We provide our children with the basics (food, shelter, clothing) and sometimes, our religious ethics….but what about their DNA?  Even when we, as adults don’t know about family history beyond ‘our grandparents’, what we do know, ‘they’ (the youngsters) NEED TO KNOW.  Why?

  1. They actually want to know (although they may not verbalize it).
  2. They need to know the TRUTH from us seniors, not from the (streets).
  3. They need to know in order to know about themselves (why they have these physical, and emotional attributes; knowing who had the same talents, dreams, AND the same traits…how their ancestors handled them can focus on how  (we, in the present handle these situations!!!

The more the children know, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem, and the more successful they believe their families HAVE/WILL function.

Hearing these stories will give the children a strong ‘intergenerational self.”

Family history is important for your health.  Even though you cannot change your genetic makeup, knowing your family history can help you reduce your risk of these health problems.

Here is a {peep] of information that would arouse their interest and guess what…these listed will bring out more from the youngsters as they will be even more interested…

1. Where YOU grew up; what were your parents like; your siblings, grandparents…

2. Who were/are your friends; what was school like for you; what did YOU do for fun when YOU were a child/teenager

3. How did you meet your spouse/ who were YOUR childhood sweethearts; why did YOU break up?

4. What ‘important’ lessons have YOU learned in your life?

5. What did YOU love /hate about YOUR friends/teachers/elderly people/home/church?

6. What books/movies/games/foods/sports/did YOU like & participated in?

7. When did you first encounter racism/what did you do about it then & how do you feel about racism NOW?

8. What were some illnesses did YOU have as a child? Do you still have symptoms now as you get older?  Who else in our family had these illnesses?

What did YOU want to be and who did YOU want to be like as a child/teen/and now?

What are some things/people YOU are really proud of and why? What are some things/people YOU are ashamed of and why?

SHARE your heirlooms and photographs/reunion stories.  Get the oldest family member (even if they can ‘hardly’ remember to share their family memories; go on family history field trips (the cemetery/cities, churches, hospitals, schools that YOU/OTHERS went to!!!

NOTE:  Often, we are too busy with daily tasks/pleasures to give OUR TIME…REMEMBER, THE TIME IS NOW!  WE MAY NEVER HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE OUR HISTORY TO THOSE WHO NEED TO KNOW and That’s why it is and should be a pleasure to GIVE to KNOW, APPRECIATE SO THIS  ‘HISTORY’ WILL NOT BE LOST!!!!!

On a personal note, my maternal family (the BROWN/MOORE Family from Attalla) and my paternal family (the JELKS family from Rock Springs) have shaped me into a proud ‘Child of God’ now.

Thank you, Grandparents, Ilafrancis/J.B. Brown and Gussie/Mack Jelks; Parents, James Judson Jelks/Juanita Brown-Jelks; siblings, Kathryn and  Cynthia and the historical Southside community!!!!

HISTORY cannot/should not be erased, forgotten, or ignored.  It is what it is and thank GOD, we are ONE in MANY!!!

Brenda M. Jelks~Hutchinson,

appreciative, respected and loved

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