Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Home

Cultural Discovery and Identity Project Generation Journey

Pamela Monk Kelley

Contents of Curriculum Unit 97.04.06:

To Guide Entry


The Bible defines the family as an institution of God lying at the foundation of all human society. It is monogamous in nature, where similar personality traits, virtues, religious faith, habits and idiosyncrasies are shared through many generations. It has been aptly expressed that families are the primary agents for perpetuating, social class, life-styles, values, nationality, and racial distinctions, and concomitant cultural histories (McAdoo, 1993).

There has been a drastic breakdown in the family structure which weakens the existence of a “Typical American Family”. The profile of a “typical family” is a mother, father, and children living together under one roof. Due to the trend in delayed marriages and childbearing we can not continue to rely on the myth of the typical family and it is one of the reasons why this nation has grown morally weak.

New figures in 1996 from the Census Department reveals that nearly 29 percent of all households are occupied by married couples without children at home; 25 percent are married couples with children 18 or under at home; 25 percent are people living alone; and less than 10 percent of every other combination. Just 44 percent of households are with two-parent family with children. In a 1970, a high proportion of one-parent households were characterized by Puerto Ricans and Afro-Americans, typically headed by females. It’s not the shape of a family that’s important, but how people strive together to make it work.

As America change, we are forced to live in a “parental disengaged” society. Research by Lawrence Steinberg shows that 25 to 30 percent of parents appear to be disengaged in their children’s lives. Many will say that the problems with this society and the lost family values are told rest in our abandoning the sacred institution of the patriarchal family with daddy firmly entrenched at its head. But other will say women are mostly to blame. Women failing to keep to our appointed place and offer alternatives, not repressive to family values. Malcolm X stated, “a nation is only as strong as its women.” Maybe, if the old-fashioned family values were in place, there would be mandatory school prayer, no homosexuality, no sex outside of marriage, no single mothers others than widows, and no need for sex education, much less than condom distribution, in schools, and crime would practically disappear.

A study by the Pew Research Center found that the problems and challenges faced by 1900s moms are related to changes in the lives of women and the evolution of the American family. The researchers questioned 1,101 women, 74 percent of them mothers. Of the total sample, 42 percent were employed full time, 15 percent part time, 21 percent retired and 22 percent not employed outside the home. The study has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. According to the survey, moms today feel guilty and thought that their mothers did a better job of parenting and a large proportion of the women favored more-traditional family settings. Only 17 percent said most divorced couples who split custody of their children can do a good job of parenting and fewer than 30 percent said most single mothers, stepmothers and couples in which both parents work full time can do a good job. Despite the guilt and self-recrimination, most mothers said they were mostly satisfied with the job they’re doing raising their children. It is a difficult task working full-time and trying to balance motherhood with other aspects of their lives.

The dramatic growth in single-parent households can have a direct impact on creating a “deadend” on your pilgrimage. The inability for multi-generational network might be a result of: poor family relationships, different modes of family interaction, death of parent, the absence of one-parent, but most often the custodian parent being uncooperative by not allowing the child to be associate with or have information concerning the whereabouts of the estranged parent.

The family understands why you are because you share the same bloodline and experiences. The values and things that are important to you also continue to make you the unique individual that you are. We find that who we are and who we can become depend in great part upon who we started out to be (McAdoo, 1993). The parents are the link to the past and an endless source of wisdom. Being a parent is not easy. Most parents were never trained to be parents, yet being a parent may be the most important job they will ever have. There is a growing need for parents to attend workshops, in employment skills, child care, child development and parent advocacy. During my tenure at the Juvenile Detention Center, I was alarmed to the number of parents who have become seriously disengaged or disconnected from their children’s lives. These same parents are uninvolved with either the sources of social support or as providers of guidance or structure.

We can not expect schools to solve all social problems. This nation is pressuring the public schools to take on duties that are social, political, economical and educational.

