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My Alabama Shaw Family on My Father’s Side From 1861-2014

My first and only birthday party

Posted Dec. 9, 2016

Annie Shaw-Barnes, Ph.D.
Author and Speaker
Cultural Anthropologist
Family Specialist
Family Education Specialist
Spousal Abuse Specialist
Christian Church Specialist
Racism Specialist

Hi everyone,

I remember my only birthday party, as though it were today.

I turned three years old on Mr. Jim Calhoun sharecropping farm, brother to Mr. Bob Calhoun, in Red Level, Alabama, Covington County, and Mama gave me a party to celebrate my birthday. It was my earliest sweetest memory. She made a freezer full of vanilla ice cream and affectionately explained the meaning of birthdays. She assured me they were fun. I had never heard the words “birthday party” and was unaware that children received gifts for turning a year older. I was overjoyed with our private little celebration and got on my knees in a chair turned backward to the table to be tall enough to eat ice cream out of a bowl setting on the table. Mama and I had a good time.

Me, a Fourth Generation Shaw family member holds my 3 year-old birthday party deep in her heart and still wonders how my sharecropping mama could spare enough money to make a freezer of ice-cream. That is something I forgot to ask.

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