Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lillian C. Frazier


It is truly a privilege to have the opportunity to share with the “community” via the information highway.

I have been blessed to have found my soul mate of whom I have spent the past 20 years with and also to have the blessing of children bestowed into my life. My children ages 13, 8 and 5 are truly the light of my life, and nothing is more important to me than my family.

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend my family reunion for my mother’s side of the family. I haven’t seen my family in a couple of years, and it was very exciting and healing to see the family together.

After speaking with my old known cousins, I had the opportunity to meet some of my new cousins via marriage. When all of the meeting and greeting had concluded, I took a moment to sit down and just look at the generations of hard work and achievement that lay before me. After reflecting on the accomplishments that were the successors of former slaves, farmers, and all other types of laborer it hit me. You are probably saying what hit you? The face of the black family had changed. True enough the black family is no longer pure and is mixed with the blood of slaves and slave owners, but this was a very present face that was very different.

In every family there is that “one” that my have married or had a relationship outside the race. In my family I can name ten of my relatives that married Caucasians, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and Polish Americans. This is something that has become the norm in my family, and I can bet that this is the case in most “black” families. The face of our family has changed. It is no longer just fair complexioned blacks in our family, but the new look of the “black” family is now inclusive of all races.

Let us take a look at our Presidential Candidate Barack Obama. Mr. Obama is a man who is truly African-American. His mother was from Kansas and his father from Kenya. Our presidential hopeful has half brothers and sisters, and their ethnic background is inclusive of Indonesian and Caucasian. This is the look of the new “black” family. It isn’t as special now as it was in years past, but I don’t think that we have really looked at how our families are expanding.

In this expansion of our families we still have miles to go in understanding each others cultures and diversity. At the close of our family reunion, my father requested that the family come together as he offered a word of prayer. All of the “black” looking people participated in the prayer, while the non-black people looked on as if the prayer was a spectator sport.

Religion has been the base of the “black” family and obviously this was something that couldn’t be understood by the new black family. Separate but equal…..maybe. I am all for love amongst all races, and sharing that love through the institution of marriage. However, I don’t like that we are separate in our families when it comes to certain activities. If we are “one” we need to be one across the board. Don’t get me wrong, religion is a choice, but if you are one that practices religion - prayer can be shared and offered to who you acknowledge as God.

The face of the new black family has some challenges ahead. I don’t know if we have acknowledged these challenges or even if we are aware of them. I have seen the face of the new black family and it has the possibility of being beautiful, but currently it is in the stage of a makeover and it is a makeover that is definitely going to take some time.

“Silence is a sin. Your voice is a blessing, so let it be heard loud and clear.”

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