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My Lineage

The Roots of Life

By Sai Marie JohnsonPublished 7 months ago 3 min read
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My Lineage
Photo by Gal Revina on Unsplash

My lineage.

My lineage is riddled with a story that is about melting pots – people of variations of races and typically the impoverished somehow. What they all had in common was being on the end of the social spectrum that didn’t appreciate their existence.

I come from Keetowah, Scotch-Irish, and way back six generations or so – Creoles, and even an African American slave ancestor who was brought over from Guinea.

I am the product of many cultures and ethnicities, thoughts, opinions, and beliefs.

As we all are.

Some of those influences were undoubtedly set in place by Colonialism. I would ask how each person on earth has not been, somehow? Even the most remote places and tribes that we warn people to stay away from have somehow been brought into contact with the idea of advanced civilization somehow being better than whatever they had going for themselves.

Perhaps, in some cases with infrastructure and certain scientific advances, that might have been true but for the core part of collected history it has actually caused far more destruction than good.

I feel compelled to share a story about a history of people who by all intents and purposes would not be here if not for stepping out of line.

My Native American ancestor chose to run away from the Trail of Tears while pregnant and her husband died days into the route march. This woman chose to brave the swamp and bayou of Mississippi in order to escape oppression and give her child a better opportunity. Later, she encountered a Scottish immigrant who was in the area for contractor work, and he was seeking a wife. He married her, and he gave her child his English last name – McKenzie, and yes this traces back to Clan MacKenzie and their Castle.

Historically again and again, my ancestors tended to the ones born out of wedlock and by horrible atrocity such as slave rape, indentured services, etc.

These two ancestors – had other children and one of those children’s name was Lene. Lene was born the half-white and half-black daughter of the 11th Richest Plantation Owner in the State of Mississippi – a fact I am not at all proud of but is in my history.

Lene, however, was granted her freedom and was what The Gulf area called the Gens de Coleur Libres, the Free People of Color. Lene married a man named Manuel McKenzie, the son of my Native American ancestor and her Scottish husband and they went on to have more children and one of those children was my Native American grandfather’s mother. My grandfather was far more Native than his mother even, however, and my mother as well.

However, despite all this none of my relatives made it onto the Dawes’ Rolls but my genetics and my history and family stories as well as the research I have done show that these are factual pieces of my personal history.

I am BIPOC, but at one time we were called ‘Mulatto,’ we were called, ‘Creole,’ and we still exist. We are the descendants of Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans – and for centuries we’ve watched our relatives on all sides warring against each other and trying to force us to choose a side – a color, an identity that separated us from our loved ones.

Today as I look around, I know I don’t look like some of my brown relatives. I know that I don’t like quite like my European ones either, and I’ve never been more proud to be different because it seems like historically, it was always people like us who saw the error in all of this and somehow, even now – we still exist staring in horror wondering when the rest of you will wake up to recognize that blood quantum law, separation on basis of what we each look like, and any type of genocide is an assault upon us all?

So, please tell me – which side should I choose? The European, the Native American, the trauma from my stolen African ancestor who is the only recorded African in her family from Africa as nobody knows what happened to her tribal family in Guinea or where she actually came from to that point…as I see it, they all matter.

Strange – isn’t it, even now that’s how I see it.

It all matters – wake the fuck up.

#ceasefire

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About the Creator

Sai Marie Johnson

A multi-genre author, poet, creative&creator. Resident of Oregon; where the flora, fauna, action & adventure that bred the Pioneer Spirit inspire, "Tantalizing, titillating and temptingly twisted" tales.

Pronouns: she/her

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