Written by Melissa Shepherd.
I was born in Panama and raised by my mother, Cleota, and the “Gibson/Shepherd village”. In keeping with the African proverb referring to the community’s impact on children’s upbringing, this village of sorts also included the neighborhood experience where everyone—biologically related or not—was called “tia” and “tio” (aunt or uncle). The adults in the community actively participated in children’s guidance. Translation: All these tias and tios would get us “flying right” and tell our parents about any mischief. And yes, we followed their directions as if they were our parents…Times have changed, but I digress.
Our family is a rich blend of flavors including: Irish via Barbados; British via Jamaica and St. Lucia; India via Grenada and French via Petite Martinique with names like Shepherd, Eastmond, Gibson, Dixon, Antoine…and the list goes on! This being an example of the…
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