* National Statistics show crime is at an all time high. Families are losing their children to an overcrowded juvenile system which relinquishes parents from their parenting rights. Most states have a “Parens patriae” doctrine which empowers the state to act in behalf of the child and provide protection equivalent to that of a parent. The state becomes the parent and decides what is in the “best interest of the child”. In guardianship and custody proceedings, and in termination of parental rights proceedings, the court shall consider the best interests of the child in accordance with the law. So that, the state becomes the parent, the prison becomes the home, and the inmates and staff become the family.
*Homosexuality is out of the “closet”. Many households consist of the same sex parenting. After Ellen DeGeneres’ TV character came out of the closet on National television, a teacher at Ansonia H. S., who lives in New Haven, found enough courage to announce she was a lesbian. Gay Rights are increasing and receiving a lot of political support.
*Single-parenting is as common as the “common cold”. With the increase in divorce and separation, children are being exposed to unstable conditions. At one time, single-parenting meant the mother was the head of the household while the father was allowed visitation rights. Now, it is just the opposite, the fathers are raising their children with little or no support from the mothers. The majority of these single-parent families are maintained by mothers, despite a rise in the number supported by fathers. One distinguishing feature of single-parent families is a large number of children. However, many productive children have excelled in spite of single-parenting. It has been observed for African-Americans, “as income increases the proportion of female-headed families decreases and conversely, male-headed family structures increase” One of the most disastrous results of slavery for the African family was that the slave husband was not the head of the household. Estimates reveal that “one in three Puerto Rican families is headed by a woman” (McAdoo, 1993).
*Families are literally living out in the streets. Many are suffering from terrible economical conditions by losing jobs, downsizing, poor housing, credit history and the inability to compete efficiently. There is very limited space in shelters for the homeless.
*Child Abuse and other family-related problems force the state to find other means of parenting for neglected children. They are assigned surrogate parents, or parenting is being provided by some outside agency. There are not enough foster homes to accommodate the children who are in need of care and who were abandoned by their natural parents.
*The display of valueractices, mostly determined by the way one looks.
The directive #15 of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, a document drafted in 1977 that sets racial categories for all federal record keeping, including the U. S. Census, defines blacks as having origins with the black racial groups of Africa, but it defines whites as having origins with original peoples of Europe, the middle East and North Africa, including Egypt. However, in Detroit, a dark-skinned Egyptian immigrant issuing the federal gov identity and family information on both sides. Knowing your parentage is imperative to the success of this curriculum. The students that have lack of knowledge of their heritage would be required to adopt an ethnic perspective and become a member of that particular group. By adopting a family, students will develop the sense of family and start a circle of recovery by healing the wounds of parental disengagement. Hopefully, for those that have experienced poor parenting, they themselves will become good parents.
The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service (NCCES), released a publication on “Strengthening Family Relationships.” By achieving these things to a high degree, the journey to a better and successful family. There are many things which contribute to strong family relationships: learning, loyalty, love, laughter, leadership, commitment, appreciation, communication, time together, spiritual wellness, and coping ability. It does not matter whether a particular family is a nuclear family, a step family, a single-parent family or an empty-nest family, it usually consists of related people who care about each other (NCCES).
Family ethnicity in America has taken on different orientations and configurations. Differences among them are merely the consequence of unique demographic and ancestral backgrounds, cultural histories, ecological processes, and economic origins and statuses. (McAdoo, 1993)
With America experiencing the immigration waves, we should know the contributions of major ethnics and racial groups, with special emphasis on Black and Hispanics, to the development of the “American Way of Life”. For so long, these two groups have been omitted from history books and they’ve shared the responsibility for the economic growth of this country. But the Black Americans were the only ethnic group brought to this country against their will and they are part of the involuntary minority group. Native American, Puerto Ricans and Chicano are also part of the involuntary minority group because they were conquered. Many other immigrants came to America (the voluntary minority group) with a different mind set, in search for streets “paved in gold”. But what they’d found the streets were not paved at all, and they were expected to pave them.
Classifying immigrants have been a task for the American government. Historically, there has been a great debate on how the federal government defines racial classification. In your research you will discover the inconsistencies in reporting practices, mostly determined by the way one looks.
The directive #15 of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, a document drafted in 1977 that sets racial categories for all federal record keeping, including the U. S. Census, defines blacks as having origins with the black racial groups of Africa, but it defines whites as having origins with original peoples of Europe, the middle East and North Africa, including Egypt. However, in Detroit, a dark-skinned Egyptian immigrant issuing the federal government to change his racial classification from White to Black. He stated the classification based solely on his country of origin, has kept him from seeking jobs, grants, scholarships and loans as a member of a minority group. Even though he’s from Egypt, his ancestry is from the ancient black Kingdom of Nubia, now part of Modern Egypt and Sudan.
But some Black Americans, being of mixed heritage, are finding it difficult to depend on one race to define their cross-cultural roots. Tiger Woods, the first Black Masters Champion, who refuses to accept the classification of African-American because of his mixed heritage. President Clinton is proposing a bill to deconstruct the notion of race, “The Tiger Woods Bill.” He wants to add a new classification box on forms and Census 2000 called multi-racial. I believe the notion of creating “A New Race” is to satisfy this country’s need to keep Blacks oppressed, not to unite America, or make this a “Color Blind”society. There are very few among us who are pure anything (including the President), ethnic and racial groups have always cross-fertilized. Let’s not destroy or set back the advancement of Affirmative Action and other minority supported programs.
What is it to be an “American?” The ethnic person has been used as a case study in transcending the complex maze of barriers, pedestals, doors and trap doors that form the boundaries which confine human being to “groups.”

