Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I'm back in NYC, after an amazing weekend in South/North Carolina. To be specific, I'm keyless, trying to get into my apartment, stuck in the corridor between my front door and the prison gate the leads to my actual apartment. Waiting and thinking...remembering my house has wireless.

In this empty hallway, I understand how full this weekend was. Many times I wanted to write through my journey, but felt the need to really be in it. Video footage was taken, and Nomad•ness will have a future treat for sure.

I am proud to have watched my younger sister accept her first college degree. Furman University, and their self-righteous crowd were blown to bits at the applause my family designated just for her. Donning an Africa cutout on her cap, Sarafina is officially a college graduate.

I haven't been down South in years. I believe the last time, I was dating Reg, and anyone who knows me personally knows that one has been done a long time ago. In reality it's been about six years. Six years since I've seen the old land plantations, heard that southern drawl I mimic certain family members for acquiring, since last witnessing the big bellies and fried heart attacks served on plates at restaurants, and most importantly since seeing my grandfather.

My roots in the South run deep. With my father as the unofficial family (and Black History) historian I've always been very aware of my ancestry. Down the street from my grandfather's home is the family cemetery. It acquired this label for generation after generation of Robinson and Brevard occupants.

Yesterday afternoon, my sister, grandmother, aunt, and I all drove down the street and walked through the tombstones of my great grandparents, great uncles, great aunts, and great cousins to name a few. This burial ground houses many of my relatives born in the late 1800's. It's not big, but it's well known.

Along with the cemetery, the road my grandfather lives on is jokingly called Robinson Road. Literally, an entire street, leading to that cemetery, is housed with my relatives, in some way, shape, or form. Our roots go deep...

But this particular weekend was not about the men. It was the women. From my sister being the honoree of the day, to Mother's Day, the women were the powerhouses of this weekend. Within the safe confines of the female discussion, I learned many things about my family that I didn't previously know. Some of the trails were worse than I imagined, while the triumphs were praised. My sister and I are only the second generation in our family....all those roots, to go to college. A particularly poignant moment for my grandmother who looked on as, this year, Furman also announced the 50th anniversary of the class of 1960. As one would imagine, there wasn't an African-American face in that crowd. During this visit, I learned a lot about my grandmother...her loss, decisions, and strength. This woman I've always been close too, amazes me more.

So I'm back. As per usual, trips to the South always mold me immediately after. With this trip so soon after returning from abroad, I now not only have a sense of the world but also my roots...


TheGreatestDane said...

What a powerful combination, knowing where you've come from and where you've been...I'm pleased for you and that you got the trip in for your sister.

evierobbie. said...

Thank you! It is definitely a lesson in perspective.