Have you guys seen this commercial by a large cosmetics company that purports to tell the ‘story’ behind a given celebrity’s skin color?
In one spot they have a celebrity like J-Lo saying, “There’s a story behind my skin.” And there, near the bottom of the screen, flashes the phrase “100% Puerto Rican.”
Or another celebrity’s “behind the skin” story is “100% Mexican-American.”
Better yet, there is a well known singer/performer who is identified as “African-American, Native-American and French.”
Now, in the words of Oprah Winfrey- circa 1987, “Caller you say what?”
I think part of the problem is the confusion that so often accompanies terms like race, ethnicity, nationality and God knows what else.
Granted, these are all human constructs but that’s a conversation for a different day.
Anyway, I decided to touch on subjects of ethnicity and race in order to introduce a new series that will explore the experiences of a Southern family with an extensive biracial heritage.
Just so we’re clear, it is my family’s story.
Guys, believe me when I tell you that I am so excited about this endeavor because it is a collaborative effort among several family members including me and my cousin Ron as well as our parents(his Mom, my Dad) –whom most of you know are full siblings.
There may also be guest posts or pictures from others in our family who might like to contribute.
By the way, the new series will be called “The Flowering Vine” and it will replace Ron’s Time Tunnel on Fridays.
Now, before you decide to gather the villagers and attempt to burn me at the stake for replacing Ron’s Time Tunnel, I’d ask you to note that “The Flowering Vine” is Ron’s brainchild and it was his decision to end the Ron’s Time Tunnel series.
But, that said, he will continue to share his amazing writings on his own blog, The Time Tunnel.
You know they say you should never mix metaphors.
Now watch me mix the aforementioned floral imagery with talk of food.
Like most African-Americans, the story behind our family’s skin color can best be described as a tasty gumbo or stew–No doubt a complex preparation that took years to perfect–albeit often involuntarily.
That said, for those of you who would like to know more about the recipe, I am including the following list of countries/ regions/groups that have contributed ingredients to our particular stew:
Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Nigeria, Benin/Togo, Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Denmark, Italy, Slovenia, Czech Republic, England, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Sweden and Asia.
Don’t forget a dash of Native-American.
Oh yeah, before I go, let me advise you that with this new series comes a caveat.
In the words of my dear cousin Ron, “All the lies we tell are true!”
No seriously, The Flowering Vine will include writings based on historical records, DNA ancestry reports and events involving real people and places. However, we reserve the right to include a little hyperbole, exaggeration, imagination and poetic license.
That’s how we do it in the South 😉
Also, when reading these posts, please bear in mind, that one person’s perspectives and version of reality are his own and they may or may not resemble or align with those of another person–even when referencing the same set of events.
—–End of Caveat!
I hope you guys are open to explore this new project with us.
Hit me up in comments 🙂
Lady G 😘💋