I have a Scottish great grandfather!

What does the above sentence mean?

Nothing! It means absolutely nothing nor does it take any blackness away from me!

I am saying the above because if having Scottish family means I will inherit some pounds or I’m part of an unknown dynasty that has a fortune then yes, I will proudly admit to that part of my heritage but no amount of admitting to the Scottish part of me will take away the rest of me that is black.

Because I am black!

When you look at me you don’t see white but a shade of black and shades of black is what this is all about! The darker hued “coloured” from the Western Cape is running away from what is inside of them.

Stop this absolute nonsense of aligning yourself with white when it’s evident by looking at you that you aren’t!

I have a maternal grandmother from Namaqualand and a maternal grandfather from the Eastern Cape who legally changed his surname to that of a more “coloured” sounding surname. He was isi-Xhosa and unfortunately they both passed away so that means I could have a slew of family from both grandparents that I will never know and that saddens me. It saddens me because the white side of my family has kept records of who my relatives are including those who have changed to white when they had the opportunity to do so.

I’m not upset with my grandfather because he made decisions based on what he felt was good at the time but I am upset at the destruction of everything black. The record keeping that he could have “hidden” away in his papers along with his birth certificate so that upon his death we could discover the papers and find out more.

Yes, I’m frustrated and upset about that.

I think one of the most beautiful gifts to give your children or grandchildren is their heritage. It’s great when they have an idea of who their ancestors were. I’m sure based on only the above that we have a rich history and unless I do the genealogy I’m unlikely to know my family and where talent or traits stem from or hereditary diseases but I am curious and I’m sure I will discover that we have a wonderful melting pot of people from different races and cultures. People who have come together and fallen in love in spite of the race wars and segregation happening and that in itself is indicative of just how strong love is and how love survives even when it’s crowded by so much hate.

Being black is not something dirty or something to be looked down upon but rather something to be celebrated because there’s a rich cultural history attached to black people as well as a deep sense of humanity, empathy and love. The spirit of ’Ubuntu’ is enough to make me want to dance for joy and to celebrate my blackness.

We are no better than a darker person simply because our “shade” of black is lighter. Nor does the various shades of black give us license to hurt family members we may not even know we have.

Science has shown that we humans originated from black people, from Africa and that the only pure aspect of a “race” is the gun going off at the start of a marathon.

We need to learn our history, grab it with both hands, embrace it as we would a long lost cousin and stop the denial of our blackness simply because we may be various shades of the same colour.