I Am My Ancestors’ Legacy

In the tapestry of time, woven through the threads of resilience and strength, lies the profound legacy of our ancestors. As a Black woman navigating the intricate journey of life, I often find myself reflecting on the rich heritage that courses through my veins. In the hustle and bustle of the modern world, it’s crucial to pause and acknowledge the roots that ground us, the stories that shape us, and the indomitable spirit that propels us forward. This blog is an ode to the powerful mantra that resonates within me: 

“I am my ancestors’ legacy.”

One week ago, I had the privilege of attending the Believe Build Brand Brunch—an event renowned for being the intersection of vision boards and the powerhouse individuals capable of turning those visions into reality. Seated among a dynamic gathering of Black women leaders, influencers, game changers, dreamers, and business moguls, I found myself in profound reflection, realizing with certainty, “This is my rightful place!”

Identity, for a Black woman, is a mosaic of experiences. It’s the rhythm of ancestral drums echoing in our hearts, the cadence of our steps reflecting the dance of our lineage. Yet, it’s also a dynamic interplay with the present, a continuous remix of tradition and innovation. I find solace in the understanding that my identity is a celebration of both heritage and personal evolution.

Our stories are like ancient manuscripts, passed down through generations, carrying the wisdom, trials, and triumphs of those who came before us. As a Black woman, my journey is intricately woven into the vibrant tapestry of my culture. It’s a tapestry that spans continents, encompassing the strength of African roots, the resilience of diaspora, and the beauty of shared experiences.

The echoes of our ancestors’ struggles are embedded in our DNA. The battles they fought for freedom, equality, and justice reverberate through time. In acknowledging this legacy, we draw strength. The trials and tribulations of the past serve as a reminder that resilience is not just a trait but a birthright. Our ability to rise, unbroken, from the ashes of adversity pays homage to those who paved the way.

In a world that often demands more than it gives, self-care becomes a revolutionary act. As Black women, prioritizing our mental and physical well-being is an homage to our ancestors who endured and persisted. Psychotherapy becomes a sacred space where we unravel the complexities of our minds, honoring the struggles that shaped our thoughts and emotions.

In less than a month, at the dawn of 2024, I am honored to be the keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Dinner in my West Virginia hometown. This cherished community event, recognizing and supporting high school graduates with scholarships, has been a tradition for 44 years. My mother, a legacy leader, served as the president for three decades, and now my sister carries on the mantle.

The significance of this event hits close to home, as I prepare to stand before hundreds of familiar faces who have known me simply as “Angie.” It’s a rare moment for me, a chance for them to witness the person I have become. Amidst the anticipation, I find myself reflecting on my journey with a sense of pride—a feeling I seldom express. In this pivotal moment, I proudly acknowledge the legacy that courses through my veins. I am the daughter of Rose and James Roman, who are not just my parents but legacy leaders in their own right. I recognize that I am my parents’ legacy, a testament to the values, resilience, and commitment to community instilled in me by my ancestors.

As I prepare to take the stage, I carry not only my own achievements but the weight of a lineage of leaders. It’s a humbling and empowering realization—I am proud of myself, proud of my roots, and proud to be the embodiment of the legacy crafted by those who came before me.