Uhmah Park


2. Word?

Growing up I heard stories, from various sources, about how Africans in Africa don’t like African Americans for a lot of the same reasons white people don’t like us; for no real reason at all. They have a derogatory name for us and everything. I was told that Africa wasn’t a place for African Americans. Most of the Black people I know believed the same thing. My father was in the Nation of Islam and I still believed this. That was my reality until 2019. 

Despite that being my reality, I got an opportunity to go East Africa Yacht Week in the Seychelles and I jumped on it. How did that happen? 

Cut to me being dragged by my friends to go to an event called “Brunch 2 Bomb” for my birthday. Me not wanting to go. Having a good time somehow. Signing up for their newsletter while I was there. Them sending out an email blast about a trip to East Africa Yacht Week in the Seychelles. Me seeing the pictures of all of the Black women on boats in beautiful waters, all over the Yacht Week website and me clicking “book it!” 

Did I know anyone else who was also going on said trip? Nope. Was I going to let something like that stop me from island hopping on a yacht with a huge group of other Black people from all over the world? Nope! Parties and food and beaches and good times. I was in! I didn’t know exactly where the Seychelles was in Africa, but I was in! I envisioned a situation a lot like Cuba, a vacation from white people. But with the internet? Would I need a translator? I wasn’t sure. By the time these questions arise, my YouTube habit is in full effect. Let’s find out.

As I watch video after video about the Seychelles and how to be lit on a yacht for instagram, the greatest threat to free time everywhere, the related videos column on YouTube, is starting to fill with more and videos of different African tourist destinations. I tried to stay focused but eventually, the slipperiest slope to the deepest man-made rabbit hole you could ever fall down, won out. 

Now I’m watching videos about different places to vacation in Africa. I didn’t know half of these places existed or had only heard about them and never seen them. I’m fascinated. I discovered that there are a lot of African YouTubers who tour the continent to highlight the beauty of Africa to help change the way the world looks at Africa. I knew that every African nation wasn’t poor and people lived in huts, starving kids, war, and all of the other negative things that people say, think and don’t want to associate themselves with. I knew that wasn’t it, but I didn’t know anything else.


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