It has been 400 years since the first Africans were captured and brought to America to be enslaved. It is estimated that enslaved Africans contributed more than $300 billion to the American economy, enabling this country to advance to become one of the most powerful in the world far faster than any other developing nation. America still struggles to admit the impacts of slavery on its success and on how non-white Americans are treated to this day.
Meanwhile, Africa is encouraging and inviting Black Americans to return their as tourists and citizens. Africa wants to see a commitment from Black Americans to reconnect with their roots and to invest in the education, infrastructure and businesses of Africa. This culminated over the New Year’s holiday with the Full Circle Festival, welcoming the new decade. Everyone who was anyone was there from Oprah to the Obamas — and I had major FOMO!
As I bring the #BlackBlogsMatter / #BlackPodsMatter challenge to an end, I’ve reflected a lot on this experience and what is next for my work with this community of bloggers & podcasters as well as my connection to my heritage, my spirituality, and the empowerment of my people.
I came together with my friends Janine Truitt of Talent Think Innovations and Keirsten Greggs of TRAP Recruiter to discuss and reflect on this together. Janine and Keirsten have been so instrumental in helping me organize and execute the challenge for these last 4 years, I could think of no one else to talk about this with. And we recorded the conversation to share it with you.
Sit back. Relax. And chill with our conversation about the “Year of Return”