Genealogy: A Rhetorical Analysis

1994 Words8 Pages
The Mormon Church believes that genealogy is about linking families together and has certain religious ordinances like baptism. They believe that they can baptize the deceased by proxy in their sacred temples. They enjoy learning about their ancestors and gathering records, documenting their existence including birth, marriage, death, military as well as collecting and storing them. It is a concerted effort by the church and children are indoctrinated very early in the importance to know about family. The result is the largest holding and collection of genealogical records in the world in Salt Lake City, Utah.
For African American mainstream denominations, family is important but there is no dilligent effort to document the history of families in the church though many churches consist of generations of family members founded before and after emancipation, some on land given by the enslaver
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I have found this lack of respect for what I term the “grandmama nem’s” generation troubling, disturbing, and disrespectful and have concluded that somehow a generation (maybe several) of young people have not been exposed to the gains, strides, sacrifices, knowledge, and history of their grandparents and beyond generation. They are missing a part of their ancestor’s narrative. For many slavery and post reconstruction has been reduced to a few paragraphs in the school text book. Dr. Pauli Murray said that “the best ways to incorporate social and political history into one’s experience is to embark on a search into one’s family history.” (xii
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