed to be against them. I was always proud to be African American no matter how harsh our history was and still is at times. Separation from the homeland of Africa; slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, civil rights, black lives matter. Decades and decades of a reality that says, “As an African-American, you are less than the white man and you should act as such.”
Being proud of my ancestry gives me strength to know that just like them, I’m resilient, courageous, intelligent, witty, loving, passionate, spiritual, beautiful, and most of all UNBREAKABLE. However, some people whether in my race or of other races aren’t proud of their ancestry and shy away from it.
Recently, I went to a service project with my co-workers. We all met at a local school for international students where we beautified the grounds. The organizer of the event spent a few minutes talking to me about how she got started with organizing these types of projects in order to give back to the local international (refugee) community. She told me that some people in the community near the school enjoy seeing the vegetables growing alongside the clean lawns of the school. But on the other hand, the vegetables that grow go to waste because the people that need them in the community don’t come and harvest them (free harvesting). She told me that some of the children say that back in their home country being a farmer is a sign of poverty. Connecting both reason and outcome enlightens me to the conclusion that it’s not that they don’t want to harvest the vegetables and enjoy gardening, but from where they come from there’s a stigma associated with farming.
It is my mission to break that stigma while these children are here in America. I want to show them that it’s ok to be one with nature. In 2016, gardening and having your own veggie resource is the new fad and I believe it’s here to stay. Walking through any grocery store, you may notice that veggies and fruits are becoming less appetizing and fewer are being sold at a larger size. Growing your own food is a necessity since there is a food shortage here in America and also around the globe. Growing your own food is nothing new because our ancestors, before Jesus’ time, were growing and harvesting their own crops. It is important to know how our ancestors made it through difficult times by growing their own produce in order to learn how to do it ourselves so that we may become self-sufficient.
All in all, being appreciative and proud of your ancestry is what I hope everyone is proud of.