If I could live anywhere in the world that I haven’t visited I would move to the Republic of Botswana. I have always wondered what it would be like to live in Africa. Really most places on The Continent fascinate me. But Botswana is special. It’s landlocked. It’s mostly desert. It’s not densely populated. It’s government is Democratic and not grossly corrupt. And if I am totally honest I grew interested in the country when reading The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. LOL
It’s hard to explain how it feels to be a Black person living in America. It’s hard to explain how it feels to long for a connection to something timeless. A history, a culture, rites of passage all of it is denied us. My Father is in to genealogy. He’s done a lot of work tracing my ancestors in this country and beyond but slavery changed us as a people and there is a part of me that will always wonder what it would be like if we have never been uprooted. A continent too vast to wrap my arms around is the missing piece of my soul.
To be Black in America is to live in the legacy of slavery. Some people refuse to even attempt to understand it but it’s true. We were brought here as slaves. We did what we had to do to survive. We fought for our freedom. We got freedom but was it truly freedom or another subjugation? We fought our way through that. We “won” integration and voting rights. We made strides. We learned how to play the game. But the be Black in America is to ALWAYS be an other. It’s to always wear a hypen. It’s to either tap dance for White supremacy or to oppose it with everything you have. To be Black in America is to be divorced from the freedom most people have of just being in the world. Just knowing you belong. Knowing where and whom you come from.
I’ve fallen in love with many countries in Africa. I’ve read stories and fables and history. I’ve watched youtube clips of dances and ceremonies. I’ve read all I can about Egypt and the Nile. But currently? I’d love to live in Botswana. I’d love to meet and listen to the Khoisan tongues (sometimes called the ‘click’ languages) even though I know Setswana is the main language (other than English) of the country. I’d love to visit Gaborone and see a growing city in Africa. I’d love to go on safari. Not to hunt. But to see the animals in THEIR land. Where they belong.
But mostly I’d love to live in Botswana. I’d love to be reclaimed by the continent I lost. I’d love to belong. I’d love to live somewhere where I could just be.