I have always had a real love for the Brown family and for our many generations in California; it is only recently that I woke up to the fact that I know very little about our family history and our relationship to this land. My father grew up on the Sacramento River Delta in a place called Walnut Grove. He went to UC Berkeley on an ROTC scholarship and soon after stumbled into commercial real estate in the San Francisco East Bay. I thought our family’s wealth and relationship to land started there, but as I learned more about my family’s migration to this land alongside the history of the dispossession of Indigenous people from their land, it became clear that although ours might be “new wealth,” it’s built on years of generational white privilege and the deep disruption of other cultures. In the mid-1800s, my family came to California in horse drawn carriages, joining other white settlers on their sometimes violent journeys west. Others came on steamships that sailed down past the tip of South America. Most of my ancestors first arrived in the East Bay and eventually made their way up the Sacramento Delta.
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