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*JUNETEETH 50th Birthday Reflection*


Even through research, I have yet to discover who my grandmother was before the age of 15 when she married my grandfather and moved to St. Louis. She died when I was only 8. My mother died at the age of 48.


My dad's grandmother was born in 1904 (or 1902) to a family of sharecroppers. I wish I could talk to her about life in Arkansas before she fled the South. But, I remember her hands, leathery and taught. I remember her eyes before dementia. How they sparkled when she laughed, and she was always laughing.


Today, I am 50. I am a first-generation college graduate and the first in the family to complete three graduate degrees. I had to overcome so many heartaches, struggles, insurmountable debt, gender discrimination, racist institutions, racist people, and so much more to be here.


My ancestors had to fight hard for me to be here. I won't stop until their stories are told until my story is told.

I AM HERE! I REPRESENT AN ENTIRE RACE OF VOICELESS PEOPLE. I PLAN TO SHOUT UNTIL SOMEONE HEARS. I AM HERE!

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