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Running head: CULTURAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Cultural Autobiography
Christian Foy
Ivy Tech Community College

CULTURAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY

InTASC Standard, Description and Rationale


Standard #2: Learning Differences
The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities
to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
Name of Artifact: Cultural Autobiography
Date: June 27, 2015
Course: EDUC 255: Multicultural Teaching
Brief Description:
This is a cultural autobiography about my cultural background. In this assignment I include
where my parents and grandparents were born. I also include my parents native language and
some background information on how my parents met. I include what life was like for my
parents growing up as children. I also include some of my familys values and beliefs, as well as
holidays that my family celebrates.
Rationale:
To document my understanding of InTASC Standard #2, Learning Differences; I have
selected to include my Cultural Autobiography. This assignment shows my understanding of
individual differences. No ones life is the same. All of our backgrounds and all of our life
experiences are different and unique to each and every person who we will meet.

Introduction

CULTURAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY

My cultural back ground is very diverse, full of controversy, and secrets. As far as I
know, my nationality is black, native American, and white. The reason I do not know what my
full culture is, is due to family members possibly lying about their partners nationality, as well as
parts of my family denying they are related to us in order to protect their name. Both sides of my
family have lived lower middle class-middle class lives. My black family came over to America
as slaves. Arthur Foy Jr. was able to find out that my Foy side of my family came from Nigeria,
Africa.
My Foy side (Dads side)
My Father was born in Port Washington, New York on April 30, 1961. My father was in
line to become a 4th generation pastor. As a teenager growing up, my Dad was the quarter back
to his football team, as well as a starter to his high school basketball. My dad was a strong
believer in the necessity of gaining an education. My father was a graduate of Prairie View
A&M University of Texas, Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin and Concordia University of
Mequon Wisconsin. At the time of his death, he was pursuing his PhD in Theology at San
Francisco Theological Seminary.
Foy Grandparents
Arthur Foy IIIs parents are Arthur Foy Jr, and Shelby Foy. Shelby Foy was born and
grew up in Proctorville, North Carolina. Arthur Foy Jr. Grew up in Port Washington, New York.
My Foy Grandparents met in Port Washington one afternoon in 1959 when Arthur Jr spotted
Shelby outside of a house doing laundry for a family she traveled with and worked for. When
my aunt told me this story, she said Once your grandfather saw this woman he told himself I
have got to have her, and from then on the rest is history. Both of my Foy grandparents are
Indian and black. Arthurs native American roots go back to the Black Foot Indian Tribe, While
Shelbys Indian sides comes from a local North Carolina Tribe.

CULTURAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Shelby and Arthur gave birth to 3 children. The oldest is their daughter Serilda followed
by my father Arthur, then the youngest Torkel (Tory). English is the only language for all of the
children in the Foy family with Serilda eventually learning Spanish in high school, and college.
Extended Foy Family
Once you get past my Grandmother, and grandpa, the Foy family history becomes a bit
less clear. Arthur Foy Seniors father was either half Indian and black, or half white and black.
The reason it is so unclear is because the family suspects Arthur Foys mother of lying about her
husbands race in order to protect their new marriage. At the time of their marriage, white and
black interracial relationships were still looked down on.
My Hood side (my mothers side)
My mother grew up in Decatur, Illinois; which is 30 minutes from the capitol Springfield. My
mother was raised by William Hood (step father) and Theresa Hood. Growing up, my mother
was an active track runner, and basketball player. In high school and college, my mom starred in
a commercial for the Cosby show (that she never actually got to see herself) and became the first
African American to become Mrs. Evansville during her freshman year of college. During her
sophomore year of college, my mother was expelled, and had to start her college education all
over again at Carthage University in Wisconsin. It was at this college, and the church that my
mother attended with my Great Grandmother Mary where she met my future Dad Arthur Foy. At
the time my parents met, my dad was the assistant pastor at Wayeman A.M.E. Church.
In 1993, my mother and father became married at the church they met at, Wayeman A.M.E.
Church. In 1994, my mother and father were expecting their first child, a daughter. Sadly
though the child miscarried. My mother who was still an undergrad majoring in sociology was
preparing to become a lawyer. She was already accepted to University of Wisconsin-Madison
Law School, and my father already found a church in Madison to continue his ministry at. But
her dreams of law school never happened because in 1995, I was born. At the time, my mother
still had a year left before she could graduate school. Between taking me to class with her, or

CULTURAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY

having my great grandmother babysit when she was available, my mother and father were able to
complete their degrees.
Grandparents on my mothers side
My Grandmother on my moms side was Theresa. She was born on September 16, 1953 in
Springfield, Illinois to her loving mother Mary Kathrine Powell. My Grandmother grew up
going to catholic school for most of her life. When she was 17, she gave birth to my mother
while she was still a Sr. In High School. Once she learned she was Pregnant, my Grandmother,
and Grandfather Paul became married in 1970. Their marriage lasted a year before they became
divorced. My Grandmother met William Hood later that year. My grandmother married William
Hood in 1973. William and my Grandmother lived between Decatur, and Springfield Illinois.
Throughout their marriage, they made a living off of Williams salary from working for the police
department as an undercover cop, later for training the police dogs, Having a successful breeding
kennel where there bred and sold German Shepard puppies for $1000 per puppy. My
grandparents would have as many as 16 dogs at a time on their property. My grandparents also
owned Hoods Barbeque. This restaurant became so successful they had to open another
barbeque place on the other side of town. In 2000, My grandparents became tired of owning two
Barbeque restaurants, closed both down and focused on just the dog breeding, and the police
force that my Grandpa was still in. At this time, my Grandfather William was no longer in the
drug busting business, but was a detective who would solve murders. In 2003, My Grandparents
had a divorce. My Grandmother remarried in 2006 To Scott Adair. My Grandmother is still to
this day happily married to Scott.
Extended Family
My Great Grandmother Mary Kathrine Powel was born in 1929 in a small city in southern
Illinois. Her mother was mixed, and her father was light skin. Mary Powel was born with
natural blond hair, and Green eyes. Mary lived in a lower middle class family through the great

CULTURAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY

depression. Throughout her elementary schooling career, she attended all catholic schools.
During WWII Mary worked in a factory where she helped make bullets for the army. After the
war, Mary went to nursing school where she was the first African American Nurse to graduate
from her specific school. In 1950, she met her Joseph Powell. Mary and Joseph met inside a
club in Chicago. Joseph at the time worked as a care salesman at Garbo in Racine, Wisconsin.
Mary and Joseph Married 2 years later.
My life since the time that I could remember.
In Minnesota, My father was a very outspoken man. He was the head pastor to St. Mark
A.M.E. church in Duluth. When we first moved to Minnesota, St. Mark only had 13 members.
When my dad passed away 6 years later, St. Mark had over 300 members and had 3 services
every Sunday. In Minnesota, I was often the only black child in all of my classes. During our
time in Minnesota, our family was very close to our extended family. We would often make the
8 hour drive to visit my great grandmother Mary (my sister and I call her nana) twice a year, we
would fly to North Carolina for Christmas every year to visit my dads family and every July my
mom would drive to Decatur Illinois where we would spend 2-3 weeks with my moms family.
Due to my dad being the head pastor at the church, he often had to fly back home early, or miss
the trips entirely so that he could preach the sermons at our church. On March 23, 2004, my
father was hit by a semi-truck in Northern Wisconsin while driving to Chicago for a preaching
convention. Two months after his death, my family moved to Wisconsin to be closer to my
moms parents in Illinois and my great grandma Mary.
In Minnesota, my family had a rough experience in Minnesota. My family was receiving
weekly death threats, and threats to kidnap someone in our house hold. My sister and I were not
able to wait outside with the rest of our friends for our parents to come pick us up, but instead
had to wait inside the building because my parents feared someone kidnaping my sister and I.

CULTURAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY

My family had to have our phone lines tapped because of these threats. We had police
monitoring our house for our safety, and would often call just to make sure we were ok.
In Wisconsin my mom developed an almost distrust with white people for a while because of
what we had to go through in Minnesota.
My family is a fairly normal family for the most part. I have grown up in a middle class
family to two loving parents. English is the only language my family knows. In my family, the
most important thing to us is our faith in God. We go to church every Sunday, and make sure to
pray every day. My father used to direct choir at his church in Minnesota. My sister and I now
play instruments in the church choir now; I play the guitar or drums when our drummer is absent,
while my sister plays the piano.
My favorite part about my family is my mothers cooking. My mom is one of the best
cooks I have ever seen. My mom is always creating different foods, or trying new recipes. On
her Facebook page, she has pictures of hundreds of different foods that she makes.
Summary/Conclusion
My family is the 2nd highest thing I value in life (behind God). I realize that no matter
what I am going through, my family has always had my back. My brother and sister are two
people I value the most in my life.
References
Foy, S. (2015, June 27). [Telephone interview].
Adair, T. (2015, June 29). [Telephone interview].
Obituary: Rev. Arthur Foy III. (2004, March 30). Retrieved July 3, 2015