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NEW ARRIVALS: Fall Heritage

Dondolo Honors Black History Month by sharing “HERSTORY”

 Dondolo Honors Black History Month by sharing “HERSTORY”
We love learning about the culture and backgrounds of amazing women, entrepreneurs and Dondolo moms who support our brand.
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My black heritage and my community has shaped who I am today and I am proud to be able to share my memories through our brand, Estelle Colored Glass.
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I would like to pass down the importance of making happy memories with family and friends. I am a quality time person and love creating new traditions for my family. My favorite family recipe is pound cake. It’s a cake that both my grandmother and mother made for special occasions mostly on Sundays. My favorite tradition is Sunday dinners with family, friends and all the traditional dishes. The advice I would give to my younger self would be to have the courage to follow your passion.
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 “I am proud of my heritage because African Americans are resilient people.  We have survived enslavement, Jim Crow, and a long history of discrimination, and we continue to thrive in a society where we may not always be accepted for who we are through resistance, joy, and community.  In a world where we sometimes may be misunderstood, we are still innovators, creative thinkers, trendsetters, and record breakers. I am very intentional about the company I keep and maintaining a diverse circle of friends.  My thought process is that if I truly desired to be knowledgeable and aware about different cultures, races, and religions, then my circle of friends should reflect representation from those different communities.  It’s a mindset that starts with me, that I hope trickles down to my children.  I want my children to be well rounded, and always respect and be kind to our friends, despite our differences. I actively try to teach them about different people and cultures, by taking them to museums, and reading children's books with people from different races and cultures.  I make an effort to travel with them so they see there is a world outside themselves.
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I have 2 toddler boys, Caleb (5 years) and Atticus (3 years).  At this tender age they are starting to recognize differences not only within themselves, but with their friends too.  
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I am proud of my heritage because I come from a lineage of strong African Americans that have persevered; and paved the way for myself and future generations to do something extraordinary and make a change in the world. I am proud to be part of such a rich and diverse culture (our food, music, fashion, but most importantly the way we are raised by our parents and grandparents to be proud of our identity). I love that I was raised with the same morals and values as my mother and father.
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Being born in southern Louisiana, I’m familiar with many comfort foods that are staples in the south. However, my grandmothers' collard greens take their rightful place at the top, a dish close to my family’s heart. My grandma Hattie would make slow-cooked collard greens and homemade cornbread every time we came to visit. Her collard greens are more than a recipe; they’re an honored tradition in our family and a timeless piece of Black heritage.
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Something that I would want to teach and pass down to others would be to trust your moral compass and set the example! Most people learn by observing so just remember what you do makes an impact. I teach my girls to show gratitude and to always be grateful. Ask yourself what you can do to contribute to society and do whatever good you can in the world.
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Raising girls, I always encourage being kind, honest, brave (stand up for yourself), work hard, and stay curious (keep having those Aha! moments as you grow)!
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I love being able to share Black American traditions and history with my two boys.  Even small activities such as listening to podcasts on unsung Black heroes and sheroes (we love “Who, When, Wow!”); growing culturally significant vegetables, like collard greens, in our garden; and telling them stories about my time at an HBCU (Howard University is one of my alma matters), are fun and simple ways for us to reflect on Black traditions together.  Activities like this remind me that Black American history, which is American history, is being created in big and small ways, every single day.”
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I think it goes without saying that many African Americans have struggled with being seen as equal and important. It makes me proud that our culture is so rich and vibrant. We set trends, we bring joy, and we are creators. As a Midwife, it makes me proud that I am following in the footsteps of my ancestors. I think learning about each other's history is very important. We can understand our society better if we are open to listening and learning.
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One of my all time favorites books is by the legendary Maya Angelou! “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” The book speaks about her challenges growing up and really puts into perspective how life’s challenges turn into something beautiful and inspiring to many. I would tell my younger self “just hold on, you are going to make a difference. It will be a scary ride, but the reward of changing lives is worth it!”
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I am proud of my heritage because of the strength my grandma showed us through all of her adversity and was still able to teach her famous recipes. Our family has a cookbook with each generation’s secret recipes and my favorite is my grandmother’s black berry cobbler. I can’t give you the complete recipe, but I can tell you this; the key is to boil your blackberries for 3hrs. I would like to teach girls to empower and uplift one another. As well as resilience, self reliance, independence and it’s ok to fail as long as you keep trying. 
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Advice I would give to my younger self is to never give up because even if you struggle through the night there’s joy in the morning. (Psalms 30:5) My favorite family tradition is when all of my family unites together for our annual reunion held on July 4th weekend.
(photo courtesy of Mindy Bryd)
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