I have ancestors that my uncle on my moms side traced back to South Carolina. Those relatives were on my moms grandfathers side. My dads side also claims South Carolina as an origin for our family. I know little to nothing about any of my South Carolina relatives. But, it's my moms mothers side that I know the most about. That particular part of the family is where I have the strongest ties and bonds. That side traces back to our Native American roots both on Long Island and Connecticut dating back to the 1800's. But I would never claim to be a true Native American. I wasn't reared in that tradition. I also wouldn't claim to be a true African for the same reason. I'm black from Long Island. Because of my maternal side of the family I'm blessed enough to say I'm a Long Island Native. I'm proud of that but I also recognize that I've only partially lived my life as a Long Island Native. I love my Island, but I never immersed myself in the culture. I was raised black and that was and continues to be the culture that I most identify with.
Growing up black its rare to fully know your background. Let's be honest...we were brought over here as slaves. Point, blank and period. When I speak to some of my white friends they can name 3 and four different nationalities. I can't even imagine what that must feel like. And so, I just say I'm black. Yes I have Native American blood. Yes, I have African blood. But at the end of the day, I'm just a Long Island Native trying to find her way.