Over at my Great-Grandmother's Blog I recently posted this:
i've been thinking lately that it might make more sense to tell people that my mother was a kind of creole. Doing research, i've discovered that academics identify a group centered in the chesapeake bay area as 'atlantic creoles.' the atlantic creoles are a simiar ethnic makeup to the well-known louisiana creoles - french, english, spanish, african american, native american and sometimes caribbean.
Links to information about creole people can be found here:
www.frenchcreoles.com/CreolesWeAre.html - this is a nice one with music, slide-show, videos, etc
Atlantic Creoles can be searched on Wikipedia, yielding lots of links, although they do not have a page devoted to them. I first came across the term in a text on the Atlantic slave trade when I was researching my African roots.
I know I've said before that I am grateful to all my ancestors for leading me on a search for them because I've learned so much about the world, especially Africa, Native America, and all places with so-called mixed-race populations. I've met so many wonderful people online through the course of the journey too.
But I think the single most significant discovery I have made so far has been to re-connect with the Moorish Science Temple, to read their original teachings and realize how I absorbed them at my mother's knee. This has always been my 'true' spiritual education, despite the fact that, on a conscious level, my mother tried to make me into a Catholic, something I continuously found to be at odds with my own spiritual experience and nature, and which I struggled with for years, and made various sorts of peace with, only to feel dissatisfied at the core. When I studied theology at GTU, I was very fortunate that the feminist movement was active at the time, because I found people who could hear me say that I felt my real spirituality had come to me from my mother's line, and was not from 'the church' but seemed, rather, to 'ride' along with it, rather like I was doing with Catholicism at the time. The feminists agreed that women had their own spirituality, although what they meant, and what I meant, by that phrase were not exactly identical. What I know now is that my mother had a dual religious upbringing - one in the Catholic church, which was the societally-validated norm (in highly Irish-Catholic Philadelphia), and the Moorish Science Temple, which her father's church of choice.
My reconnection with the Moorish Science teachings and my almost irrational drive to find out 'the secret' and reconnect with my roots leads directly to my present spiritual path, with Amma,and Devi spirituality, out of south India. My grandfather would be thrilled, and as for me, I feel ever-so-much, at long last, at home.