Share this on:
 E-mail
244
VIEWS
2
COMMENTS
 
SHARES
About this iReport
  • Not verified by CNN

  • Click to view technorican's profile
    Posted February 24, 2013 by
    technorican
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    First Person: Your essays

    More from technorican

    St. Benedict's Home for Colored Children

     
    In 1883 a mission was founded in Manhattan as the St. Benedict the Moor church to address the spiritual needs of the African-American population. It had increased after the Civil War as many former slave families moved north to escape the impoverished conditions of the South. In 1891 the Home for Colored Children, which had started first in Manhattan, opened in Rye, New York. Despite its name, not all children were African-American, at least, not in the 1930s. They were a mix of so-called racial groups. The Home was also referred to as an “orphanage” but not all of the children were orphans. The Great Depression exacerbated difficult economic conditions of the community. Families were unable to stay together so the Home was where children could get a good education, shelter, and food.

    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.

    Bibliography:
    1) http://www.patheos.com/blogs/mcnamarasblog/2010/10/new-york-city’s-first-african-american-parish.html
    2) St. Benedict’s Home Blessed, New York Times

    What do you think of this story?

    Select one of the options below. Your feedback will help tell CNN producers what to do with this iReport. If you'd like, you can explain your choice in the comments below.
    Be and editor! Choose an option below:
      Awesome! Put this on TV! Almost! Needs work. This submission violates iReport's community guidelines.

    Comments

    Log in to comment

    iReport welcomes a lively discussion, so comments on iReports are not pre-screened before they post. See the iReport community guidelines for details about content that is not welcome on iReport.

    Add your Story Add your Story