Uhmah Park

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3. Jackpot.

I booked my Seychelles trip in December 2018 for a trip that is scheduled for the end of August 2019. In between that time my YouTube watching intensified, I couldn’t stop watching different videos about Africa. It felt like I stumbled upon the mythical “Starting Place” that every Black person, including myself, in America has been looking for. I found it by clicking on various related videos. 

I watched videos that showed what regular life was like in various African cities; documentaries about pre and post colonialism; the trans-atlantic slave trade; Ancient African history; The different tribes of Africa; African news channels from various African countries; In my head I hit the “if you took the time to educate yourself about Africa” jackpot! I took the time, I made the time, I stole the time, I spent a lot of time educating myself about Africa. It became my new favorite TV Show. I couldn’t turn it off. One of the first few African YouTubers I came across was Wode Maya out of Ghana. On his channel he visits different African countries to show the beautiful parts of those counties, things to do there, what life is like, what the people are like and the things they do. He has a few videos about what Africans think about African Americans. He asked “every day Africans” how they felt about African Americans. 

This is what I really wanted; to hear how regular people walking the street really felt. And to my surprise it was all love! I was in disbelief so I checked the comments. Usually the comment section on YouTube can be a vile place where no one holds back. It was all hearts, sunshine and rainbows there too! I was truly shocked. I cried real tears watching these videos and reading comments. Most videos about Africans not liking African Americans, you will find the same thing. They do like African Americans. They do want African Americans to visit and possibly stay if we like it. They love African Americans and see African Americans as family. Africa is definitely a place for African Americans. That’s the truth and everything I was told before was a complete lie. Africans can’t understand why we think they don’t like us and it saddens them to hear.

I tried to tell everybody I knew about this new revelation, the general feedback I got was “We dont believe you, you need more people!” I figured I’d ask real Africans when I got to the Seychelles and that would settle that. I didn’t have a solid desire to go to Ghana until I started watching videos about Africa and how Africans don’t hate us African Americans. I heard about The Year of Return and the Full Circle Festival on YouTube through different African YouTubers. The algorithms were focused. I didn’t think I’d have a chance to go in 2019 though, I had an upcoming trip to the Seychelles. 2 trips to Africa so close together seemed like a stretch in my mind. So I figured I’d try, but if not, next December 2020 for sure!

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