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My Life

            There are 6 people in my family and we are African Americans. I have 4 siblings, one girl and three brothers that were born in Opelousas. When I was two years old my father left us. Growing up in Opelousas was a lot of fun. In those days it was still rather rural. My friends and I grew up playing stickball, dodge ball, and other neighborhood games. .
             While growing up in Opelousas, my mother passed along all she knew about the family history. I knew my family history "by heart." I was told how African Americans were treated during slavery and in the society I grew up in. During the fifty's African Americans were denied access to many businesses and were thought to be inferior beings. My family was poor; we remain this way for a long time, and face great barriers to our acceptance in a white society. Many of my family members did not speak much English because our family spoke Creole (a broken down language of French.) My mother, who raised and supported her family by doing domestic work, headed our home until her second marriage. She faced economic problems that many African Americans families faced. .
             We would celebrate the holidays by inviting all of our relatives over for Christmas Eve dinner. My mother would cook a huge meal. My favorite holiday memory is receiving the puppy I wanted all year. You should have seen the smile on my face! I'm very happy that my family has kept the family tradition of the family gathering on Christmas Eve. I always look forward to spending that holiday with my extended family. .
             Our home was a happy home and was church oriented. I was raised as a Baptist and attend church regularly (Sunday School, BTU, etc.). My mother is a great spiritual influence; especially seeing her commitment to prayer and fasting impacted my family believe in God. I have old-fashioned values because of my home training as well as religious affiliations. My family believes it takes a whole village to raise a child.

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