Back to Black – A Need to Appreciate Our African-ness

The year 2019 is an especial benchmark for African history. It marks the 400th anniversary of the landing of the first recorded slaves from the continent at Jameson, Virginia in the United States of America. In the immediate half century following this arrival, slavery had not only become legalised in the Southern districts of the US but it had also grown to become the driving force of the plantation economies that flourished along that axis. More and more slaves were acquired by those who had become insatiably determined to keep these economies flourishing. This insatiateness will be at the very foundation of the refusal of many slave owners to give up their rights to own slaves when the abolitionists rose to confront slavery in America.

To commemorate such an auspicious year 2019, African thought leaders have enumerated some concerts, a carnival and an investment summit, as well as history, youth, cultural and Pan Africanism programmes under the banner of “The Back to Africa Movement” whose objective is to urge Africans in the diaspora to return home to the African continent. Ghanaian President who pronounced this under the aegis of the Ghanaian THE YEAR OF RETURN, TYOR, on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly, invited the global African family to a birth-right journey home to the countries of their origins. He thus provided fresh impetus to the quest to unite Africans on the continent with their brothers and sisters in the diaspora.


This is necessary for many reasons. Africa has so much to gain from her children in the Diaspora. Those who come back can begin to reverse the losses that the continent suffered when ancestors were removed from the continent as slaves. Advances some have made in areas like science, education, finance, tech, engineering, law and medicine can be put to immediate use. Those who have also managed to amass small and great fortunes through careers and investments abroad can return to invest in and help make Africa great, whilst also helping to replace some of the vitality that’s been pilfered from Africa for too long.


Not all of us Africans are in the Diaspora and also only few can take active roles in such big scale. That does not mean we don’t have responsibilities to play in our own ways to bring about rebirth of African culture, deepening of African traditions and protecting of our African heritage fast being eroded by overindulgence in Western ways.

By incorporating into our lifestyles distinct African-ness, we can inculcate in ourselves, our children and our circle of influence a pan-African sense of living. We can begin with the stylings of everyday assessories that ladies use to glam up their looks and bags that we carry around daily. Adding an African touch as has been doing with panache can seem little. But this goes a long way in our dream of awakening in the consciousness of the 21st century African, the richness of the African tradition, culture and heritage.


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