In Brooklyn, New York on July 10th, 1979 that was the day I decided to make my grand entrance into this world. At birth I was given an ascribed status of an African American female, which would play an important role in my life as I grew older. My parents were married and very young at the time of my birth. My maternal grandparents thought it would be best if I lived with them while my parents worked and went to school.
This arrangement worked out for several years and seemed beneficial for both my parents and I.
I lived with my grandparents until I was about 5 years old or when my mom and dad divorced. As a result of the divorce, my mother became a single parent. My mother raised me on her own until she met Mr. Wayne. After the divorce, my dad lost contact with me, our relationship became estranged. During that time my father earned his achieved status as a dead-beat dad.
That status would soon change when my father met his second wife. My step-mother expressed to my dad if he wanted to be with her, he has to be involved in his child’s life.
She has been a blessing to me from the beginning of their relationship. My father reconciled any differences he had with my mother and began to rebuild our father/daughter relationship. My mother and Mr. Wayne eventually got married and moved in together. Growing up in a blended family had it pros and cons.
I was an only child, on my mom’s side for about 10 years until my brother Zuri came along in 1988. I didn’t have siblings on my dad’s side until 1996 when my brother Terrell was born and 1999 when my sister Sharina was born.
My childhood upbringing definitely had a tremendous force on how my future adult life would turn out. My mother, father, and grandparents all had an impact on my outlook of life. They all worked very hard to provide the best for our family. I grew up in what sociologists would the call the working lower-middle class. Although life with my primary group was great at 16 years old, I began to get tired of the switching of the households every other weekend. It was frustrating especially being a product of a blended family.
I had social ties with my friends at school and I had a boyfriend with whom I thought I was madly in love with. My social network was increasing and it was important for me to maintain those relationships with my secondary groups or at least I thought it was. Growing up in New York City offered me an opportunity to live in an environment with no obstructions. I was able to connect with a diverse population on a daily basis. I had friends from various ethnic backgrounds.