BREWER FAMILY MIGRATION STORY
Artists: Mathilda Orr and Sophia Zuber
Writers: Wendy Orr and Zach Franklin
Completed in 2018
Twanisha Brewer’s grandparents are from Galveston, Texas. Her grandfather was a military veteran. He became one of the first black firemen in Texas. Her grandmother was a nurse. They got married and moved to Washington State for work opportunities. They had seven kids. Her grandmother decided to get a divorce. She and her kids settled in Berkeley.
Her grandmother was from a family of 11 siblings. Most of them are still back in Texas near Dallas. The Dallas side of the family is still very connected. They have family reunions every year. Her grandmother gets a huge shipment of pecans every year from family land in Texas. This land was originally purchased by Twanisha’s great grandparents.
Twanisha’s mother and her siblings recently found out that their grandparents owned more land in Galveston that no one had known about. An oil company asked to use this land for an oil pipeline. They now get royalty checks in the mail from the oil company because of Twanisha’s great-grandfather’s hard work a long time ago.
Twanisha’s grandmother raised the family to welcome everyone. She was the kind of woman who knew someone for a week and would let them stay in her house if they needed to. She just gave them a blanket and pillow and let them sleep wherever there was room! Twanisha has followed in her footsteps. She and her husband care for a foster child whose father is incarcerated. They also take care of six kids of their own.
Twanisha has a very racially mixed family with people of all different colors and backgrounds. Some of her nieces are part Mexican. She is upset about how the President is talking about Mexicans and immigration. She feels like he is tearing families apart. If her nieces’ grandparents are to be sent back to Mexico, this affects everyone in the wider family who love them.
Twanisha’s children have all gone through Malcolm X. She feels like the school is more like a family. No matter what color, creed, or race you are, everyone at Malcolm X is family. Just like it is with her own family.