As I dig deeper in uncovering my roots, I am getting more frustrated. I read different sites and databases and the same trends are at play. My ancestors were not considered to be human.
Ancestry.com sent me an email with the subject line “FREE research guide. Learn how to find your international ancestors.” and I knew they weren’t talking to me, but of course I clicked to download their “research guide to learn 3 steps to help discover your international ancestors, as well as our 7 tricks for tricky names.” As I sped read through this collection of nonessential information for me, it only reminded me that I won’t find the records that I am looking for because my people weren’t people to those people.
This “research guide” to “help discover [my] international ancestors” was full of information about different waves of immigrants “fleeing religious persecution and/or seeking new opportunities in a new land” and how to search ship manifestos for more information. According to my DNA I am 97% African so I KNOW this storyline of immigrants doesn’t play a role in the route that my ancestors took to get here. As much as people try to say slavery ended years ago, we of course are still impacted by the disruption that tearing people from their native lands in shackles and dehumanizing them has done.
I dream of knowing from what African tribe my ancestors came from before arriving to this country. I dream of the stories that should have been passed down from generations to generations of the warriors and kings and queens that are stamped in my bloodline. I dream of the stories that I could one day tell my children.
I dream of knowing.
-Searching for Stassi