Oletha Y. Mask-York
Grand Canyon University
EDU 230, Cultural Diversity in the Classroom
March 25, 2012
I am a decedent of Africa, what part I could not tell you. There are different shades of black in my family and some could surely pass for white or Indian. My ancestors did not willingly come here they were brought here in chains and sold off to the highest bidder. They were slaves of the South; to be exact Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. The time-line is perplexing to me because the family history died off with the elders. I do know that once slavery was over lots of my ancestors stayed in the states that they came to know as home. Some moved around but many stayed in the Southern region of the United States. During their journey, they became farmers and store owners that prospered enough to keep their families living comfortable for the times. Although, I am labeled as African-American I consider my culture to be American. I was born here and I am sure I will be laid to rest here. I look back at my time living in the South and I was a child when I became aware of my culture. I grew up during the seventies of the twentieth century and there was still racism and it was not hidden. I knew we were different because of the way the Caucasians and the blacks were segregated even though we went to the same schools. When I was in the fourth grade my teacher would say all the “brown student’s line up here and all the other students line up here”. I am of a light completion and I got a spanking for lining up with the white students. That was a true wake-up call and reality check for me. Of course I told the principal (a black man) he got on her and she stopped lining us up like that. I have been subjected to prejudice in my life from my family toward other ethnic groups because of ignorance. With my generation you see lots of interracial marriages...