You Owe Me What was Always Mine

“You owe me what was always mine” is the title of Briayna Cuffie’s latest blog post on She is speaking to enslavers whose family records, letters, journals, photos, plantation accounts, etc. contain valuable information about the men, women, and children they enslaved.

“Somewhere between my first maternal ancestor being stolen from her Tikar kin in Cameroon and Charlotte Elbert being sold on the Lafayette,” Cuffie writes, “there was a shift from being Tikar to being Negro. I want to know about the rest.”

Read her entire essay here, and, while you’re at it, read her others as well!

Briayna is a strategist, political advocate, and civil servant specializing in international relations from Annapolis, MD.


Author: BitterSweet

Posted by the BitterSweet editorial team.

2 thoughts on “You Owe Me What was Always Mine”

  1. Sharing our family histories and documents is the least that descendants of enslavers can do by way of reparative action for the harm done by our ancestors. The Linked Descendants Working Group of Coming to the Table sees this work as a form of healing and taking action.

  2. I will be meditating on this line for months to come: “Your white ancestors, who enslaved mine, chose whiteness for themselves. Chose to relinquish their languages and traditions in pursuit of dominion and wealth. Then chose to beat our languages and traditions out of mine.” Yes , they did.

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