Should More Black Americans Travel to Africa when given the chance?

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Alana Jollevet, Staff Writer

 

Traveling to Africa provides many black Americans the chance to reconnect with their roots in addition to West African culture, something that the majority of black Americans can’t do often. Developments such as Ancestry.com allow people to trace their roots; however, they could not travel back to Africa due to the effects of slavery in the United States. Now, thanks to Birthright AFRICA, more people can take advantage of the opportunity.

Birthright AFRICA, an organization influenced by Birthright Israel, offers free trips for young black Americans to travel to countries in West Africa as a way to reconnect with the Motherland. Diallo Shabazza, the co-founder of Birthright AFRICA, states this organization is centered around “creating an infrastructure so that we can help people transform their futures.” as well as explaining the main goal: providing people the opportunity to explore their ancestry. This organization allows anyone of African descent, whether they be Afro-Caribbean or Afro-Latinx to explore their ancestry. The target groups for the organization are people who have been impacted negatively by the colonialism of black people. As well as shed light on the countries that people in the U.S.  don’t know much about, or only learn of the negative things said about these countries. The main purpose of this organization is for young black people in America to learn about their roots and culture.

As stated before, many black people in America don’t know which countries from Africa that they come from due to the effects of slavery in the New World. It is an amazing opportunity just to get even a glimpse of the culture of their ancestors. They may not know exactly where they come from, but that doesn’t mean they are limited from seeing the wonderful aspects of the many cultures in West Africa. In addition to learning more about their roots, it would be similar to a culture shock to see many people who look like them; granted if someone lived in a majority-black neighborhood or went to a majority-black school they would be more used to it, as opposed to a black person who lives and goes to a predominantly school/lives in a predominantly white neighborhood.

This would be a phenomenal and remarkable opportunity for young black Americans to get in touch with their backgrounds as well as an experience for many who don’t feel that they belong.