Why I Must Return- Ghana Spring 2019

My dreams have always been vivid. Inviting. Movie-like exclamations of thoughts, beliefs, and events that my spirit would anticipate. My dreams have inspired poems, painted mental images and have served as a medium through which my Creator communicates to me.

As a child, I knew that I would travel specifically around the African Diaspora and make it an integral part of my life and mission as a writer, scientist, and visionary. I dreamt of flying over vast waters, seeing faces that sparked my ancestral memory but left my thoughts questioning. Now as an undergraduate student, I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel with different organizations while learning, carrying out service projects and workshops, staying in fellowship with fellow brothers and sisters of the African Diaspora.

I will be embarking on my very first trip to West Africa, to Ghana during this termed “Year of Return”. As the day draws near for departure I am heavily reminded of the importance of this forthcoming journey towards physically returning to a place from which my ancestors came. My very existence as a young Haitian woman was made manifest and called forth by the very resilient spirits of those who came before me – those who were and strove through life before the island line. To walk, run, stride, and breathe in heavily the air around the areas and historical sites that a multitude whose insistence on survival and autonomy still settle and speak to those who are called back. I am returning because my monumental movements forward must employ a chasmic understanding of the beforehand to design a beautiful thereafter.

Now, what does all that look like?

I envision strong, free, stimulating engagement with the people I meet there- with the University students, with familiar souls at marketplaces, and other individuals we will meet. I envision discussions with students that reverberate the importance of Pan Africanism and global fellowship across the Diaspora with each conversation building upon our intellectual genealogy as a people. I envision and currently preparing myself mentally and spiritually for an emotional experience from the minute I step on the plane to the plane ride back across the Atlantic. I envision walking through waters, seeing ancestrally familiar faces swimming across that waters-speaking to a newly manifested self of a different name: Kailande Cassamajor

I am returning for my ancestors whose spirits ached for return but never saw it manifest in the physical realm.

I am returning for those who returned through stories, those who returned with eyelids shut, smile wide, and slow waded through the water.

I am returning for the multitude of Igbo Landing.

I am returning for those in my family who grew up hearing stories of those African people on the island who dared to draw a sword right through white supremacy and reclaim their autonomy through the gritted and triumphant proclamation of Ayiti. 

I am returning for my mother who has dreamed of traveling to the continent, to the places where our blood runs deep but never saw it through.

I am returning for my four siblings who are coming up after me, as a statement to what experience should deeply inform and affect how we decide to conduct our life work, live, and love one another.

I got a warm yet incendiary flame in my knapsack and it burns defiantly against all the strongholds and institutions that said we would never make it back.

I am returning for myself unto myself and many more.

Enjoy the Journey.

© 2019 AfroetryWorks

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