Evelyn C. Fortson

African American Author of Women's Fiction


Change comes whether we like it or not. Every holiday I’m reminded how different things are. When my parents were alive my family and I always had someplace to go to celebrate the holidays and be with family. My parents have gone home to be with the ancestors and the holidays are forever changed for those left behind.

My siblings and their children are spread out in different cities and states, and we have drifted apart.

I’m older now and the way I look at things have changed. I’m finally getting to the point where I can let go of some of the hurt that others have inflicted. Once I strived to understand the why of it, now I chalk it up to it is what it is. This may seem like a defeatist attitude and maybe it is, but it minimizes the pain.

People leave our lives, whether it is within their control or not. People change how they feel about you, they change the way they treat you sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worst…but change happens. So, the best thing I can do now is to remember the good times fondly, but I can’t dwell on them. They are memories that I do not want to forget even as they are fading.

I’m creating new memories now with the people that have chosen to share their lives with me and I hope that they will look back on the times we spent together and smile.

I wish those good old days could have lasted forever. I wish I could have captured those times in a jar that I could open when love and joy are in short supply.

A generational curse is a habit or behavior that has been passed down from one generation to another. Often times it is done without awareness of it and sometimes it is done intentionally.

We live in a world where money is power and if you don’t have money, you may feel that you have to do something that will lead you down a path of destruction. A path that may swallow up your children and your children’s children. Some of us have been living under a curse without realizing it. All we know is that nothing seems to work out for us, so in time you give up trying.

If you grow up in a household where self-destructive behavior is normalized than that behavior is what you do. How can a child dream to be something that they have never seen?

A lot of our young people are struck in menial jobs if they are working at all. Why aren’t our kids motivated? There seems to be a hopelessness among some of our young people. They seem to be struck, so how do we help them?

We adults have to start talking to our children about their future. We need to help them to see a bigger world then the neighborhood that they live in. Positive affirmations are huge. I know my life would have been different if someone had told me I could dream. Get a job, get a good job with the county, state or the federal government was the mantra when I was growing up. Now we need to tell our kids that they can achieve anything that they can imagine, and we also need to tell them that it’s going to take a lot of work. We need to teach our children our history in America and the world. We need to start with ourselves and show our children that self-destructive patterns and behaviors can be broken.

Once we have a positive sense of self then we can pass that down to them. We are living in an age where technology has opened up the entire world to us. We do not have to rely on others for the truth we can seek the truth on our own. My son is always sending me links to things that I may not know. Sometimes I go down a rabbit hole with him but more often than not my son has given me so much to think about. Not only is there a lot to think about he has shown me an unfamiliar perspective.

Breaking generational curses will come about when we stop and acknowledge that something is not right and vow to change.

Living each day as if you are fighting to obtain or retain is how we have lived are whole lives here in America. The dream of physical freedom may have been obtained in the literal sense but are we really free! There are so many forces at play that restrict how we move in this world and yet we fool ourselves into thinking that we are free.

When President Barack Obama was elected, I thought to myself that maybe just maybe America could acknowledge the blood on its hands, pay us our reparations and get on with making the American Democracy a reality for all of its’ citizens. Instead, xenophobia was unleashed with a vengeance. White Americans elected a race-baiting con man that played to their fears that life as they know it was ending. The fact of the matter is the White American Empire called the United States of America is declining as every empire in the history of mankind has declined. A new United States of America is going through the birthing pains hopefully to emerge into what it has always promised that it could be. America has paid reparation to everyone including slave owners after the civil war, but somehow the idea of paying descendants of slaves’ reparation is unfathomable. Millions upon millions of dollars have been paid to right wrong except for when it comes to descendants of the enslaved.

Working class Americans are struggling to pay for gas, put food on the table, and find formula for their babies. While millionaires are becoming billionaires. Under the Trump Administration (and I use that term loosely) businesses profit margins soared, and fortunes were made in the stock market. That is the real reason why the conservative white republicans are looking and behaving like Russian oligarchs.

Coming out of this pandemic has been trying because Americans could not unite even in the face of a crisis. We are still divided by race and class. If working class Americans regardless of race could unite and demand equality and equity for every American citizen then our struggles to survive pandemics, recession and depressions wouldn’t weigh so heavily on one group or class.

The struggles that America is facing will undoubtedly hit the poor and working-class groups harder, and unfortunately black and other minority neighborhood will suffer greater hardships. You can see it in the price of gasoline and food. But we African American have been struggling to make ends meet since the first slave ships landed. Our ancestors survived all manners of adversities, and we will survive this one.

Yes, the struggle is real and unfortunately it continues.

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