legacy: anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor
Well, I am back from my vacation. It was a great visit. My husband and I are originally from Chicago, so we spent the last week there seeing family and friends and just falling in love with the city again. We have never gone back in the summer since we moved to LA, only at Christmas. And if you know anything about Chicago, you know that the weather is CRAZY in the winter time. So, we never go anywhere when we are there. This is what its like:
So you can understand why we pretty much stay in the house when we go in December.
But summer is another story. We had a blast. My mother had a backyard bar-b-que and many friends and family came over to see us. Well, you know how it is when you get around family. You get to hear all the great stories and family lore. Sometimes you learn something surprising. As I was looking through an old photo album that belonged to my grandmother, I noticed a small clipping taped to the front. Mind you, I have looked at this same album a million times over the last 3 decades and have never noticed this clipping. The clipping revealed to me that my great aunt, Janie L. Lester had earned a Bachelor's Degree from Spelman College and a MA from the University of Wisconsin. It also stated that she was the head of the Language Arts Dept, but it did not say at what institution. When I asked my mother about it, she said that she was the Dean of Women at Georgia State College, now Savannah State University. I was floored. I have heard countless stories over my life time, lots of them funny, some of them sad, but all of them interesting. But I had never ever heard this one. If you have read my blog before, you know that I am an African American. To have a great aunt accomplish something like this in the time in which she did it is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a story that my family needs to tell. But to tell it, we must know it. So, I started researching and have not come up with a lot, but I did find this:
This is a photo of a dorm named in her honor on the campus of Savannah State University. Unfortunately, the dorm has since been torn down. All the same, this is my family's legacy, our heritage. I was proud to be a part of my family anyway. I come from a long line of strong women. It just warms my heart to know that I was not the first to go to college and get a degree, and I am confident that there will be many more to do so in the future. My great aunt has given us this legacy to inspire us to look toward an incredible future as a family.
There is lots more to tell and pictures to post but I wanted this story to have its own place. Check back for more vacation stories soon!