From Whence We Came
“Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.” James Baldwin
When I look at this picture, I think I understand what James Baldwin meant when he spoke about knowing “from whence you came.” It gives me a sense of awe to see the home built by James and Luvenia Moore.who settled in Bakersfield, CA in 1914. Upon arrival in town, the family moved to 1017 Brown Street.
James and Luvenia had nine daughters and one son: Martha, Florence, Luvenia, Elizabeth, Barbara, James, Jannie, and twins Roberta and Bertha. In 1927 the Moore’s purchased a piece of land in the Virginia Colony (Ogden Street) in East Bakersfield to call home. In fact, James and Luvenia built their first home out of train box-cars. The story told by our elders was that the box-car house burned down and was rebuilt after the fire.
Often times, when we are faced with tragedy we wonder how we can garner the strength to continue on after facing a situation such as the Moore’s. But James and Luvenia persevered after the fire (and through many other tragedies that occurred thereafter as well). And, through their faith, determination and hard work, the Moore’s rebuilt their home after the fire — instead of giving up.
One of the awesome aspects of this picture (which was taken around the mid-1930’s) is that it reflects the closeness of the Moore Family. I am asking the cousins to help identify everyone in the picture. I see Aunt Roberta, but I don’t know who that person is crouched down behind her. I think the two little boys are George and Ralph Brown — but they will have to confirm (smile). I believe Dorothy and Mary are the two younger girls in the picture. We are so blessed to have these pictures, and now is the time to identify everyone because we are becoming generations removed from when this picture was taken.
It’s so easy to take it for granted and not honor what our ancestors did in being able to purchase their own home and to feed and nurture their children in such a way to instill family values.
If the walls of the house could talk, they would probably share stories of the many children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren — and even great-great grandchildren that sat foot into that house. This house was important to the survival of our family. I remember we stayed with my great-grandmother for a while after being evicted from our home. So, of course, this picture brings back memories of our family (my mom and all us kids) living in the attic which you can see is located at the top of the house. What a blessing for my mother’s grandmother to open her home to Mom and all her kids. You might have some memories about the house as well that you’d like to share.
The Moore Family has been blessed to be handed down our history generation after generation. There are many people we meet that have little to no knowledge of their history going back 5, 6, or 7 generations. And, thanks to TimothyBrown, who is the historian of our family, we will soon be able to share much more of our family history here on this site.
Author: Esther Moore
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