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Christine Castro

Phi Alpha Theta Induction @ Buffalo State October 24, 2013

Dr. Gates- I am the eldest of the fourth generation of immigrant great grandparents. Raised in a Latino household, my Puerto Rican father and African American mother were raised in extreme poverty and racism. As children they rarely shared their experiences. Raised in a Irish community and the only black student in my elementary classrooms until junior high school – growing up in the AME Church was my introduction of black history. It was not until I enrolled in my first college course (aged 50), when I was deeply thrown into the boughs of African American history. Now, months away from graduation with my Baccalaureate in History and enrollment in the Masters program/Museum Arts, I will continue to honor my immigrant grandparents to encourage genealogy research to high school students. For I realize the importance for our people to embrace, learn, and accept their history and lineage. As a descendant of Mexican, West Indian, and African heritage I embrace the legacy left for me to research and share. I am thankful for your PBS specials as it has answered, challenged, encouraged and extended my educational experience. Today as a grandmother to a 4-year-old – for him my journey continues with the steps of my great grandparents to sojourn as far as this experience carries me and beyond his grandchildren. Thank you!

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