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The Art of Storytelling

Me and Mom (Kathy Bartney). 
She took me to Europe as a child to persue her dreams as a singer
Fascinating storytellers! 
My grandmother at 16. 

I was invited to share the shady areas of my family tree that I am most thankful for (hahaha) at a unique and charming night called Shaking The Tree in Highland Park. I was touched by the stories that we shared that night.

I come from a family of writers, farmers and educators. My grandmother was the first Black teacher in Fortcobb, Oklahoma. My great, great uncle was the first Black cowboy to lead a parade. My cousin in the 1920's was a professor and invented a breed of cow. My mother was the first out of 8 children that followed her dreams and moved to Europe. I'm proud of my family and it is nice to know who my ancestors are and continue to be. My family always concluded we were mixed with Indian because of our hair type and our connection to Indian culture living in Oklahoma.  We are on the tribe roll of Cheyenne, Cherokee and Chickasaw but to my surprise we were never related by blood. Somewhere along the trail of tears my African family from Ghana was adopted by tribes and we became "family."  Although we my never know the absolute truth, my ancestors can be traced back to China and Ghana when several people in my family used an ancestry site.

My father is from Louisiana and my roots can be traced to England, Belgium, Holland, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Jamaica.  My grandmother is creole and speaks French at 92 years old. I am relearning who I am. 2016 is a new chapter of discovery.

Treasure family stories. Treasure your elders.
Stay tuned..

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