(VIDEO) Teaching our Son About Segregation his Grandfather Endured

My Father passed away before our son A.J. turned 2 years old. We talk about Granddaddy all the time. His pictures are around our home. But it saddens me that A.J. won’t have any memories of him or learn from him. Thanks to Wells Fargo, we are featured in a video where I share the challenges of teaching our son about segregation his grandfather endured.  It’s an untold story, but similar to so many African Americans who grew up during the Great Depression and Jim Crowe era, like he did.

I’m sharing how my Father endured discrimination while growing up in Charleston, South Carolina in the 1930’s and 40’s. My Father attended segregated schools where he told me what it was like to read from tattered, old books white students had used years ago. Hear how my Father’s early years of segregation are so different to A.J.’s life here in Atlanta. Our son has attended several diverse preschools with children of all colors, religions and backgrounds. It’s something my Father probably dreamed of us a child, but never experienced himself.

My Father’s Untold Story

We shot the interview at the Arnika Dawkins Gallery in Atlanta. It was an amazing backdrop to show A.J. the work of Gordon Parks that reflects the era his Grandfather lived in. The playground photo, more than anything else, encapsulated the segregation my Father endured when he chose to watch baseball games from a tree, instead of sitting in the colored section of the baseball stadium.

The Kinsey Collection

I was recently introduced to The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey – Where Art and History Intersect. It’s a traveling art exhibit that’s been on national and international media. The Kinsey Collection is also part of a national tour presented by Well Fargo Bank to mark the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. There’s also a 198-page coffee table book with images from the art collection.  It’s filled with untold stories of Black history with paintings, documents and artifacts from Africa, Europe and the United States. You may recall the video I shared featuring actor Lance Gross and the first African Americans to serve in the U.S. Congress. Without them, we may not have had an African American president.

My Father’s Untold Story could have been a part of the Kinsey Collection.  After his military service ended, he moved to Harlem, NY. Although he hoped the North would be more welcoming of Negroes, he told me the racism he encountered in the 50’s was more covert or undercover.

Comment below: what is your family’s untold story of life in U.S. or your country of origin?

Thank you, Wells Fargo for helping share my Father’s untold story to create this video memory for our son.

Wells Fargo also presented other Kinsey Untold Stories on YouTube that would be great to share with your family. It’s a short film series featuring celebrities and African American bloggers. Also visit the Kinsey Collection page by Wells Fargo.

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VIDEO: Teaching Our Son About Segregation His Grandfather Endured

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Wells Fargo. As always, thank you for reading our blog and supporting our sponsors.

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing the story about your father. Not only does it share your history with your son, but it’s also a lesson for those of us who may not be as familiar of the realities of life during the times of segregation.

  2. I really liked this video. I was all into it. Great stuff and I am so glad that our children can experience things once never thought about.

  3. You did such a great job with the video, Joyce. I think we all need to share more of these stories with our children, so they can appreciate their family’s history.

  4. This is very cool! It is always nice to document and share the stories and istory that some will never understand.

  5. What an awesome project. My parents grew up in S.C. as well so I’ve heard some incredible stories. My grandfather was a share cropper so they had a tough life. He could not even look a white man in the eye for fear of being lynched. The segregated schools were sub par and they had to purchase expensive, used, outdated books. My Mom would tell us how she would cry watching the school bus drive by as she picked cotton in a field. (Believe me, I use that story often when the kids complain about doing homework or chores) Thankfully they are around to share their stories.

  6. My family is from all over the world, I am sure they have quite a few stories of their origins.

  7. What a great video! Such a great way to pass along family history!

  8. Oh, Joyce!! How beautiful!! So very moving. I have a HUGE lump in my throat . . .
    Here’s a partial list of how that lump came about . . .
    The things your father endured . . .
    The image of him and his friend in the tree, watching baseball . . .
    The fact that he’s not here to share the stories with A.J. himself . . .
    How much you must miss him . . .
    That you’ve taken on the challenge of sharing his life and all of the injustices he suffered with A.J. . .
    The two times you were able to get footage of your dad and A.J. together . . .
    The close-ups of you and A.J., cheek to cheek, with his sweet hand reaching up to touch your face . . .
    Thank you so much for sharing this . . .
    We’re going to be coming up on this horrible part of History before too long and I will share this amazing video with my girls then . . . I want them to know, too, that this isn’t just the stuff that’s in books, just some pictures in galleries . . . You do a beautiful job of highlighting how remarkable it is that we are where we are now . . . after not that many years ago . . .
    Thank you.

  9. What an awesome gift you will be able to share with A.J. The hubby and I created a documentary of our parents and grandparents will I was pregnant with my first son to make sure we had something tangible to share with our boys!

  10. This is such a WONDERFUL story! This is my favorite video from you site to date! So touching. A wonderful way to share your past with your son and generations to come. Bravo! Makes me want to put something together, so my daughter will have a living history of her “Pap Pap.”

  11. Sorry for your loss. I thought this was a great video. The husband and i need to take our kids to some of these places. We also should probably let then talk to some of their relatives about segregation as well so they can hear what it was like for them back then as well.

  12. I loved this video. i think A.J. Would have learned a lot from his grandfather and still will since you will be able to pass along what he shared with you.