Black History Month Spotlight: De’Shawna Anderson

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February 15, 2022 9:40am

What does your Black heritage mean to you?

To me, heritage means remembering what those before us went through and achieved, looking at how far we have all come, and acknowledging how much further we can go.

 

How do you celebrate or keep your Black roots alive in your daily life?

As a mother of young children, I am always trying to relearn the truth of our Black roots and how it was not taught to us in school. It is important to me that my children also learn the truth about their Black roots.

 

What Black mentors have inspired or influenced you and in what ways?  

My Nanny, “Ms. Cena Mae,” will forever be my Black mentor.  A Black woman who was born and raised in St. Joseph, LA during a very dark time for Black people, she witnessed segregation and picked cotton as a young girl. She was able to leave the South during Jim Crow era and moved to San Francisco, CA where she achieved so much.  My Nanny taught me so many things about life and responsibility and what it means to be a strong woman. We spent hours in her kitchen together, making “magic.” She was an awesome teacher with a kind and loving heart, and I feel her presence even still. Through her, I feel linked to the best of the best.

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