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The content and opinions expressed below are that of Fab Haute Mama.
I am joining MassMutual in celebrating Black History Month by sharing my very own #JourneyOfYou story. My family history and my heritage is very important to me. I come from a diverse background and it is very important for me to embrace it and honor it by teaching my children about it.
My grandmother migrated to the United States from Jamaica, West Indies in the 1960’s with her youngest three children. My mom was the oldest girl and migrated to the United Kingdom and then came to the States in 1980. As a result, my sisters and I were born in the United Kingdom. As it stands, my great aunt is the only family member that had children born in America until my generation. Now that I have been here for over 30 years and have children of my own, our family history from the Caribbean to Europe to America is very important to me. I want my children to grow up loving their diverse background. Not to mention The Hubs diverse background from America and the Caribbean.
Ours is a rich culture and we continue to honor it daily by sharing stories, serving traditional dishes and even speaking in our native patois when we are around family members and friends. Like most families of Caribbean heritage, we have found and embraced a community around us that is comprised of people from many different countries and backgrounds.
What this means for my children? They get the best of both worlds. I consider it a privelege for them to come from such diverse parents and I hope in teaching them about our history, I am raising open minded and well rounded children. Sharing stories of my grandmother and her sisters, their journey to America, working and doing missionary work will allow my children to understand that hard work no matter your background pays off. My grandmother was only grade school educated and became a mother at the tender age of 16 however she went on to be very well known in our Brooklyn neighborhood and back home in Jamaica as the woman that was always able to help someone else. She raised money, collected food, clothes and supplies to be sent to Jamaica, other Caribbean islands and to charities right here in the U.S. My grandmother’s legacy is us her grandchildren all of whom graduated from college, became successful professionals and business owners. Her great grandchildren are well on their way to doing the same with two currently in their 3rd year of college one studying to be a pharmacist and the other studying to be an early childhood educator. I know my grandmother is looking down on us and smiling.
I stand on the shoulders of my grandmother and it is my duty to continue her legacy of love, charity, support, business and education in my life and in the life of my children. I dedicate my #JourneyofYou to you Hazel May Wilson (1916-1997). Your legacy lives on.
Join me and MassMutual in celebrating Black History Month this February. Learn more about how MassMutual is helping families in Building a Financial Legacy. Follow along and share your own story in the comments or on MassMutual on Facebook or MassMutual on Twitter with MassMutual using #JourneyOfYou.
What is your #JourneyofYou story?
SonyaFebruary 17, 2015 at 10:54 AM
I love everything related to genealogy. It’s always nice to know your family history and who you come from. I enjoyed reading about your family history.
M JFebruary 19, 2015 at 9:40 PM
Thanks Sonya. I am in the process of researching my family back to before my great grandparents. Our heritage is so mixed and I am enjoying discovering so many things about my background. Sharing this with my children is an amazing journey.
LaShawnFebruary 18, 2015 at 9:29 AM
I love the old photos from the 80s! LOL TO me it SCREAM childhood. I love that you are keeping your culture and traditions alive for your kids. Our rich backgrounds are something to be proud of!
M JFebruary 19, 2015 at 9:39 PM
Thanks LaShawn. I look at old family photos every week. I laugh and sometimes I cry because it so much fun to reminisce on those times. The 80’s were great years.
patrice M FosterFebruary 18, 2015 at 10:03 AM
Great post.Family is so important to our health. children without seems loss these day’s. and grandparent are obsolete. Thank you for sharing.
M JFebruary 19, 2015 at 9:38 PM
Thanks Patrice. I agree. I love that my daughter gets to cherish her time with my mom the way I cherished my time with my mom’s mom. The grandparent and grandchild bond is amazing to witness.
Siobhan (BeFree Project)February 18, 2015 at 5:15 PM
Wow!! Your family has so much history and thank you for sharing with your audience. I only know bits and pieces of my history and I long to know more about my ancestors. My granny is an AWESOME woman and I plan to sit down with her soon and ask more about her life and her siblings.
M JFebruary 19, 2015 at 9:37 PM
Thanks Siobhan. I have so many great memories of my grandmother. She told me so many family stories (including secrets) that I cherish to this day. I miss her dearly.
Vashti (veepeejay.com)February 18, 2015 at 11:38 PM
Love this MJ! Wow..I had no idea you were born in the UK! A lot of Grenadians migrated to the UK as well. It’s great that the kids get to have the best of both worlds.
I can see both you and Zoe in the pics of your grandmother!
M JFebruary 19, 2015 at 9:36 PM
Hey Vee. Yep, I’m a Brit by Birth but Jamaican by blood and heart. LOL. The UK is probably the second largest melting pot country of Caribbean culture. I love that. West Indians are worldwide.
Christine @MomsNChargeFebruary 18, 2015 at 11:50 PM
Love, love love this post/story MJ! I’m first-generation American and my kids also are growing up with a diverse background (Uganda/Rwanda and Haiti). I’m really excited to teach them their history and heritage and all that our families stand for. Thanks so much for sharing your story and these beautiful photos.
M JFebruary 19, 2015 at 9:35 PM
Thanks Christine. Oh, I would love to learn more about your family and your history. I love that our people are so diverse.
ArielFebruary 20, 2015 at 11:51 AM
This one touched me, MJ! Your grandmother would be so proud of you, mama. Thanks for sharing your story.
M JFebruary 25, 2015 at 2:14 PM
Thank you Ariel. I appreciate it.