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One of the problems of the 21st Century will be the problem of Identity. Questions like, Who am I?, and Where did I come from?, will be more difficult to answer with the progression of the issues of ethnicity and diversity. Ethnicity reveals itself in the customs, rituals, values, attitudes, and personality types of individuals (McAdoo, 1993). An individual’s family ethnicity clearly establishes the core of his being. Because of my membership of a benign and truly pluralistic society, my research was necessary for racial and cultural identity. Being of mixed heritage, as many African American families are, I wanted to learn more about my rich heritage and it had to start with me.

Many can not give a name to their mixed heritage. Students are faced with the dilemma of describing their background by the origin of their last name, or depending on their more prominent features. Just recently, Tiger Woods age 21, who was described as the first Black Masters Champion in golf, said it bothers him when people call him an African-American. He stated, while he was growing up, he came up with this ethnic group, “Cablinasian”. Woods found this was the best word that describes his background of one-fourth black, one fourth Thai, one fourth Chinese, one eighth white, and one-eighth American Indian. However, when he was in school he checked off African-American and Asian, because of the way he looks. By racial is meant an anatomical designation based on biological criteria. More precisely, a race is a category of persons who are related by a common heredity or ancestry and who are perceived and responded to in terms of external features or traits. (McAdoo, 1993)

I teach in a placement where the population consists of approximately 20% White, 40% Black, 30% Hispanic, and 10% other. McAdoo disagrees with metaphors of “unmeltable ethnics” which does not go far enough to show the effects of cultural contact and exchange. Metaphors like the “Melting Pot” where the pot is expected to melt away all of our differences, and we would all become North Americans, without respect to our ethnicity, or the “Salad Bowl” which has been used in Canada are not as appropriate as “Stew and Stir Fry”, when blend together or comes in contact with each other, they are better than all original ingredients alone. Based on the “Stew and Stir Fry” metaphor, the main goal is that each group will become richer and more resourceful, and yet each maintain the integrity of the original group.

“Education must not simply teach work—it must reach life.” WEB Dubois. Students should look in the past to learn lessons on how to avoid repeating mistakes that other generations have made. This genealogical curriculum unit allows each individual to research their origin and explore cross-cultural roots of students experiencing difficulty with the colorline and identity. The individual is encouraged to see their family larger than just membership in a group that share’s place of origin or race, or social class or religion. The concept of ethnicity is when one is a member of a group that shares’ place of origin, or race, or social class, or religion (McAdoo, 1993).

