BLOODLINESPosted May 26th, 2011 by Thomas Norman DeWolf
As we reached Alabama yesterday, our first stop was with family in Tallassee. It was my first chance to hug the newest members of the Morgan clan.
Although Morgan is my married name and I have been divorced from Mr. Morgan for many years, I continue to consider my in-laws and their children as part of my extended family. In genealogical parlance these are called “fictive” relationships.
In black families, we are known to adopt people as daughters, sons, aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters, brothers… all types of relationships that are not based on blood but on emotional connection.
I sometimes wonder if this proclivity emanates from the historical fact that so many of our blood relationships were severed and lost as a consequence of slavery. I often wonder about the children who were sold away from their parents, the marriages that were disallowed, the families, villages and nations that were torn asunder.
I KNOW my eight great grandparents were not all only children. Who were their mothers and fathers? Where are their brothers and sisters? Where are the children of their brothers and sisters? Are there children born before Emancipation that disappeared into history?
I marvel at the magnanimity that enables us to put new feet in the shoes of the lost. And I thank God our children will never have to face the anguish of the disappeared.
Eastern Mennonite University
Harlem Book Fair
Phillis Wheatley Book Award
Post Racial Society
Summer Peacebuilding Institute
Tulsa race riot
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