- Posted February 24, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
St. Benedict's Home for Colored Children
St. Benedict’s Home for Colored Children helped my mother and her family survive the Great Depression in Harlem. She was very young when her father died. My maternal grandmother then had 5 children to raise. When she became ill she was unable to keep the family together. The four older children were sent to boarding schools. My mother was 7 years old and her sister was 10 when they arrived at St. Benedict’s. Her brothers were sent elsewhere and not even to the same school. The family was split up.
It is not clear why, but the census records listed my mother and her sister as “negro.” They lived at St. Benedict’s home from 1929 through 1933. In 1933 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created a program, designed to bring families back together. My mother, her sisters, and her brothers were reunited -- a family once again. My mother learned a lot despite the strict hands of the nuns. She passed on her love of words and poetry to her daughters. My aunts and uncles went to college and had fine careers. They raised families that continue to flourish. St. Benedict’s legacy lives on because I am here with a strong desire to write my family’s story.
2) St. Benedict’s Home Blessed, New York Times