Connect with us

Lifestyle

Kevin Powell: From Africa With Love (#2)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

9:10 AM

My mother just called and told me her electricity and heat finally back on in her Jersey City, New Jersey apartment. I have to be honest: I was definitely thinking about canceling this trip to Africa because I was not comfortable leaving my mother in this state. But when I spoke with her earlier this morning, she told me to go, gave me her blessing, would not hear of my canceling the trip because of her. That is truly a mother’s love.

My mother has never been on an airplane, never left America, never even been off the East Coast (my family roots are in the Low Country of South Carolina), so through all my travels, she experiences these trips with me. I laugh to myself when I hear my mother say things like, “We not no Africans, we don’t know nothing about no Africa, we Americans.” Because in her own way she is saying the American South, New Jersey, America, is all  we know since our ancestors were captured, kidnapped, and stolen from Africa (to work for free throughout what we call the Americas).

So for people like my mother, our lives began here.

But, as has been said many times, a tree without its roots cannot stand. So goes it for us who are of African descent, in America, in Canada, in the Caribbean, in Latin America, in Europe, in Asia, wherever we are on the planet. I am very clear that I am an African, and say that often. Doubly clear that I am an African American, which means, as Amiri Baraka stated so powerful in his landmark book Blues People, those of us born here in the United States maintain many of the traits and cultural nuances of Africa, but are, in fact, a completely different group, too.

But when I hear the South Carolina Geechee dialect of my mother and many relatives from the Low Country, or think of the many beliefs or superstitions and sayings passed from generation to generation, or watch how we praise God in our churches and are seemingly possessed by holy spirits, it is abundantly clear that Africa is all up in us, even if we’ve been conditioned to believe that it is not.

CLICK TO READ KEVIN’S OTHER ENTRIES:

Kevin Powell: From Africa With Love (#1)

Kevin Powell: From Africa With Love (#3)

Kevin Powell: From Africa With Love (#4)

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending

Uzo Aduba Talks Best Regions for a Luxurious Nigerian Getaway

EBONY Exclusive

Uzo Aduba Recalls Grad Student Asking if All Africans Live in Huts

EBONY Exclusive

YG Portrays Slavery & Lynching in New Video, ‘Stop Snitchin’

Entertainment

Nas Celebrates 25th Anniversary of ‘Illmatic’ With NYC Exhibit

Entertainment

Advertisement
Connect
Join EBONY.com