Had the pleasure of attending Ghana Fest in Chicago over the weekend. I want to say that it was a blast, but that wouldn’t’ be correct. It felt more like home. It’s so interesting to see people who look like my American cousins or aunts, yet they speak a different language. For me, seeing African-born individuals who look just like my relatives has a way of closing that divide between Africa and me as an African American woman.
I know that I’m not the only African-American that yearns for where I come from (my African origination). So, when I see Africans who look like me, I smile. Internally, I say look at my grandmother, look at my sister, look over there at my aunt and uncle. It brings me joy. So, while the clothes may be different, the facial features and the spirit are the same.
One other observation that stood out to me was the children. African children are extremely poised, strong, and respectful, and they carry a belief that they should respect their elders.
In one case, I stepped in line in front a dark chocolate young girl, about the age of 9 or 10. When I noticed what I had done, I placed my hand on her shoulder and said, I’m sorry. She looked up at me with the most determined eyes and said with such presence and respect, “It’s okay. I can wait.” I wish that I had taken her picture. Her spirit remains with me still; it was that of an old soul. And, I saw child after child with this same robust spirit. And I witnessed toddlers just running about freely, laughing and playing without a care or supervision. What I found missing was the fear of the ominous neighborhood pedophile. No one seemed to be in fear. So, the children remained free and flowing with the environment. I found this both amazing and heart warming.
This is who we are, I said to myself. This is who we are.
So, I say to my Black Americans, we’ve lost a piece of our souls in this here America. We were born to love and respect one another, and I saw a glimpse of this on a Sunday evening in the park at Ghana Fest Chicago.
And it filled me with Joy…