The Northeast Consortium for Multicultural Education (NECME) in 1993, defined Multicultural Education as “a dynamic and lifelong process of teaching and learning that fosters critical thinking (knowledge), cultural awareness (awareness), language proficiency (skills), cooperation, self-esteem, community concern and transformative social (action). This curriculum is divided into the four components; knowledge, awareness, skills and action.

At the Juvenile Detention Center, I teach in an environment where young people are forced together for periods of time. I am involved with a difficult student population who are in less than an optimum educational setting. They come and go frequently so that while the number of students remains fairly constant, the rate of turnover is not conducive to receiving a good education. This curriculum will be integrated throughout the courses and enable students to see the relevance of the curriculum and apply it to their own lives. It is a perfect opportunity to explore diversity and genealogies.


1) To build an awareness of one’s own cultural heritage, and understand that no one culture is intrinsically superior to another.
2) To acquire those skills in analysis and communication that help one function effectively in a diversed community.
3) To understand that in some degree all people, especially Americans, have experienced a variety of cultural influences and the educational aspect is to learn the realities of the American experience.
4) To understand the Multicultural Education as a process which empowers teachers and students to become positive change agents with the knowledge, skill, sensitivity, understanding and empathy to influence the world around them.
5) To design a Genealogy Book that focus on cultural awareness and sensitivity, understanding, tolerance, and support networks and collaborations with other students. Including culturally (self-discovery, identity, diversity) games and activities which deal with the impact of different cultural histories, values, and expectations.
6) To create a resource room for education that is multicultural which would contain texts, videos and audio tapes.


The primary focus is on cultural awareness and self-discovery. The students will develop a strong sense of who they are and where they are from by sharing their individual experiences and diversed backgrounds. The cultural activities and games enable the students to promote cultural diversity in the classroom and in their daily lives.

The Family Tree Journey Project is a supplement to the cultural awareness and self-discovery process. Students who desire to take on the task of searching for their family ancestry and are aware of their basic family information, will welcome the genealogical assistance from this curriculum.

The Family Tree Journey is quick and easy to follow. You enter basic family information just if you were filling out a form. From the information you enter, you can track an individual’s medical history or write several pages of stories. If you have a CD-rom drive, you can use the Family Finder view to read Family Archives and the Family Finder Index. Then you can research your family history right from your classroom. Family Archives are CD’s containing information from a variety of records, such as census records, marriage records, social security, death benefits records, and linked pedigrees.

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Instructional Goal

Increase awareness about other cultures

Key Concept

Knowledge—Promotes cultural diversity. The Stew and Stir Fry vs The Melting Pot


1) Gain information and increase awareness of each member in cluster
2) Write a group biography according to their different ethnic group

Instructional Delivery/ Student Activities

1) The class will be divided in groups with at least three ethnic groups
2) There should be a different scribe for each activity in each cluster
Each student is to

1.) Introduction: introduce by age, grade and ethnic group
2.) 1 st chapter: tell their earliest memory
3.) 2nd chapter: tell about their family
4) 3rd chapter: tell about a favorite Holiday celebration
5.) 4th chapter: tell about their most embarrassing or memorable moment
6.) 5th chapter: represent with a cultural piece depicting their ethnicity
7.) Final Chapter: create how it will be in the future.
10) Stir-Fry Day: Sharing and Caring, and reading of group biographies


Book: Hands Around the World

Personal Computer use in education
Use of television to interact with people from other parts of country and world

Group Work

1) Group biography of each cluster
2) Students being able to share something about each student in their cluster
3) Create a school library media center that is the focal point of the school
“They were nothing more than people, by themselves. Even paired, any pairing, they would have been nothing more than people by THEMSELVES. But together, they have became the heart and muscles and mind of something perilous and new, something strange and growing great. Together, all together, they are the instruments of change.” “The Melting Pot Fallacy” is more of an idea of melting away differences and ignoring ethnicity. Instead, the “Stew and Stir Fry Fallacy”, when blend together or comes in contact with each other, they are richer and more resourceful.

