Post
Experience Project iOS Android Apps | Download EP for your Mobile Device

Half Of My Heritage

Hello all!

I'm still quite new here and this is my first story. Well, I'm biracial (my mother is white and my father is black) and on my mother's side, I've got Danish in me. My grandparents immigrated here after WW2 but during the war, they had fled to the UK not long after Germany invaded Denmark and took over the country. But before leaving Copenhagen, they helped quite a few Jewish people escape to the safety of Sweden and took an active part in one of the Danish resistance movements (the Holger Danske), and knew they had to flee Denmark immediately to avoid capture by the Nazis. They settled in the UK and experienced the aerial bombardments that Germany was putting on the UK.

After the war, my grandparents decided to immigrate to the US and settled in Virginia Beach, VA (my birthplace) to start fresh. They noticed how different the US was compared to Denmark pre-Nazi times during the 1940's, mostly segregation, which they could not understand because in Denmark, everybody, regardless of what their heritage was, was treated equally. While here, they took on quite a few jobs-my grandfather was a limo driver, and my grandmother was a cook, fixing Danish (she was big on ribbensteg-roast pork, frikadeller-Danish meatballs ,flaeskesteg-roast pork with crackling, and of course, the famous smorrebrod sandwiches)  and American cuisines for a very prominent family in Virginia Beach. 

Around the time that my mother came along, which was about a decade later, my grandparents had earned a substantial amount to look after all of the family, and my grandmother hired herself a maid from Mississippi named Mary, which she wasn't very well educated and the only words Mary could speak was,"Well, Sally Ann, well", but Mary was a wonderful woman and was with my grandmother for years. My grandparents took Mary everywhere they went, and wasn't happy about how Mary had to sit seperately from them when they went to any public establishment in the South.

I didn't get the chance to meet my grandfather-he passed away in 1969 (10 years before I was born) on a train in Miami, FL during a business trip at the age of 55. Of course when my brother and I came along, my grandmother taught us our Danish heritage. She passed away in 2002 at the age of 88, but I still hold on to this part of my roots, as well as my other part.  
Dee1979 Dee1979 31-35, M Feb 18, 2012

Your Response

Cancel