We cannot lump everyone into a common experience. Black folk have various colonial identities, wearing their hyphenated nationalities proudly!
So, for me to be an anti-racist, I cannot think that my Black is greater than your Black. That would be racist of me. And, I’ll hold you to the same standard!
So, what is the common thread amongst Africans who were taken to this area of the world as chattel slaves?
Is it in the outward signs of African ancestry, e.g., skin color, hair texture, tonality, nose widths, et al?
In the absence of those markers, is it how some Black folk make the conscious choice to be Black in practice: by declaration, afﬁliations, political viewpoints, expressed values, who they procreate with, etc.?
I declare, it is complicated, especially now that the continent of Africa, with so many countries to choose from– has invited us to “come home.”
I have tried to dig deeper into the lure of returning; but, to where? A friend from Ghana advised that, as Black Americans, we have the luxury of choice – to not necessarily follow our DNA trace to any one country, but to select where in Africa we would be more comfortable.
Yet, the more I look into that continent– the diverse economics, demographics, cultural/religious practices, etc., the more I realize that my work belongs right here where I, a Black African American, along with you, with all your hyphenated identities, need to continue our struggle.
The other night, I watched the two-part series on Reconstruction after the Civil War, produced and narrated by Henry Louis Gates. It opened my eyes to how much unﬁnished business we have left to complete.
So, I say “no thank you” to any invitation to ‘return’ home any time soon.
Yes, John Lewis offered us his life as a bridge over the troubled waters of voting rights setbacks. It is up to us to walk across that bridge and get to the other side as emancipated, empowered, and “woke” citizens of these Unites States of America,
Think I’ll stay right here and ﬁght like John Lewis to make this place of my birth, and where I chose to remain, fair and equal, and to do that I must vote. Vote. VOTE. Toniwg1@gmail.com