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Instructional Goal

Examine positive and negative aspects of ethnic experiences in American History, heritage, and contemporary life.

Key Concept

Knowledge—Contributions of major ethnics and racial groups.


1) To address historical and contemporary perspectives of ethnic experiences
2) To cover heroes and heroines in the ethnic population

Instructional Delivery/Student Activities

1)Use culturally diversed games and activities which deal with the impact of different cultural histories, values, and expectations.
2) Each student is required to report on a legend from their ethnic group.
3)Each student is required to report on a grassroot community leader.
4) Reenactment of Slavery


Games:Trading places,
Board Games:Family Fued
Current Events/Daily Newspaper
Reference Library of Hispanic America
Reference Library of Black America
The Latino Experience in U.S. History

Written report on heroes and heroines in the ethnic population

“Heroes come and go, But Legends never die”

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Instructional Goal

Show an understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity

Multicultural Principle

Develop multiple perspectives

Key Concept

Awareness—The cultural environment molds the way one thinks


1) Students will be able to share individual experiences and diversed backgrounds

Instructional Delivery/ Student Activities

1) Complete Cultural Awareness and Identity worksheet, and exchange it with a partner
2) Class will discuss differences and similarities within and among ethnic groups
3) List most common “stereotypes” within and among ethnic groups.
4) Diversity Scavenger Hunt

Materials/ Resources
Worksheets: Awareness 01-04

Games: Name Game, Diversity Scavenger Hunt

Cultural Awareness and Identity Worksheet

Assessment/ Evaluation
Ability to address the enigma of cultural, racial, and ethnic identity

List of stereotypes

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Instructional Goal

Show respect for the student’s first languages and dialects

Multicultural Principle

Cultural Learning styles

Key Concept

Skills: Language, communication, and interactional styles of involuntary cultures


1) Find a vehicle for those who share the unique experiences of being Latina in the United States.
2) To understand other forms of communication.

Instructional Delivery/Student Activities

1) Translate a document written in “Spanglish”

2) Define given words using the Black English Dictionary

3) Write a sentence for each word

Materials/ Resources
Talkin’ and Testifyin’ (Black English) by Geneva Smitheman

The Language of Black Americans by Geneva Smitheman

Latina Women Magazine, The language of Puerto Ricans

City of Babylon: Skills 01

Assessment/ Evaluation
Translate Spanglish to English

Usage of vocabulary words

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Instructional Goal

Develop a strong sense of who we are and where we are from

Multicultural Principle


Key Concept
Action: Family Ancestry


1) Gather information and design a Genealogy Book
2) Preserve family history for future generations

Instructional Delivery/ Student Activities

1) Students will use Family Finder view to read Family archives and the Family Finder index
2) Fill out Pedigree and Family Group Sheet

Materials/ Resources

1) Computer
2) CD Rom
3) Family Tree Maker ( The best way to Preserve and Organize Your Family History), Broderbund Software
____Books: Roots by Alex Haley, Ancestor Hunting by Lorraine Henriod
____Movies: Roots, Queen,

Assessment/ Evaluation
Genealogy Book

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Get Ready!!! You are going on a Generation Journey. On this journey you will meet distant relatives just by traveling down memory lane with your parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, elders, or some family friend who may have known your family well. This is an enormous project. You’ll find exciting details about how you trace your heritage in the United States and even back to your homeland. Hopefully, you will learn about your family origin. I suggest that you purchase two notebooks, one for the family of the husband and one for the family of the wife. Make sure you pack all the things you might need; your notebooks, camera, tape recorder, camcorder, writing utensils and a whole lot of passion to uncover your family’s rich and exciting history.

