What is Heritage?

Heritage is Who we are,
What we bring to the world,
and Where we came from.
Who We Are . . .Kente Cloth Continent
We are the sum total of all the people who share our blood line - we have some of the same genes which give us some of the same characteristics and traits. Maybe we are as tall as Great-Uncle Jasper or maybe our hair turned gray at 30 like Grandma Susie. We are also a copy of everyone who has been part of our upbringing - we may like rice and red-eye gravy because it was Mom's favorite dish to make - we may sound just like Dad on the phone or be a perfectionist like he was - we may be a "spitting image" of Great-Grandpa Jones or Aunt Hattie or we may just act like them. Who we are is a conglomeration of the people we are born and/or raised with and the things we learn along the way that make us unique while still identifying us by our family heritage.


What We Bring to the World . . .
Our contributions to the world around us are part of the culture in which we grew up, the experiences we had along the way, and the unique spin we put on these pieces of our heritage. We may be doctors because we grew up in a poor neighborhood where children were always sick and we wanted to bring healing to the world around us. We may be teachers because we were inspired by a great teacher who taught us to grab everything school and life have to offer and to never quit learning new things. We may be hard workers because we want desperately to be successful so our children will have opportunities we did not have. 
We may be struggling alcoholics because we were raised in an environment where alcoholism and other addictions were accepted as the norm; we may be reformed addicts because we were raised in an environment where alcoholism and other addictions were destructive. 
What we bring to the world around us is a mixture of all of the influences around us as our personalities were formed as well as all of the life situations we encountered, lived in, and either embraced or overcame.
Where We Came From . . .
Heritage is our past, our traditions, our customs, our way of life, that have been passed down through generations upon generations. We may be part of a community where a certain type of Southern cooking, holidays, and traditions such as Mardi Gras, which were brought to this country from across the ocean and now identify us as "Cajun". 
We may be very strict religious people who drive buggies instead of cars because of the simple traditions that were brought to this country many years ago and which now identify us as "Amish". We may be part of a community where strong family ties are as important as personal freedom because we are descendants of a race of people who lost both and have spent generations struggling to regain them. Where all that came from defines us as a race, a creed, a nationality, a family, even as an individual.

The Heritage of a people is their birthright, traditions, customs, physical attributes, upbringing, attitudes, and a way of life that has been transmitted from the past, through the generations, to a people who embrace that legacy and take it on as their own.

 This is our Heritage.

The Kente Cloth 

"Part of the Fabric of Our Heritage"

Kente Cloth Continent



The Kente Cloth (the patterned material that forms this continent is an example) was worn by kings and is still considered to be sacred and precious to the Akan people of Ghana and is called "Nwentoma" which means "woven cloth."    To this day, it is still hand woven in Ghana and other African countries where Akan people live and perpetuate the tradition of the beautiful and sacred "Kente Cloth."



15 Responses to What is Heritage?

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  • Kitty says:

       I love this in depth definition and explanation of heritage. It is the best one I've read. I love it! You need to make this into a poem in some way. If I ever have an event. I would love for someone from your magazine to read this.

  • Setta says:

    That is the best explanation of heritage and how it relates to who we are and our place in the world that I have ever read!

  • G Moraitis says:

    I have never heard ‘heritage’ explained quite that way. It is by far the best definition and presentation of what it is and why it is so important that we know it and keep it alive for future generations that I have ever read.

  • B Gallinari says:

    Excellent summarization! Would the world not be a better place if more African Americans realized the pride they should take in who and where they came from as well as the need for them to set an example and be someone that their future generations should be proud of.

  • Ward81 says:

    I was trying to remember how I found your post – Our Heritage Magazine Online: What is Heritage? – but I can’t recall. I think other people may be interested in reading it as well, so I bookmarked this page on StumbleUpon. This is a great site and people need to see it.

  • pilka nozna says:

    I found this while searching yahoo for material to use in a presentation on our heritage as African Americans. I really like the way you define heritage and I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your site. It is very unusual to find such great navigation on something that is wordpress based. Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days that focuses on the positive side of things. Thank you for your contribution to our culture.

  • pilka nozna says:

    I like your views and I love your description of Heritage. The site style is wonderful, the articles are really excellent. Good job, cheers!

  • Thank you very much for your post! I am an avid researcher of our culture and heritage. Your interpretation of “heritage” is very well stated and the site is very impressive. It is clean, informative, entertaining and easy to navigate. Thank you.

  • Hello,nice article. Informations are pretty exciting and saves me many time which I could spend on something else instead of searching posts like this 🙂 Thanks and waiting for more posts like this one.

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