Just the Beginning
Despite the fact that I was adopted to an Italian-American family, I embrace the truth that I am a young, African-American female who has lots of questions about where I come from and from who. After watching “African American Lives 2” and Alex Haley’s “Roots” collection and “Queen”, I truly felt inspired. I was inspired to discover the answers to my beckoning questions. I set out to contact my biological family, and I was successful in doing so. We spoke many times, and then finally we had The Talk. We spoke of my ancestors and the obstacles they overcame. I learned that some of my ancestors actually bought their own freedom. I also found out that one of my ancestors was a teacher at Tuskegee Institute. She taught under the presidency of Booker T. Washington and was either George Washington Carver’s instructor, or he was hers.
Well, I took my hearings, and applied them to www.ancestry.com. I paid, but it was worth the money. I found countless information about my ancestors. I discovered that I am a descendent of Donato Bello, a man infamous for his illustrious affair with one of his slaves. However, I am not an offspring from his affair but instead from his wife. Along the way, there were many affairs that occurred to produce me. This is all based off of my biological grandmother’s side from my birth mother. I unleashed the unbelievable. I found out that I am not only African American, but also: Italian (Italy), Spanish (Spain), French (France), French Canadian, Native American (North America), German, and Swedish. How is this possible? Rape and incest. Due to slavery, many of the slaveholders had unwanted affairs with their slaves. As a result, because of lack of diversity amongst the slaves on the plantations, eventually slaves were mating with their own relatives.
On my Papa’s side, I was able to trace one of my ancestors back to Africa. It is difficult for me to conclude if he is a mixture of other nationalities besides African, but that alone is okay. My furthest finding, has brought me to the 1500’s. My ancestors first came to America in the early 1800’s, 1700’s, and some earlier or later. Some of my ancestors, my Native American ancestors, have always lived here in America. Although I have gotten far in my findings, this is only the beginning. My search is nowhere close to finishing. I am continuing to ask questions to other relatives, and my goal is to get my father to help me explore his family genealogy. This is my story and I’m proud of it. I am America’s Melting Pot – all nationalities compiled into one. ME.