I was meeting a Jamaican friend who goes to Ethiopia and Tanzania regularly. He loves Africa which by itself is a pleasure. You know why? There is a feeling amongst us Africans that blacks from these parts of the world are not so keen on the motherland. We sold them as slaves to the whites and secondly, they have already settled here and do not need the continent any more.
Is that correct?
Is that correct?
In the 1970’s when I was a teenager the motto was Black is beautiful and Africa is the motherland. Seeing African Americans on our East Africa streets created rainbow feelings. They loved Africa, kissed airport tarmacs upon arrival. We in turn tried copied and emulated their Afro hairstyles, walking gaits and clothes while they took Swahili and African names.
I used to have a friend who spoke English with a perfect African American accent; which was then considered high status -the epitome of black fashion.
It was all part of the mutual attraction. Started by Marcus Garvey, the legendary Jamaican journalist, ("the black Karl Marx"), at beginning of 20th century – back to Africa movement (repatriation) was as glorious as it is the idea of Kwenda Majuu – these days. Marcus Garvey played a big role in the consciousness of ex-slaves. He pioneered Pan Africanism and the image of our continent as a special place; unfortunately not many of us are aware of this man’s contribution. He died in London in 1940. Most of past and present black leaders have been influenced by the teachings of Marcus Garvey (pictured below, courtesy of Wikipedia ).
In the last 30 years Africa has developed a dual image.