Friday, August 14, 2009

A Fresh Look at Heritage

Its nearly always great to see the 'boys and girls' you grew up with. It's really great when you see that their doing well. Elaine Ford-Evans is one of those old friends (I don't think she'll mind me mentioning her. I know she won't mind me mentioning her daughter Erin! She is quite a writer and copy editor for The Root, an online magazine. Another mutual friend, Seneca, keeps me abreast when Erin has an article posted.

Someone once said, 'Those who forget the past live an unauthorized existence'. I like Erin's writing because she's a young lady who senses and sees the historical significance of the contemporary. Here's an excerpt of a recent post on her summer trip to Barbados...

"While growing up in Dallas in the '90s, my comfort zone was in the winding streets and paved sidewalks of the integrated suburbs. A country girl I was not. But my family took many road trips across the Deep South, and I got to see my fair share of the countryside. Whether it was to Hooks, Texs, or Jackson, Miss., I always had at least an inkiling of fear when we stopped for gas. My multi-culti upbringing often clouded thereality of racism, but in those places, I could still feel its undertones. I questioned every side-eye, every murmur, every Confederate battle flag sticker in the back of a Ford F-150 on Interstate 20."

"Traveling through Barbados, I felt like a kid again, in the back seat of a van, touring the unknown. But this time, I didn't feel the same racial angst when faced with the unknown. I wasless skeptical, much more open to a new environment. This trip to the Caribbean was about more than rum and relaxation; it was a chance to explore the unknown, and in the process, connet to an African heitage that seems so distant from America. Its not somthing I can quite articulate, but while passing tall stalks of sugar cane, with a Big House far off in the distance, I got a glimpse of Barbados' rich history and felt like I was right at home."

Erin provides an intimate view into her spiritual anxiety as a young girl and the ancestral knowing of a young African-American woman. Though at home in both cultures, feels the mystic tug of her heritage in a place she sees afresh and she shares it with a simple profundity that is touching.

Thanks Erin, for such a sensitive and revealing look into your heart. Thanks Elaine, for sharing Erin with the rest of us!


Anonymous said...

Nice article and no, I did not mind you using my name.



BeBeau said...

I am so pleased to know little Elaine incorporated the sense of history and high regard for her community that her mother, grandmother, and their extended family demonstrated in their fully lived authentic lives.

Elaine had a talent for being wiser and kinder than most of her peers. So it seems Erin just had to pick up the ball. Thanks for highlighting one of old north Dallas's legacy families.b