Pan Africanism : Repatriation On Your Mind?

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by zuleilah2, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. zuleilah2

    zuleilah2 Banned MEMBER

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    What challenges do you think you will face upon returning to Africa?

    Do you feel your return will make a difference, like the Diasporic Jews have done for Israel?
     
  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Greetings,

    As I am continuing in my evolution from political and social apathy to political and social awareness to spiritual, political and social acuteness, I believe HEALING is the treatment at play.

    For example: Your family is originally from the south, but during the Black Migration northward, your family left other family members to move up to Lorraine County, Ohio. One of the reason for the split in family is due to a dispute. For years, no one in your family mentioned down south as home. By occasion, one day while doing genealogy research, you discovered your family moved up north and that they originally came from Bossier Parish, Louisiana. Doing a surname search, you eventually find out you have relatives still in Bossier Parish. Being a person that's family-oriented, you decide to find your down south folk. Not knowing about any feuds or disputes, you head down south to find and meet Family. You find out about the past problems through the actions and words of those family members and also, create newer ones by your northern mannerisms. Things you do that were acceptable in Minneapolis are deeded disrespectful down in Louisiana. Also, the customs and folk lifestyle of your family down south seems backwards and out-dated. However, while down there, you noticed the family experiencing problems for which you have a possible remedy to.
    Do you because of past wrongs, misunderstanding, distance and time refuse to help your family in the best way you can?

    Is keeping a grudge and sustaining past feelings deeper than Blood?

    Can you ultimately be WHOLE and COMPLETE without resolution between you and your FAMILY?

    Do they not possess a key for you to understand yourself in GREATER detail?

    Can a tree sustain the powerful winds without connecting to severed roots? Also can a tree grow new roots without HEALING?

    The things that keep you and your family separate are outside forces, but the things that connect you are inner forces - such as DNA and genetic strengths and flaws. Which one is more powerful in terms of pull? Perception or inner reality? What if the heart refused to work with the liver because its composed of liver cells and the heart owes allegiance to the cells of the heart? Could the body function? Wouldn't this be chaos and dis-ease? Healing is the remedy. Healing for all! Healing is the process of becoming whole again. Repatriation doesn't neccesarily mean literal and physical relocation, but relocation in terms of mind, worldview and resources in effort to work for the betterment of the Family.

    Challenges come with everything in life; only we decide if the end result is worthy of the challenges we face. Learning to walk came with its challenges, even birth did as well. So we what? Prioritize. Life is a sacrifice - in order to get something, we must give something. This is the balance of nature and living.

    Blackbird
     
  3. zuleilah2

    zuleilah2 Banned MEMBER

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    Thanks for your response.

    I find this statement interesting:

    "Repatriation doesn't neccesarily mean literal and physical relocation, but relocation in terms of mind, worldview and resources in effort to work for the betterment of the Family"

    Z: Doesn’t repatriation, by its very definition mean a literal and physical relocation to another place?

    Or is repatriation defined however an individual chooses to define it?

    Interesting. I’ve never heard it defined as you have defined it.

    I've always defined repatriation as...

    the act of returning to the country of origin; restoration to one’s country

    How did you form your definition of repatriation.

    If you did decide to repatriate to Africa, what specific challenges do you think you would face as an AA?
     
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Greetings,

    I admit and agree I didn't use /repatriation/, in the strictest (implied)sense of the term, but in the context of repatriation for Afrikans descended from Afrikan captives, repatriation can not be used with its orthodox meaning. Its really a choice of semantics.

    Defined as you have, repatriation means "the act of returning to the country of origin; restoration to one’s country" and that case is not so for many of us. Why? Well, when our ancestors were imported to these shores, the present-day countries of Afrika didn't exist, except for maybe Ethiopia. The political boundaries of Afrikan countries were, for the most part, drawn up by European acquistion, irrespective of previous political arrangements prior to their conception. So for us - country of origin is not so detailed and defined.

    I could find out that one of the roots of my family was the Malinke/Mande clan Kante', but where would I look? There are age-old settlements of Malinke people in Guinea, Gambia, Mali, Cote d'Ivorie, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau and in these countries, one can find the Kante' clan. Where would I choose? Being English-speaking, I may feel comfortable in an English-speaking country so I would choose The Gambia. Is that the country of my origin? Who knows, but based on my research do I have clan (family) members there? Yes. My part of the clan could have came from Senegal.

    Also, the definition you supplied never said returning physically. Thus, if I subscribed strictly to Sankofa and adopted the language, cultural ways and belief systems, as well as, identify with the Mande people, did I not undergo the process of restoration to my country (homeland)? I could even have traveled there, became recognized as a prodigal son, acquired citizenship, provided continual support and resources and came back to the U.S. for permanent residency - that according to the definition is repatriation. I didn't have to relocate, but I did once again re-store my ties to my ethnic origin. Do you feel me?

    The specific challenges one would face would more than likely be informed by cultural misunderstanding and stereotypes. My wife is from Ghana and these are some of things I have faced when either visiting Ghana or interacting with native Afrikans here. The keys to these challenges are simple: proper education of hosting culture, a willingness to learn and share (respect), strong diplomatic and negotiating skills to create dialogue and establish legitimacy and a workable plan to integrate and identify. Basically to avoid any and all things that brood alienation and exudes arrogance.

