- I'm a mom and a graduate student in Michigan. My family is from Cadiz, Kentucky. My grandmother always told me stories about her "full-blooded Cherokee grandmother" and she has always been very proud of our Cherokee heritage. Unfortunately, however, the rest of the family is not interested, probably because my great-grandparents made the decision to "pass" and so the family never identified as being anything but white. From what I hear, any evidence of our Cherokee ancestry has been destroyed (besides, of course, the fact that my grandmother and all her siblings look OBVIOUSLY Cherokee...) Whether I can prove it or not, I know that I am in some sense Cherokee. I want to know who I came from. I want the real story. I want to know what happened back then that would cause people (my great grandparents) to turn their backs on their own family. They lived in absolute poverty in a dirt floor shack, suffered from alcholism, abuse, mental illness... would it have been much worse to be Indian? I wasn't there and I don't know. But I want to, since even my own children are living with the consequences of whatever happend back then (a suffering mother raises a daughter who suffers unless something stops the cycle.) Except for my grandmother, I don't speak to those people. So, I am searching for answers, and maybe a sense of being rooted somewhere with some people. I look white, but that's not a heritage. Those aren't "my people". Maybe I don't have a people. But one of the only few people who loved me as a child, the only one who ever truly protected me, says she is a Cherokee. I want to be whatever she is.
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