free website hit counter Spiced Tea & Letters: Evidence of Africa

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Evidence of Africa

I've been secrectly overwhelmed this week by a new discovery. I'm an African.

You think I'm kidding, but no. I am African-American, yes, obviously. Yes, African, but from where? I have traveled to the continent several times and each country I land in, I wonder, am I from this particular land?

I really wanted to know from where. Which languague did we speak? My Africaness was just a general notion, which didn't make me feel as secure. When Alex Haley traced his family back to the Gambia, I was envious.

My family isn't big on family trees and genealogy, so there's not many records of who were were. I felt bad. Especially when my friends could point on a map of Africa and say this is where my family is from. I also felt bad when friends of mine could atleast trace their family down to great great grands, or when heirlooms such as quilts and lockets were still in their possession. I felt like an isolated African being. Nothing to point to, nothing I could hold in my hands. Until now.

My discovery isn't anything tangible but it is evidence. It is something that made me feel whole .

I overheard my grandmother talking to my mother. Out of the blue, my grandmother says, you know what your great grandfather's name was? My mother says, no. My grandmother says, your great grandfather name was Kwaku! Then the doubles over with laughter. She comes up for a breath and says, isn't that an ugly name?

My mother says, it's an interesting name. Grandma says, I think it's an African name, Kwaku!

I just listen in amazement. Kwaku. Evidence of Africa. Kwaku is a name from Ghana, a real place. Kwaku means a male child was born on Wednesday. I had a grip on my identity. My notion of Africa, a huge landmass, had been narrowed down. My family might be from Ghana. There was peace in my mind for one moment.


At 3:32 PM, Blogger Hassan said...

I'm amazed, impressed and jealous... All in the same breath.

I wish I could hear this conversation between my elders.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger said...

i suppose a trip to ghana is in the makings?!

At 1:32 PM, Blogger The Foxybrown Show said...

You betta work...That is amazing..I'm glad to know you are still on it sis!

At 3:20 PM, Blogger Kwakmaister said...

Have you made any more progress in finding out where your family is from?


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