Saturday, December 31, 2022

Coming Home: Reflections and Lessons Learned

While helping to bring a canoe ashore, a fisherman braces for a wave in Lake Volta.

“There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.” —Dr. Martin Luther King

By John W. Fountain

John Fountain stands in
Assin Manso Slave river
ACCRA, Ghana—I love Ghana and Ghana almost loved me. But I love America and America hates me. This is the great conundrum as my spirit angels beckon me home from Africa back to America as I sit aboard this Boeing 757.

I return to my Homeland from the Motherland with this much clear: A modern day back-to-Africa movement is not the antidote to American racism and the pain and angst that ails the Black body and soul, even if Africa holds deeply rooted truths about the enslavement and deportation of Black bodies to a cruelly racist world beyond this continent that is the birthplace of civilization.

I return with truths about slavery and the hate we hold brother against brother, which creates the chasm upon which outsiders still seize and prey, in order to conquer, sift and separate us, and upon which we cannibalize and slay ourselves. Still.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

A River Runs Between Us, But It Doesn't Have To

Ancestral Slave River in Assin Manso in Ghana is the historic site where shackled Africans 
were forced to bathe before making the final journey to slave castles
John Fountain standing in Slave 
River in Ghana.
By John W. Fountain
I see brother turn against brother, Black man against Black man. Witness this perennial crabs-in-a-bucket mentality in which we continually cannibalize each other here in America in the streets, in public pages, on social media in various venues--entertainment, political and otherwise. And my mind drifts back to Africa, where centuries ago brother sold brother into slavery to the European.

I see us slaying each other today, by words and misdeeds, by the tongue and by gun, leaving a carnage of strange fruit in Urban streets. Divided by the self-hate rooted in Africa, where Africans slew Africans, instigated tribal wars to capture indigenous men, women and children in exchange for guns, ammunition, liquor, for trinkets and a semblance of power.