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The identity process appears to be very difficult for many individuals. Thinking about the many facets of one’s personality can require a lot of thought. You are different from any other person in this world. Your name, qualities and features are items that create differences even between identical twins. By taking on this project, you are about to began an never-ending journey. You may learn more about yourself and meet fourteen people who came before you, your two parents, your four grandparents, your eight great-grandparents—from whom you inherited the color of your eyes, the shape of your nose, and perhaps your thirst for music. The information that you gather will benefit generations to come. This journey is smoother when it begins with YOU!!! Why you? “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”, (a quote by Ancient Chinese Philosopher Loa Tzu). You may run into ditches, crooked roads, long and busy highways, traffic jams, dead ends, but you must continue to follow the signs that direct you to your destination. You know more information about yourself than anyone else. Your knowledge about the generations before you will help the generations after you. Preserving the family history for future generations will be a wonderful contribution and a gift of heritage to your family, present and future.

The willingness to examine one’s own ethnicity, attitudes and actions is the first step towards self-awareness. The innermost recesses of oneself is the ethnic self (McAdoo, 1993). How you think and feel about your ethnicity or learn more about who you are, involves getting familiar with your ethnic identity. Being able to go alone where you want to go or where spirit tells you to go, even if you have to go alone and finding joy in that solitude, above all the ethnic self is knowing that alone you are whole. In the final step towards self-awareness the individual has reflective and positive ethnic, national and global identifications and the knowledge, skills and commitment needed to function within cultures throughout his or her nation and world. “But where was I to start? The world is so vast, I shall start with the country I know best, my own. But my country is so very large. I had better start with my town. But my town too, is large. I had best start with my street. No: my home. No: my family. Never mind, I shall start with myself!” Elie Wiesel, Souls on Fire

Begin your journey by writing the “story of your life”. Your autobiography will serve as a guide and give you the opportunity to think of many questions to ask the others. Include facts that you remember about your past and traditions that your family may have.











Complete the Pedigree Chart and Group Worksheet for your family. The word pedigree means the line of ancestors of a person or an animal.

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Nationality (origin)—The status of belonging to a particular nation by origin, birth, or naturalization. A people having common origins or traditions and constituting or being considered to constitute a nation.

Your Nationality _____________________

Ethnicity—The conditions of belonging to a particular ethnic group often variable traits including religious, linguistic, ancestral, or physical characteristics. Ethnic identification or affiliation with a group, country or origin as distinguished by customs, language, and common history.

Your Ethnic Group _____________________

Race—A local geographic or global human population distinguished as a more or less distinct group by genetically transmitted physical characteristics. Any group of people having the same ancestry or family; any of the different varieties of humankind usually identified by anthropological terms or common designations of the white race, brown race, black race and yellow race.

Your Race _____________________

Foods _____________________



Customs _____________________





Legends _____________________





Traditions _____________________


Origin of your race _____________________


Trading Places

Note to person filling this out Please fill this out and exchange it with a partner that you don’t know anything or little about. Write down things about that person by just looking at them.

Note to person reading this Please read all the responses carefully. Then pick one at a time, in any order, and ask questions to clarify their meaning. Please share your own insights and thoughts as you engage in dialogue with the writer of these comments.

Nationality _____________________

Ethnicity _____________________

Race _____________________

Religion _____________________

Gender _____________________

Socioeconomic Status _____________________

Age Group _____________________

Urban-Suburban-Rural _____________________

Profession _____________________

Comments _____________________







Tower of Babylon

Bilingual Education was designed to create a learning environment which enable students to take the fullest advantage of their educational opportunity by learning in their first language while at the same time becoming thoroughly proficient and skilled in a second language.

Dialect is a variety of spoken languages which differs from the standard from of the language and is used by a group of speakers who are sometimes set off from others geographically or socially.

Spanglish is a combination of Spanish and English. Mostly spoken by the spanish-speaking community, when there are limited words in the Spanish vocabulary.

Black English is a mode of communication used by predominantly Blacks with limited education. It’s culturally influenced and sometimes refer to as Ebonics.

