The Ancestors and Me
The Ancestors and Me
The Ancestors and Me is a children’s book about a journey of ancestral love finding its way to a child through the passing down of a family heirloom. The story is told from the perspective of the heirloom, a pair of earrings handmade by an elder. This story is based off of a pair of earrings I was gifted as a child by my great grandmother, a pair of earrings that I still have and wear whenever I am missing her. My mother moved to the States with me when I was very young. It was hard to grow up away from my community and culture, but when my great grandmother would send me gifts from Brazil, I would carry them with me everywhere, feeling that if her gift was close to me then she must be too. So, while the community in the book is based off of my Native people, the people of the Charrúa Nation (located in the South of Brazil), and the object is a pair of earrings, I hope that people will read this and picture their own communities and familial heirlooms. I hope that it will remind children, and anyone who needs to hear it, that no matter where you are in the world, the love and wisdom of your ancestors will always be there to guide you.
Event Description: Hosted by the UNC Latina/o Studies Program, Talitha Morena Moniz McMillion will be doing a reading of their children’s book The Ancestors and Me and sharing sketches drawn by Jimena (Mainumby) Servin Conde, who is the book’s illustrator. Talitha and Mainumby are both of the Charrúa Nation whose land is currently split by Brazil and Uruguay. They will speak about their writing and artistic process for creating the book as well as their experiences with the feeling of belonging in their communities under colonial institutions and how it relates to the book’s theme. Having grown up in the United States with Native Brazilian roots, Talitha knows what it’s like to struggle to hold onto to their culture. They hope that this book will remind children, as well as anyone who needs to hear it, that no matter where you are in the world, the love and wisdom of your ancestors will always be there to guide you.