There is nothing like knowing about your people, your tribe, your family. For many of us is not just a process of collecting information it is more than that. Sometimes we just want to know, do we belong? Where do we belong? So many make me feel like I have no place here.
I had a great conversation with one of the amazing people I get to help and she mentioned that as as Latina she struggled so much because so many people made her feel like she did not belong and then to top it off nobody like her was ever mentioned in any of the History Classes. As I helped her we found out her family’s history practically goes back to a very early growing, young, developing country called the United States. Not only that she found out her family were important contributors to the economic growth of this country as Spanish, Mexican & Cuban natives. She says these words that still resonate “Mi gente estuvo aquí también” (My people were here also). So when people speak of history and don’t mention people like many of us she is empowered to say “I know my people were here also, and this is what they did..” To just know this bit of information has given her a sense of “I belong here” and it has empowered her to not struggle with that word many of us are so familiar with “Belong”.
I can speak for myself when I say that as I look at my story it has empowered me that I feel like I have taken control of my family’s narrative and it is empowering to know who were my indigenous ancestors, who were some of my african slave ancestors, how far my history goes back to that island that is always so close to my heart, Puerto Rico.
For all of us the reasons for being empowered by knowing your history will be different. What would empower you?