Team up with a spanish-speaking student, and translate the following passages into standard English (Taken from Latina Magazine)

“Henry, after all, is the ultimate macho, John/Wayne in a sombrero, every assimilated Latina’s dreams. Combining Harvard polish with the gritty roots of the Mexican revolution, he has reached political glory as the quintessential crossover. And !ay! can he speak Spanish.




Tito Puente brings his famous sabor to this pollo recipe.


Reading with los ni’nos


Esquivel: el padre of space age pop.


Define the following words using the Black English Dictionary






Your Parentage

Now you are ready to follow the paths that lead up to your here being. This would be your parentage. Some sort of knowledge about your parentage is imperative in order to continue this journey. “People without knowledge of their past is like a tree without root”. Its when you embrace your past you can move forward. Sometimes it’s okay to let your past drive you, but don’t let it drive you crazy. If you are ashamed of where you’ve come, many will be ashamed of what you’ve become. This project is so enormous that you should choose between your maternal (mother) or your paternal (father)’s ancestry. It even gets more complicated once you begin to develop many family linkages.

Take your Pedigree Chart and interview your parents. Ask them to remember as far as they can go and to reminisce about any fantastic stories they’d heard while growing up. Write a short narrative about your grandparents. If you have lack of knowledge of your heritage, adopt an ethnic perspective/or research the family you are familiar with. Many people have been raised by loving step-parents, foster parents, adopted parents, or extended family members. While others have experienced parental disengagement and choose to forget that dark side of their lives. There are many family secrets that might foster resentment and hostility amongst family members. So Beware! Be sensitive and choose another path to complete your journey. Preserve the knowledge that you know, so that you can develop a sense of family and begin a circle of recovery.

To figure out one’s ethnicity you must be aware of your grandparent’s ethnic background.

Each grandparent represents 1/4 of your heritage. If a grandparent has dual background-from two separate ethnic groups (Black/ Indian) then assigned 1/8 of heritage to that grandparent.


Maternal Grandmother (1/4)_____________________

Maternal Grandfather (1/4)_____________________

Paternal Grandmother (1/4)_____________________

Paternal Grandfather (1/4)_____________________

Your Ethnicity is _____________________


Maternal Grandmother (1/8) ____________________ (1/8) ________________

Maternal Grandfather (1/8) _____________________ (1/8)________________

Paternal Grandmother (1/8) ___________________ (1/8)________________

Paternal Grandfather (1/8) _____________________ (1/8)________________

Your Ethnicity is _____________________

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Many surnames underwent considerable changes in form of spelling as the languages were slowly evolving. Your hereditary surname (last name), or some semblance to the original name might have a meaning and its significance may be explained by your family elders.

In most African cultures, children can have up to (20) names. The father is usually the one to name the child or children. The practice of naming boys after their father came from Western European influences. The most common names were after someone the father admires. This happens one week after the child’s birth. We have also found that the child begins to act like the person they are named after. The child would probably be called three names in the household.

1) The first name would be the day of the week the child was born.
2) The second name would be based according to the birth order of the child (1st., 2nd, etc.)
3) The third name is chosen by the father.

There might be additional names based on the position in the family, circumstances surrounding their birth or their physical features. They also acquired names through personal achievement and status.

Based on your birth order, position in the family, physical features, days of the week, month, etc. Make up at least three names that fit your personality.

Example: Nyamekye-God’s gift, Asante-Ethnic group, Naledi-Star, Maanu-Second Born, Amma-Born on Saturday

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Diversity Scavenger Hunt

Diversity is everywhere—in your home, on the streets, in school, in magazines, in nature. Find a person who fits each statement listed below and fill in the person’s initials and information.

