Do Black Americans Miss Africa and They Don't EUNO It?

Our guide at Lesedi Cultural Village (in Johannesburg, South Africa) knows that his heritage is of the Zulu tribe. He is pictured here dressed in traditional Zulu attire.

"I just feel there's a certain yearning and lost feeling that many blacks that are the product of the (Trans-Atlantic/) European slave trade have that many of our (black) African brothers and sisters don't."

This post is one of me pondering many things. It's not coming from an intellectual or scholarly place or with scholarly language, wording and writing style. This is not an essay. This IS a black [American] woman with a mind and curiosity wondering about things she's had time and experiences to ruminate on. Simply put, I'm thinking out loud and wondering if anyone has felt the same way or thought similar thoughts. I can only speak from an African American/black American standpoint because that is who I am and that is my experience. These are solely my opinions and you will not be regarded as a "hater" if you do not agree with them. I want to have a conversation and learn your thoughts and takes on this.....

I want my people to have more pride and it not be from white people "approving" of us or from them treating and viewing us as equals. I want us, black Americans, to have a pride in ourselves that's similar to what I feel our (black) African brothers and sisters have in them. I want for my people to have a pride in being of African descent, have a wanting to know about it and reconnect with it and all of us visiting African countries as often as we can. I'm aware that the experiences are different. Slaves' cultures of their respective ethnic groups and tribes were stripped away and erased from them in most cases. Africans who weren't captured got to continue on in their cultures and grow and evolve with them but they had to deal with colonialism which effected them in other ways. I'm aware of the different experiences effecting the pride, level of pride and energy behind the pride but I've often wondered what would happen if all black Americans knew what areas and/or ethnic groups in Africa our ancestors came from? How would it affect our collective self esteem and sense of self worth? Would it effect/change our role in American history if we were able to (or fought to) hold onto our cultures, traditions, languages, etc? How would it have effected the history? Would we have upraised against slavery? Would we have moved back? Would we have been sent back? Would we have simply migrated somewhere else and never returned to Africa? Would we view "afrocentricism" differently? Would afrocentricism even be a concept?! Would we support each other more?
What I wore to a brie I attended in JoBurg. South Africans call a BBQ, a brie.

I also often wonder if all black Americans got fed up with "racism" in America and migrated to countries in Africa, like today in 2014, how would the cultures, traditions, infrastructures and technology change? Would racism leave our [black American] psyches? Would Africans happily receive us with warmth and open arms or reject us? Would it make things better or worse? 

I do think it would be nice to be in a place where your "race" wasn't a thought, constant reminder or real concept because everyone looks like you. You're hated because maybe you really are a bad person, not because of the color of your skin. You're judged by the color of your shoes or if your shirt is wrinkled and dirty not because of the color of your skin. Your intelligence is judged by school grades or thought processing, not by the color of your skin. You'd be called dumb because maybe you really are dumb, not because of the color of your skin. People feel threatened by you because you've got an AK-47 in your hand, not simply because of the color of your skin.

I wonder. These are my opinions and now I want to learn yours. What do you think? What are your thoughts on any of my questions? I welcome any of you posing questions too, if you're moved to do so. I'd love to hear from blacks all over the globe. I just feel there's a certain yearning and lost feeling that many blacks that are a product of the (Trans-Atlantic/) European slave trade have that many of our (black) African brothers and sisters don't. Maybe we still really miss [Africa] home and we don't "euno" it. Please chime in.

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Anonymous said…
This is such a great post Milan. You should submit it to the blog ‘For Harriet’ to further the discussion!
Secondly, your post really reminded me of this documentary I watched on You Tube years ago. The link is below; I think it really relates to your post {if you haven't already seen it}.
Coming Home-Ghana
In regards to your question, I do think that many African Americans long to go back "home" and find a connection with their roots. Many of them are very curious to find out where they really come from in Africa. I also think that many African Americans just don't care and they do not have an interest in Africa. They would rather keep their stereotypes about Africa, remain close-minded and stay far away with a crucifix up in the In addition, I think those that long for it grow to feel that way. It’s not a void they have always longed to fill. Meaning that as they mature with age, they learn to appreciate the rich African culture and history. They start to ask questions and are determined to fill this void by going back home. In regards to Africans accepting them when they return, it really depends. Like you said everyone has a different experience. Some can be harshly rejected while others are welcomed back home with open arms. I do feel that {sometimes} white people who visit Ghana {I can’t speak for all of Africa but I’ve noticed some things in Ghana} are treated better than African Americans that visit. This is not always the case but I do think it is sometimes. Anywho, that's my two cents. I always enjoy reading your blog posts and I am looking forward to more posts about your trip to South Africa. I followed all your pictures via Instagram and it look like you had a BLAST!! :-)