    Blackbird
     
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Greetings,

    Interesting story I would like to share. In my hometown, there is a former educator who did what I would call repatriation. This educator was in college years ago when he met an Afrikan student from Ghana. The student told him he looked like a group of people from Ghana. The educator recalled a story told by his father and shared it with his fellow student from Afrika. Supposedly, his great-grandfather was captured as a child in Afrika and sold into slavery in the U.S. His great-grandfather would always say he was from "Away." His family assumed he meant "far away" like Afrika. However, what this ancestor was communicating to his children was his ethnic affiliation. After doing years of research, in conjunction with his Afrikan friend, this educator eventually found his ancestral homeland. He traveled to Ho, a city in eastern Ghana, among the Ewe people. Ewe is pronounced "Ev-way." Making a long story, one that spanned over 3 decades, this educator found his people, his clan and also found out his lineage was the titular head lineage of Ho. He is now a dignitary and "head" of the town of Ho. This fellow still lives in Shreveport, Louisiana, but he sends books, other learning materials and various of other support to Ho. As a dignitary and "family", he travels to Ho annually. In my mind, this elder brother is truly a repatriated Afrikan and his worldview now shows it.

    As a cultural anthropology student, amateur genealogist and documentarian, I have talked with this fellow and checked out his story based on my understanding of Ewe culture. His story is truly amazing. Some say Alex Haley's "Roots" was myth-work and plagarism. I don't know, but I have met with a true person with a true Roots story. This story has shown me that the connection to Afrika to can be more personal and closer to home than many may think.

    Blackbird
     
  6. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Wow, great story Black Bird, thank you for sharing. I know that the ancestors on my "Maternal" Grandfather's side are from Ghana. My Grandfather used to "tease" my Grandmother that his family were never slaves. I would very much like to one day research this aspect of my heritage.
     
  7. zuleilah2

    zuleilah2 Banned MEMBER

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    Z: Interesting story. Thanks for sharing.

    You said...The specific challenges one would face would more than likely be informed by cultural misunderstanding and stereotypes. My wife is from Ghana and these are some of things I have faced when either visiting Ghana or interacting with native Afrikans here.

    Z: Could you provide a few specific examples of the challenges you faced when you visited Ghana or interacted with native Africans here in the States?
     
  8. Koolaid_smile

    Koolaid_smile Active Member MEMBER

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    Since I feel that Africans and Black Americans differ dramatically, I think clash of cultures will become an issue. Lot of the Africans have strong, male dominant societies which wouldn't be in a Black woman's favor. I actually wouldn't want to go back. I feel America is my home whether my ancestors were forced here or not. Our generations have been here longer. If I moved to Africa, they won't see me as Black, but simply as an American. Therefore, I am different to them.
     
  9. Sun Ship

    Sun Ship Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    there are many different "differences" one can make, good or bad

    quote zuleilah2




    “Israeli” – Israel, for the most part, is not occupied by the original indigenous inhabitants. When today’s so-called Israeli Jews were given the designation of Israel, the hand full of Palestinian Jews already occupying Palestine did not have a ‘state of Israel’ for the incoming Jews of 1947 to repatriate to. Israel itself is a whole nation trying to repatriate itself, to a 2,000-year-old historical myth, which has never been really academically challenged. So, this comparison is almost really sort of hard to do. But for the sake of argument, I think the differences of what the most recent “so-called” repatriating Jews contribute, is based upon their reason for and under what circumstances, they are leaving their home country. Sometimes, if you have nothing to give the people who welcome you “back”, you may not receive much in return. There are Jews doing well in Israel and contributing a lot to the state of Israel, and there are poor incoming -Jews who have become long-term burdens and parasitical to the state. Some are treated differently because of their particular “race” or ethnicity.

    I also have to agree with some of Brother Blackbird’s assertions, how can one really repatriate to the continent of Africa, as a whole or to what previously existing nation, pre-dating the trans-Atlantic slave trade, would we be repatriating to?

    Is there really a "Law Of Return", for diasporic Africans?

    I think this part of your question may be like comparing apples and oranges.
     
  10. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    When I visited Ghana, the people were loving and accepting. One of my friends who went with me commented,"What the people don't have in monetary terms, they make up for in humanity." My biggest challenges have been with the Afrikans here in Amerika. I think I stated before some of them have an arrogance or a mentality of "better than you, Afrikan-Amerikans." In efforts to assimilate into the U.S., they have adopted the same attitude toward Afrikan-(Amerikans) as everyone else.

    But, Black folk here have the same attitude, as well. I'm my own individual and sometimes I don't dress in the usual "tasteful norms" of this society. I've encounter Black people who think they are better than me because of that fact alone. Also, I'm from the south and through my travels, I have encountered "regional prejudices" and grand notions of some "superiority" among Black folk not from the south. The bottom line is life is full of challenges so the question is how does one respond or react to those challenges. I could go on about how native Afrikans perceive me as an amerikan, but the way I see it, it's no different than how my East Coast, West Coast or Midwest brothers and sisters see me as a Southerner.

    What do you think the challenges are?

    Blackbird
     
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