Many times I’ve been asked ‘How I do celebrate Black History?’ and ‘What does it really mean to me?’. Black History means many things to me but most of all it’s a way to celebrate my family’s heritage. Well, my Father, Edward J. Frazer, is from the Caribbean and was in the military when he met my Mother, Thea Von Streller who was from Germany. Throughout my life, I’ve been surrounded by people from various cultures. My Mother adapted to the Caribbean lifestyle, but my heritage knowledge came to me when my Brother and I sent to live with my Grandmother, Granny, in the Caribbean.
I remember it as if it was yesterday. My brother and I arrived to the island during the summer time. After being picked up from the airport, we arrived to the photo shop where my Aunt worked at the time. Later that evening, we were taken to Granny’s house in TuTu (Hidden Valley). She sat so silently…so regal! As we got introduced to everyone, she did not say much but you knew right away that she was a person you were not going be messing around at all.
During my first few months on the island, I got to hang out with the Seniors of Ana’s Retreat Senior Citizens Center because my school’s transcript had not made it to the island as yet. It’s amazing what you can learn from the elderly. This is when I got to know the active side of Granny. She loved going to the Center and played an important role there. I learned so much and got to take part in many activities. I didn’t want to go to school when it came time for it. The wisdom I got from being apart of these women and men, is priceless!
For those who knew Granny, knew she was a faithful Christian devote to the Seventh-Day Adventist religion. Thus, it was an understanding that anyone who lived under her roof went to church and though she did not expect you to become a Christian, you had to respect her religion and her house rules. So, every Saturday, I went to church with her. I even graduated from the domination’s school and even got baptized before coming to the United States. Even though, I do not practice the religion any more, Granny’s introduction to the religion has been a good foundation for my journey on life’s path. I call myself ‘spiritually inclined’ and will pray in a heartbeat pretty much anything, including my ‘enemies’!
Granny was the person who taught me how to cook; showed me how to laugh at my flaws; showed me wisdom; how to become strong in the toughest of times but most of all showed me what ‘true love’ really is – even if she never uttered the words from her mouth. She was a firm woman but loved her family deeply. Although she is not in our lives physically today, she lives on with us through her teachings and memories!!! In loving memory, I have enclosed her funeral brochure and added a few photos.
WHAT DOES BLACK HISTORY MONTH MEAN TO ME
Black History is a time when African-Americans
Can take the time out and see what the people before
Them fought for.
Black History is a time of rejoicing, celebrating
And thanking those African-Americans for giving
Us hope or a life lesson that could be used.
Black History is a time when we can be reminded
About what it means to be an African-American.
Black History isn’t just about all the bad times
We’ve been through. It’s about integrity, leadership, and determination.
It’s about showing your true character.
THAT’S WHAT BLACK HISTORY MONTH MEANS TO ME.
BY: BRANDON FORT