When I first saw in the syllabus the type of paper we would be writing for this course I thought about what culture means to me. What was the culture of my family? Where did we come from? How did we end up in Virginia? How did we end up believing some of the things we believe? To me culture was basically how I was raisedmy behaviors, beliefs, values, and ideas cultivated during my youth and its evolvement as I grew into an adult. This truly was to be a very interesting and involved quest for information. Though I attempted to use websites such as www.genealogy.com and www.ancestry.com, I found most of the information from a couple of the adults in my family. Adults? I, too, am an adult, but in my family, age comes before everything; and because I am younger, I am treated as such and am expected to behave a certain manner towards the elders in my family. So begins the learning of the nature of my familial circle!
It was incredibly difficult to get information from older family membersand younger family members knew little! I went through several adults before obtaining any information. I received no information from the men and minimal information from the females. Much of my information I had to remember from what my grandmother told me which had to be pieced together with information from cousins and my brother.
My grandfather is the only one of my grandparents still alive today. He is from Stony Creek, Virginia, and his father is from North Carolina though he grew up in Sussex, Virginia. His mother was a slave descendent and his father was a landowner. I could not retrieve names or dates for his parents' births or deaths or their marriage. My great-grandmother's biological father was white and her mother's race remains unknown to me. Because my great-grandmother had very pale skin and soft, dark and wavy hair, I cannot assume that her mother was of African descent or of Cherokee Indian descent as were several of my great-great... [continues]
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