“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou
In this section of the blog, you will have access to a new, yet old kind of home. Earlier this year I began my journey as a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in South Africa. For some of us, specific parts of the continent of Africa brings an old and familiar sense of home. For others, this page might bring a new sense of home as it opens up new access to the continent. As a proud 1st generation Ghanaian American, I have both yearned for and discovered the home of my parents and ancestors. Having been to South Africa before has given me enough exposure to see the vast differences that exist throughout this continent. For that reason, you will only hear me use the word “Africa” if I am referring to the continent as a whole, out of respect for the uniqueness of each country.
In this section, I will write “to” home in more than one aspect because we have the right to experience what home looks like beyond America, not just through Western media.
- I am writing to you all at home in America, hoping to shine light on some of the beauty and struggle that exists on the continent of Africa, specifically in Durban, South Africa.
- I am writing to the continent as I learn more about it, asking deeper questions about my experience here.
- I am adopting South Africa as my home for the time that I am spending here, a safe space where my black beauty can shine while I work to encourage young South Africans to do the same.
The concept of home is an interesting one and the pun exists to enforce the fact that we all have a right to home, to explore it, to engage it, to appreciate it, to celebrate it. When I studied abroad in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa, I found myself homesick for so many different places, some of which I hadn’t realized I even considered home. I’ve posted a bit about my background in the about me sections so that my musings might make a bit more sense, so as someone with Ghanaian roots, who grew up in New Orleans then moved to Brooklyn as a teenager and went to college in DC, I found myself aching for all four at some point during my journey. This pushed me to explore the concept of home. The first place I got homesick for was my childhood home in New Orleans, then the Georgetown cafeteria (surprisingly enough), then Ghana, then Brooklyn. I could list all of the definitions of home possible, but the truth is it’s subjective. For me, home has been the places where my roots are, where I share fond memories, the places that have shaped me to the extent that I find myself yearning for them after moving on. We all have the right to these places and experiences and this is the space where I will write to these places and experiences.
“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” -Maya Angelou