The rich history that the second-largest continent in the world has makes it worthwhile for African Americans to visit Africa.
This is the land of the great and their ancestors. It’s the perfect place to reconnect with their roots and heritage. Recent years have seen an increase in the number of African Americans visiting ancestral homelands such as Benin, Ghana, and Togo. These heritage travellers gain great experience the land of their ancestors because the stage is set already.
Where Should African Americans go to Africa?
Yes, Morocco, Kenya, Egypt, and Cape Town are all lovely places to visit, but go beyond them. Explore further South, the West, or the East. They should visit ancestral homelands such as Benin, Ghana, Cameron, and Togo.
They discover more about their roots. Unlike what you see in the media showcasing Africa as a poverty-ridden continent; Africa is a great place. Some countries are as advanced as Western countries with technology and infrastructure.
Why Should African-Americans Visit Africa?
1. Visit Slave Castles
Africa is the home of the resilient ancestors of most African Americans. Europeans captured Africans as slaves, suffered in slave castles, and transferred them to a foreign land where they struggled physically and mentally.
Discover what they passed through by visiting different slave castles on the continent. An example is Elmina Castle in Ghana, where a church is placed in the middle of the building surrounded by slave dungeons. It is so emotional seeing how ruthless people punished and took people away from their homeland.
Walk through the Door of No Return at Elmina Castle, a passageway used by newly enslaved people to go for years of severe servitude in the New World.
The holding rooms are about 400 square feet and would cram 50 to 150 slaves awaiting transport. Slaves discoloured the floor from feces, urine, and other bodily waste that fell to the floor.
2. Contribute to the African Economy
Black people in the U.S. have much to contribute to Africa through tourism. The continent’s tourism industry has so much potential. But tourism not only benefits Africa’s growing economies, but it can also be fulfilling to those who travel.
By travelling to their ancestral countries, African Americans can commemorate the history and culture of their ancestors. Build relationships with the locals and the physical environment while soaking in the culture.
Pioneers like Martin Luther King Jr, Maya Angelou, and influences like Oprah Winfrey, Barack and Michelle Obama paved the way to reconnect with Africa. Others include Beyoncé, Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker, Will Smith, and Rihanna, to mention a few.
3. A Sense of Belonging
The moment you land in Africa, you will have an overwhelming sense of belonging. There is no racism feeling. Everyone around looks like you, so you are no longer a “minority.”
Some individuals might believe that Africans and African Americans are different because of their values and where they live. Visiting Africa will confirm otherwise. Africans and African Americans are more alike than different. For example, both cultures have similar food values, family, and spirituality. In fact, they derive soul food from Africa. There is also shared love for music such as R&B, rap, or gospel.
4. Feel the Sense of Justice for African People
Another shared value is the sense of justice for African people. Visit Ghana, for instance, and learn about Kwame Nkrumah—the first President of Ghana who fought for the country’s independence.
At Memorial Park and Mausoleum, there are pictures of Kwame Nkrumah with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. All fought for the rights of Black people across the globe. In 2020, the Ghanaian government honoured the life of George Floyd by conducting a memorial.
Discover the sense of unity between Black Americans and Africans. This will help to promote your self-love, self-confidence, and pride as an African American.
5. Discover the Origin of African American Traditions
Being born and raised in America, there is probably very little knowledge of your roots and ancestry. Have you ever wondered why your family does things the way they do, or why you are the way you are? Eating what you eat or operating the way you do, so many questions may go unexplained and unanswered.
Just one of many examples, like ladies wrapping their hair at night and only washing it one time per week, Visiting Africa will help you understand and reinforce that certain things are just part of our DNA, our African DNA.
African American ancestors stretch beyond those who arrived in America by boat. They have a thriving culture with customs, logical reasons, and ways of doing things that don’t have to be explained to anyone. Visit Africa and you will experience something you probably never felt growing up in America.
6. Get Inspired
From the culture to the fashion, to the music, there is something in each African country that will inspire you and give you a greater perspective. Whether it’s the fabrics of the clothing, the head wraps, jewellery, or the beautiful cities, mountains, and landscape. There is so much creativity to be explored in visiting Africa. Get more inspired to connect with other Africans, empower each other and unite as a greater force.
The feeling you will get when you visit Africa is beyond description in words. Feel it for yourself, and let it infiltrate your body, mind, and soul.