The African Queen. The Heart of Darkness. Sudan. Egypt. Death by mosquito. Liberia. Mandela. Apartheid. Rwanda. The Congo. Ethiopia. Many suffering. Many singing. Bright colors and fascinating customs. People still farming the land without modern tools and living without modern medicine or school. Abject poverty. Rampant AIDS/HIV. The affirmation that there are many countries on this continent, not one. These are evocative images that call to mind the hot slow bake of your soul and a vibrant culture that is complex, ancient, suffering from conflict, and filled with breathtaking beauty and inspirational joy. The womb of the earth. The motherland that birthed all of us, of every color.
My family’s DNA test (Dad’s side) says we are about 34% West African with a general blip in the general area on the map in Ghana. It is not my home, has never been, does not call to me in that way. It calls to me not as a black woman, but as a human being, the very essence of where humans, to my mind, were spawned onto the earth. I still maintain that if you look at a Chinese man and a Black man together, and you swap their skin color, you will not be able to tell the difference. We are all related.
A good friend went without me once (I was ill and broke at the time) and I was hurt and devastated. I vowed I would go in this life time. Said friend wants to go again, and I aim to join him, hell or high water. We go in 2016, and I have to think about things like, saving up, getting vaccinated, buying insurance.
It will be beautiful. Scary. Inspiring. But I am going. I’ll be honored to finally see it with my own eyes.