The thoughts and opinions of AfroPulse members on African current affairs, literature, music, film, events, personalities, and our personal experiences in African countries.
by Karimah Shabaz
When I found out that I would be going on a pilgrimage to Ghana with Episcopal Relief and Development, I became overwhelmed with joy and excitement. Weeks before hearing the news, I had prayed and asked God for His will to be done. When I found out that I would be going to Ghana, I thought about how great God is and how He continues to bless me through it all. I knew right away that it would be an unforgettable pilgrimage and that it would change my life, because it was in His plan. What I experienced while in Ghana was surprising. I expected my life to change and for my perspective to be enlightened on social issues and problems that affect the local communities in Ghana and the global communities of our world. Thankfully, I experienced that. However, I did not expect to experience an identity check. During each program visit, through each person I met, and within each visual picture I took with my eyes, I explored my identity as an American and as an African American. Within both identities lie historical journeys of freedom, pain, pride, injustices, and resolve. While in Ghana, I was faced with the reality of my identities and given another perspective of how my identities interact with the rest of the world. I wrote almost daily on how I felt, on my thoughts, and on my experiences while visiting programs. Within my blog lies the thoughts that I could not at the time give voice to, but lingered within my mind and my conscience, reminding me constantly of who I am and what my identity means to me and to others outside of the U.S. borders.