By Nicolette Cherie
While on my journey of self-discovery, my goal was to discover my family and medical lineage. While on this journey, it became clear that I come from several ancestral groups. Knowing this piece of information raised the bar of my curiosity and propelled me to know more about these groups. To begin, I had to first come to a full understanding of the elements that create me. The most obvious and prevalent elements were that I am female, my ethnicity is African-American, and my bloodline is of African, American and West Indian descent. I learned thru my research that my bloodline began in Africa, journeyed thru the West Indies leaving seeds that would eventually create one part of me and landing in the United States where I would be born generations later.
As my research and journey continued, I also discovered that I come from a line of females that were survivors of life’s circumstances, hard-working, spiritual, possessed a lioness personality and were go getters. Indirectly, I come from famous, legendary, historical, African-American generations that fought and died for equality. These groups described above would give me a sense of connection, pride and existence.
Second part of my journey was to discover my medical lineage. I am a female who lives with a beard. My beard comes from a disorder called Hirsutism. This medical discovery would connect me to historical women who possess this same disorder. According to Wikipedia.org, there are documented historical cases of actual bearded females such as a fourteenth century Saint named Wilgefortis, eighteenth century circus performer and pioneer, Julia Pastrana and two American eighteenth century circus performers, Annie Jones and Jane Barnell. These women were from different lineages and bloodlines, financial backgrounds and lived in different corners of the world. Their fame came from being a human exhibition in a public entertainment arena than being famous related to a career or discovery. The only difference between me and my bearded ancestors was that I live and work in modern times, whereas, they lived and worked in circus arenas during their time of existence. Just like my other lineages, these women were powerful, fearful and courageous. They did not let their physical appearance or who the world “labeled” them as to stop them from achieving their goals.
There are countless of other women in the world who are living with facial hair in the shadows that are not documented.
Each group described defines parts of my existence that makes me a full, functioning human being. No matter where I go, live or what activity I participate in, I am who I am because of these ancestral groups.
Knowing where you come from is the key to knowing your true existence and purpose in life!