Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Not so Wordless Wednesday: The Activists

Adopted Paternal Ancestry

Cesar Chavez, Vernon Sukumu and Walter Porter
Circa 1976
Courtesy of Conley Major

Cesar recently celebrated his birthday on March 31st.  This is the day where we celebrate the life of one of the founders of the National Farm Workers association.  Cesar was a Farm Worker, labor leader and a civil rights activist.  My father Walter Porter was an activist on many fronts.  I believe he was the NAACP President of the San Diego Chapter during this time.  Vernon Sukumu was a social activist also in the San Diego Community.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

No Better Time but the Right Now Time - Family Stories

Maternal Birth Ancestry

[l-r] Felicia, Cecilia & Esther Munoz
circa 1932
Courtesy of Ermalinda Espinoza
The very thing that I want, is the very thing that has made me reluctant. I want to know more about my maternal ancestry, however, I have dragged my feet in connecting with the very people that can and may be willing to share information with me.

Being adopted can have its disadvantage in pursuing a family reunion. My reluctancey and insecurity has become a challenge in speaking with one of the elders of my maternal line. I was really unsure as to what their reaction would be towards me.

Four months ago, my Aunt Priscilla gave me my Aunt Felicia aka Alice's number. Alice is my maternal grandmother's sister. I was thrilled, and knew that it was imperative that I contact Aunt Alice, as her health had been declining. Knowing this, I still didn't call her until today. When she answered the phone and I told her who I was, her reaction was welcoming and she acted as if my absence had not been an issue.

We did some small talk, and then I asked her one question, "Did you ever live in Arizona?" She said yes. She lived in Arizona until her father passed away. She had just graduated from high school and went to work in San Pedro, California to work in a cannery, where one of her aunts worked. She said her mother had it very hard after her husband died as she had nine children that she had to care for, and the youngest was a baby. The older children worked to help support their mother and their family.

Aunt Alice and I agreed that we would keep in contact...I believe that she is ninety.

Note: My mother Ermalinda scanned some photos for me, so that I would have something to write about. I want to publically thank her for her kindness. [Photo is of my Two Grand Aunts and my Grandmother, only Aunt Alice is living.]