Friday, July 16, 2010
The count down is on! 30 days from today I will be boarding a plane headed for East Africa. This trip is special to me in a lot of ways. In the next couple of months, I will see dreams that I once had become reality. East Africa holds a special place in my heart for reasons that are obvious to those that know me. Stories of African kings can have a huge impact on a young African American male that struggles to find an identity outside of what is given to him by television, and pop American culture. I feel that there is an unspoken duality of personalities for a young black male in America. Even though the education system in my hometown was considered to be better than good, there were certain things that were never taught to me. The American part of my history was taught in full, but the African part was covered in February. It was my older brother that encouraged me to strive towards having a greater knowledge of self. I felt more complete once I could find myself in history. I could not ignore my grandmother's high cheek bones, straight white hair, and deep red skin. I couldn't deny my grandfather's midnight complexion, strong hands and back. It was a marvelous journey to learn about my makeup. This trip to East Africa is a continuation of that journey, and hopefully will help some things come full circle. You can't really know where you're going if you don't know where you come from.
I refuse to be a tourist, returning with t-shirts and refrigerator magnets. So many have taken, and now its time to give. I hope to make life long relationships with people I have yet to meet.
I look forward to and welcome life changing, shaping experiences.