Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Africa Calling: Yearning


My Journey Begins

The canoes of Ghanaian fishermen rest on a beach, waves from the Atlantic Ocean lapping at the shore.

This is the first in a series of dispatches from Africa, where John Fountain is a Fulbright Scholar in Ghana

By John W. Fountain

ACCRA, Ghana—My heart has crossed this ocean but there is no Vibranium here. No mythical supernatural people of coal to caramel skin. 

I find here no sign of the fictional Hollywood African nation of Wakanda that spoke to that longing in the hearts of African Americans in the movie, “Black Panther” with visions of hope and serendipity. No utopiaGhana. No grandiose illusionspure Ghana, population 31.98 million.

And yet, there is something here.

Something there isembodied in the bended emerald branches of coconut trees that speaks to me. Something about the way the white foam waves crash upon these ancestral shores on this side of the Atlantic Ocean in this Gold Coast nation, where W.E.B. DuBois lies buried. Something that soothes my Black soul, relieves my searing double consciousness like water extinguishing a flame. 

A Fulbright Scholar's Journey Begins: Dispatches From The Motherland

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ACCRA, Ghana—I am awakened by a rooster’s crowing that alarms like clockwork around 3:30 a.m., in anticipation of the rising sun. By morning birds whose songs I do not recognize that rise with the cacophony that surrounds my new home away from home, rousing me from my bed and slumber. the accordion evangelist serenading the neighborhood with songs of prayer & blessings.