Friday, March 6, 2015

What it Means to Be African in America (Happy Ghana Independence Day)

Image source.
HAPPY GHANA INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!
+ March 6, 1957 +

Learning more about my African lineage and the connections I have with the illustrious Ghana, West Africa is one of the best decisions I could have made in my entire life. Not only has knowing the roots of my diaspora allowed me to better understand the role I play in propelling my culture forward, it gives me an opportunity to love my reflection from all angles in a society that will only choose to accept me if I'm willing to conform. Also, it makes my voice echo a little louder, the message in my purpose and my struggle to resound more clearly. 

In the essence of Black Lives Matter and social injustices everywhere (not just in the U.S.), I take so much pride in my melanin. Granted, I did not grow up in a traditional Ghanaian household, but I do believe I was raised with a sense of confidence in who I am. For many varying reasons, I embrace who I am as a woman of color. More than anything, I revel in the fact that I am standing on the shoulders of the kind of resiliency that makes it through the worst conditions known to man and to be a part of a culture that continues to thrive, despite what the world throws at us. And because of that, I will always do what everything in my power to support and uplift the black community.

What many people, more specifically non-blacks, seem to not understand, is that my pride doesn't make me feel like we are the "superior race", nor does it make me anti to other cultural differences. Diversity is beautiful and I truly believe that, however, inclusive does not imply that anyone should ever be ashamed of their own culture just to feed into the idea that we must be accepted by the majority in order to be validated.  I shouldn't be in a position to hide who I am to make other people feel comfortable, because it is quite possible to co-exist without being one in the same. 

I believe the sole purpose of all Africans in America is for us to be educated, because first and foremost, knowledge is power. It's up to us to take what we've learned back to our homeland to rebuild, heal, and restore what has been lost. In attempt to think global and act local, it's also beneficial to start wherever we are and use what we have, such as becoming a part of community outreach to improve black communities. By doing this, we empower our youth and set the tone for the leaders of tomorrow. 

Lastly, I believe we are to take action in finding non-violent solutions to establishing a true sense of freedom and justice the nation seems to be lacking. In my humble opinion, it's impossible for racism to perish with more racism. More hate will only add fuel to fire and won't solve any of the problems this nation has faced in regards to race division in America, as well as in other nations; it will only proliferate the cycles that my people have yet to learn how to break.  

♥ @ChymereA


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2 comments

  1. Beautifully written post, Chymere! I especially love your middle (third) paragraph... you hit the nail on the head. I believe that one day we as a people will get to a space where cultural pride does not = feelings of superiority, and there is mass acceptance of minority races. It's sad that we are not as close to that point as we'd like, but I do have hope seeing how far we've come since our grandparents' generation.

    Happy belated Ghanaian Independence Day! All of my Ghanaian friends/associate are super dope people, I love hearing about the culture through them. It's definitely a blessing to identify your roots. I keep saying I'd love to do Ancestry to try and identify what areas my family is from. I've heard a few different nationalities, but I'd like to be more certain, especially in regards to my African roots. I joke with my friends saying for now, I like to think there's some Ghanaian blood runnin' through me. Ha!

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  2. This article is fire! Your writing is such an art! Wow. I am just stunned by your eloquence and your ability to spin cliche arguments. Your third and fourth paragraph really hit home for me. I love the idea of collective acceptance and maintenance of individuality. This is such a wonderful piece <3.

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