I was born on June 30, 1979, 23 days after my due date, because my grandma was out of town and my mom refused to have me until my grandmother returned. I was child number four of 6 children. My parents were both from California but somehow they landed in Spokane, Washington, where my mother met Evangelist Cassie Mae McCain (aka Mommy Cain), who I would know as my grandmother. She adopted my mother in the early seventies and she and my grandpa were there from the time of my birth until they left this earthly realm. They were the only grandparents I knew. My mom had an almost non-existent relationship with her birth mother and my biological grandmother, along with most my blood relatives (including my father), were absent.
My grandparents pastored a church, so I was in that environment from the time I was in my mother's womb. I was raised in a multicultural family and church home and I didn't realize there was any difference between myself and my extended family until I got old enough to understand racism. My parents were both of mostly European descent and my grandmother was a Black-Indigenous woman who had come to the West Coast from Tulsa, Oklahoma in her youth, sometime after the burning of Black Wall Street. She told me stories of her picking cotton as a child and Marcus Garvey visiting her family's home and naming her sister, Sheila.
So you can imagine that my life was much different from your average white American. In fact, I only identify myself as white to acknowledge the privilege I have as a result of my European heritage and looking the way that I do. I was raised to fight against injustice and to stand up when anyone's rights are being violated. I was taught to stay humble and love everyone, regardless of who they are and where they came from, and to give to those in need. I'm just a spiritual being in human form, and a citizen of the world, here on earth to fulfill my purpose. A huge part of my purpose is to address the damage that has been done in this country (and elsewhere) by the colonizers, and try to clean up the mess they've left. I just want everyone to live freely, in peace and in good health.
I spent the majority of my life (30+ years) living in Oakland, amongst people from all backgrounds. Growing up here not only gave me an incredible sense of style 😁 but it also prepared me for travel all over the world. Everywhere I go, I carry the game in my pocket.
I have had the privilege to spend a lot of time in India, which has become a sort of second home for me. I was first introduced to the culture by my Tibetan friends who were born and raised there. They put me on to Bollywood movies and Hindi music... and eventually one of my friends made it possible for me to visit and take part in an arts camp in Ladakh, in northern India. Since then, the people I met have become family and I visit as often as I can. During my last few visits I was able to stay in Srinagar (Kashmir) and learn more about the people and the beautiful culture.
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