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By April Lacey

My name is April Lacey, I’m a twenty year old black Libra (October 7th) woman. I don’t identify with any religion or religious group. I grew up in a house with my grandmother, who is a very religious lady. Being raised in a Christian household, I was always attending church events with my grandmother. Bible study on Wednesdays, revival services on Fridays, Sunday school, early morning services on Sundays, regular service and sometimes we would stay after, for the night service. These were during my youth years. Once I entered high school, I’d like to say during my sophomore year? I took a religion class. In this course, we basically just discussed the history of the many different religions. This was a very interesting semester for me because I started to question the things I thought were a part of my identity. After exploring who I really am and what I really believe in, I decided that I wouldn’t attach myself to any religion. Although, if I did, I’d choose buddhism. I would consider myself more spiritual than religion. To me, spirituality is more personal than religion. I love being able to be on my own journey to better/explore myself without any rules or regulations. My hobbies include: exploring pinterest for art inspiration, getting/putting together tattoos and tattoo ideas, severing attachments to things that are not good or healthy for me, researching different crystals and herbs, listening to music, painting and occasionally doing my makeup. I enjoy learning about anything that is related to black history, whether that be fashion, politics, traditions, sexuality etc. I’m a part of the LGBTQ community and my pronouns are her/she. I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. I also happen to be a part of the first generation that was born in Chicago. My mom and her siblings all grew up in Greenwood, Mississippi. As well as my grandparents. The same goes for my family on my fathers side, except my dad and his siblings are the first generation to be born in Chicago. Much like my mother’s parents, my fathers parents were also born and raised in Mississippi, but in Moorehead instead of Greenwood. When I was younger, I’d go to Greenwood with my mother’s side of the family at least once a year. I haven’t been there in years and sometimes it saddens because I feel like I don’t connect to Chicago. Yes, I live here and it’s the place that I know because it’s my home but I don’t connect with it. Whenever we’d take road trips to Greenwood, I’d feel a part of something. I felt like I was more connected to my roots when I was there. I’m pretty sure it’s because that’s where most of my family lives. My granny (my mother’s mom) is 1 of 9 children so growing up, my mom had a lot of cousins who were all close in age. They were all very close and did everything together, they’d always gather at my great grandmother's house. They all have children now who are also all close with one another except my mom’s children because we were born in Chicago. Although we’re all cousins, each time we’d visit Mississippi you could tell who grew up there together and who didn’t and that was something I was always jealous of. Especially growing up and being the oldest sibling, I felt like I never had anyone to connect to growing up.

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