African American Lives
Analyzing the Evidence
The Science and the Investigators
Who am I? A Genealogy Guide
Sharing Stories
For Educators
About the Series

Sharing Stories
One Families Story: Read a story matching the term you chose:
STORYTELLER: Grandmother and great-grandmother LOCATION: Cuba YEAR TOOK PLACE: 1800s

My grandmother, who's Cuban, told me the story of her great-grandmother. She often told us in English and Spanish that her great grandmother was a West African who ate with her hands instead of utensils, spoke a different language which we suspected was her native tongue and practiced her African religion and Santeria heavily. My grandmother said she was very dark but pleasing to the eye. She didn't talk often just smoke tobacco, but she had several children by a Spanish white man. My grandmother is what they would call a quadroon I guess but when she came to America during the Batista era, she was classified as colored.

When I became interested in my hertiage, I suspected that my great-great-great-grandmother's slave ship must have stopped at Cuba before coming to America and that she must have been a slave working in the sugarcane fields. I know nothing else of her side of family because the majority of them are still in Cuba today and with Bush's strict visitation laws, we don't talk to them much anymore.

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