Has his/ her name mispronounced __________________

Has a close friend of another race _____________________

At times has been made to feel inferior _____________________

Has worked for a woman supervisor _____________________

Wearing something made in a foreign country _____________________

Has read a book by Alice Walker _____________________

Knows what “Nisei” means _____________________

Has an “abuela” _____________________

Belongs to a club or association with diverse membership __________________

Can explain Title IX _____________________

Can name 3 prominent Hispanic Americans _____________________

Speaks another language _____________________

Can cook ethnic food _____________________

Knows how to be an Active listener _____________________

Can dance 3 dances from another culture _____________________

Knows some Black English _____________________

Has Artifacts in home or office from another ethnic background _____________________

Has attended an ethnic festival or cultural event _____________________

Owns/ wears ethnic clothing _____________________

Has been to another country _____________________

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Afro-American Press, Reference Library of Black America, printed in 1994.

Broderbund Software, Family Tree Maker, 1993, 1994, September 1995

This step-by-step guide tells you what questions to ask, where to go, and how to find important facts about your ancestors. You can go straight to the information regarding your heritage and by pass any information that isn’t useful to you.

Education Guidance Service, Reference Library of Hispanic America, printed in 1994. An encyclopedia exclusively about Black Americans

Globe Fearon, The Latino Experience in US History, Chapter 26, pgs. 338-347. Dealing with the notion of being a Latino in the United States.

Globe Fearon, Multicultural Milestones in United States History, Volume 1 to 1900.

This two-volume series introduces episodes from United States history seldom covered in depth in traditional textbooks. Here you will discover fascinating stories of the diverse peoples and cultures who shaped the United States from its very beginning.

Haley, Alex, Roots.

The author was able to trace his ancestors back through slavery in this country to their beginning in Africa.

Henriod, Lorraine, Ancestor Hunting, Julian Messnex, NY. 1979.

A guide to help search for your ancestors.

Hoffiman, Gary B., Who Owns Genealogy, Cousins and Copyrights.

An internet web site explaining copyright issues.

Latina Magazine/Bilingue, Summer 1996.

This magazine happens to be one of those beginnings. A vehicle for women who share the unique experience of being Latina in the United States.

Latina Publications, 1500 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10036, 212/642-0600, Fax 212/921-5173

McAdoo, Harriette Pipes, Family Ethnicity, Strength in Diversity, 1993.

Exploring the concepts of race, ethnicity, culture, multiculturalism, gender, diversity, learning styles and the shared classroom experience.

Milord, Susan, Hands Around the World, Williamson Publishing Co., Charlotte Vermont, 1992. 365 ways to build cultural awareness and global respect. Activities for daily use to expose children to cultural celebrations and traditions. Includes art, recipes, and family tree.

Phillips, Dr. P. Bertrand, Bermultinational Limited, Multicultural Education; Starting with self, July 12, 1995. SCSU. New Dimensions in Early Childhood Education.

Multicultural Awareness and Valuing Diversity seminar.

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World Wide Web

Genealogist’s index to the World Wide Web,

World Family Tree-Broderbund Software-The URL is: http://www.inlink.com/`-nomi/wftlist.html

Library of Congress Local History and Genealogy Reading Room-

The URL is: http://lcweb.locgov//rr/genealogy/

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Reading List for Students

Brusca, Maria Cristina and Tona Wilson, Three Friends: A Counting Book, Holt Publishing. Your child will learn to count in two languages while reading about the escapades of three mischievous cowboys.

(To order, call 800/488-5233)

Gonzalez, Lucia M., The Bossy Gallito, Scholastic Publishing.

This humorous Cuban folktale describes the madcap adventures of a bossy rooster who faces off with a bunch of uncooperative characters.

(To order, call 800/325-6149)

Jimenez, Juan Ramon, Platero and I, Clarion Publishing.

The Spanish classic by a Nobel Prize-winning author is a collection of short vignettes about a man, his beloved donkey, and their adventures in 1920s Spain.

(To order, call 800/225-3362)

Sertima, Ivan Van, They came before Columbus, The African presence in Ancient America, Random House, New York, 1976.

Compelling, dramatic and superbly detailed documentation of the presence and legacy of Black Africans in Ancient America.

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Contents of 1997 Volume IV | Directory of Volumes | Index | Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

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