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Once Upon A Time When We Were Immigrants
I knew her as Mama
My Grandmother immigrated to the United states well over 50 Years ago, I really never knew my Grandmother until later in Life, except for bits of a memory of a beautiful Woman. I remember back then she laughed a lot, I tagged behind her whenever I could. I loved my Grandmother yet the need for a better way of life one filled with opportunities made her immigration necessary. She was quite the prankster I must have been no older than age three Years old maybe younger, I hid behind her skirt tail as the Jonkunu dancers made their way into her little wooden storefront, similar to a shanty. Nothing much to speak of, we were pridefully poor. She directed me to hide behind te counter which I did, As her laughter permeated I looked up in time to see her point in my direction, I, of course, was a cry baby, so yes I cried hanging on to my Grandmother. What? they were scary! That was the last time I saw my Grandmother prior to her Immigration. Our Culture, our way of Life, everything we know we leave when we move for opportunities. It is scary taking chances, but Immigrants must be in dire need to take that chance. We are all entitled to taking care of our Families, no one has the right to deny anyone that advantage.
I didn't see my Grandmother again until I was eight Years old when she came home to Jamaica for a visit. I recall a slender built, beautiful Woman with hair that brushed the top of her waist she a testament to her East Indian heritage. I was fascinated with this beautiful Woman that let me tangle her hair in braids, making a mess with a comb and brush. Then as if it never happened she was gone again. My Grandmother did not waste her time here, nor did she threaten, rob, steal nor was she a threat to the US. My grandmother worked very hard as a Nurse.
She left her Children, her whole way of life in order to give us opportunities. We, her Children, Grandchildren, and Great-Grandchildren I would hope have made her proud of her sacrifices. We are Nurses, Accountants, Business Major's, Counselors, Computer Programmers, aspiring Screenwriters, Soldiers, a brick builder, Business owners, Real estate Brokers, College students and because we possess the I can do it spirit; here recently an aspiring poet. We owe America a great debt a debt we have tried to pay by living a productive life giving back to society when we can.
It is with such hurt and anger, yes anger that I look at the heart of the Man who has been given the title of US President whose Father himself, was also an immigrant, (a Nazi sympathizer) and could have been denied entrance because of his standing and Political views. It is because of Men like Trump that I resolved to capture as many images and stories of Immigrants, not for him, but for the World that is watching to know that Immigrants have always been welcome first by the Native Americans, and now the People who stand in solidarity for a worthy cause.
I hate to attach this to the beauty that is my Grandmothers story, however, it is important to let it stand as a reminder that none! Are directly American by Heritage, with the exception of the indigenous People. But by virtue of having Great, great grandparents however many times removed who immigrated when America was being developed. It is the birthplace of Nations because of those early settlers Those who occupied America prior to Christopher Colombus. Yes now we have birthed our Children and see our future generation firmly established, but we have no legal claim to deny anyone access who have been vetted and issued visas. Those who like the now President's Grandfather sought sanctuary in America.
The Immigrant The First Trump
"Biographer Gwenda Blair reports that Frederick Christ Trump was born in the Bronx on October 11, 1905. Trump was one of three children of German immigrants Elizabeth (née Christ) and Frederick Trump. He had a younger brother John and sister Elizabeth Trump Walters (1904–1961). His father Frederick Trump, originally named Friedrich Trumpf, had immigrated to New York City in 1885 from the small German town of Kallstadt, Palatinate (by then part of the Kingdom of Bavaria). He returned to Kallstadt and married Elisabeth Christ, a much younger neighbor, in 1902. Friedrich Trump's name was recorded as Trumpf on the passenger list of his ship when he immigrated to the USA. Britt Peterson of The Boston Globe reports, based on the Blair biography"
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