21 Feb Eboné Grayson – My Lost Heritage
The devastating consequences of slavery still affects black African Americans today. Eboné Grayson and her mother have been on a mission to find out their origin. After years of research, they’ve only been able to go back a few generations. After learning that Eboné’s great great great great grandpa was fathered by a British White man they reached a roadblock.
Eboné’s history – for now – ends there.
I don’t have to look far to know who my ancestors are and where they come from. That information is available to me, because for as far back as I could search they have always been free. Yes, their land has been occupied by multiple countries, but they’ve never been owned by another human being.
Eboné is a very talented illustration artist and designer. She is one of last years Ink Wars competition winners at the Creative South conference, and is known best for her Zodiac illustration series. Eboné currently runs her own successful illustration business; Sugar POP.
In celebration of Black History month Eboné will be sharing stories about her journey researching her origin, she’ll be talking about her culture growing up in the south and the first time she realized she was different. Eboné will also be talking to us about her black African American upbringing, in a household full of strong independent women, and how it’s played a vital role in influencing the way she problem solves today.
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Highlights and Takeaways:
• 02:30 Eboné family comes from slaves. She can only trace back to a seventh generation grandfather who was brought from England. This would be the beginning of salvery from her mother’s side of the family’s history.
• 08:11 Eboné speaks about her grandmother’s memories during the Civil Rights Movement in Jamestown, Florida. She tells the story of how her grandmother would go shoe shopping she would not be allowed to try on the shoes, or how restaurant owners would refuse to let her in.
We take for granted our rights.
• 10:10 I return to Eboné statement about people not wanting to talk about slavery. People think they are going to offend others or say the wrong thing. We should be able to speak about it to bring awareness to this important issue.
• 11:24 Eboné expresses how we should talk more about slavery, so people can learn and start the healing process.
• 12:08 I express how Eboné is creating a platform for woman to feel empowered. Eboné illustration shows every type of woman.
• 13:30 Eboné shares how she grew up in the country Geneva, Florida. She grew up with her mom’s side of the family. Eboné went to Geneva Elementary, a predominantly white school. She then went to Jackson Heights Middle School, a more diverse school, where she realized she was different.
• 15:54 Eboné talks about how other kids questioned her about speaking like a “white girl”. That was the first time she felt different than everyone else.
• 17:46 Eboné discusses how growing up she was focused on her education. She was in to academics and part of the honor societies.
• 18:40 Eboné shares how one day on the bus, a redneck set next to her and said to her “You are really pretty for a black girl.” Instead of giving a compliment Eboné was offended that race was involved.
You are human.
• 23:18 Eboné talks about how she was raised mostly by her mother and her side of the family. She still knows about her dad’s side and how her dad’s grandfather grew up in a family of eighteen kids.
• 24:44 Eboné’s traditions would involve family get togethers, like cookouts. Her family is scattered all over the United States in places like, Florida, Pensilvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas and California. Eboné’s dad side of the family gets together for a family reunion in Mississippi, there hometown.
• 26:59 I share that my family reunions are when there is a wedding in the family. I mostly go back home every two or three years to get together and see family.
• 29:58 Eboné does not remember any traditions passed down form previous generations.
You are beautiful.
• 33:05 I talk about how unfortunate I find that my six year old son know the difference between races.
• 35:00 Eboné talks about how she became interested in illustrations through Anime. She grew up watching all these Japanese cartoons, which inspired her to be the illustrator she is today. She wanted to be an animator when she grew up. Eboné even use to make her own comic books.
• 36:20 Eboné mother encourage her to draw and pursue a career as a graphic designer.
• 37:11 I share how my father encouraged my creativity but to be mindful of what to study.
• 38:08 Eboné dad also encouraged her to go into business, which at the end she needed it for graphic design.
• 40:26 Eboné shares how she started her illustration business. It started through a screen-printing class in which one of her projects ended become the illustrations of the African American woman series.
• 43:10 I express my admiration for Eboné for being so talented and creating a series that tell stories inclusive for everyone.
• 46:33 Eboné talks about how her mom really wants to know about where she came from. Her grandma had a relative and she swears she was Native American. Ebonés mother wants to take the Gene Ideology Test to know her heritage.
• 49:05 I talk about how I felt different because of my light skin, blue eyes and dark hair. I watch the Wendy show and she talks about the artist Robin Thick and his marriage to a black woman and their need to embrace both heritage.