African Angels

African Angels When my aunt was growing up, she received African-American Christmas angels from my Nana every Christmas. The angels were typically made of porcelain and/or ceramic material and came from a small Hallmark store. They often had gowns made of cloth and had deep chocolate skin. Despite how local and elementary these angels may seem, they hold a lot of sentimental value to both my Nana and my aunt. Different ones were given to my aunt since she was twelve and are still given to her now. In 1983 my aunt asked Nana why there was not a black angel atop the Christmas tree - and the story begins. Each one was given as a gift of cultural identity. My Nana wanted to show my aunt the significance of her heritage. She hoped to get the message across that there were not only white angels, and that God did not only accept white people. The angels were black to let my aunt know that she could be proud of her skin color and to never feel down simply because of the way God created her. To my Nana, these angels symbolize hope, pride, and love for yourself. These angels represent my African-American roots as well, and I find the story very sweet and meaningful. Now, whenever Nana sees a black angel in a store, she saves it until Christmas time for my aunt.

Place(s): Maryland
Year: 1983

– Noah Young

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant