I always recommend this podcast. With the backdrop this month being Black History Month, it goes without saying that now is the perfect time to listen. Find it wherever you find your podcasts.
As I said before, it was my best friend that told me I should be on TikTok (follow me @whatjayesaid). And in the four months I have been on this app, I have been amazed at how engrossing it is! From random challenges, to laughing so hard I cannot see, news pages done by Black women and all matter of fashion, and crafts for anyone that wants some! But, I participated in this challenge that brought me to tears, and from those tears, finding myself in a conversation I wasn’t prepared for.
For the longest time, one of the longest perpetuated lies told to Black folk on this side of the Atlantic is we ‘can’t’ go back home–said along side the hateful slogan of ‘go back where you come from!’ Which is it racist, people? Make a decision! Ugh!
But in being on this app, I came across one video where the African woman was almost in tears. She said, “Who told you that we didn’t want you to come home?” This was the same woman days earlier whom made a funny video about coming to pick up her cousins from the airport–elated that they had ‘come home’. From there, I began to wonder what going ‘home’ would truly be like?
If you are not familiar, TikTok has sounds (often made by other creators) which can be funny, profound or give instructions for other challenges. I used one sound that corresponded to a challenge put up by another content creator whom had a follower say she could identify what part of Africa you as a Black person could be from by your picture.
So, I did. I used the sound with the corresponding #AfricaTikTok/#AfricanTikTok, uploading 6-7 pictures. What brought me to tears was the responses–I was told that I could be from the following parts of the continent: Ghana, Nigeria or Guinea. There was even someone that was so specific about my possible Nigerian ancestry, that said I could be descended from the Yoruba Tribe in Nigeria.
And I wept.
This is what growing up and being unable to identify where your roots begin will do to you! This is what happens when you realize the lies that white supremacy has told you are the deepest form of brainwashing. These lies are so insidious they will make you doubt who you are at your core.
It was so great to be seen, to be seen beyond just ‘being Black.’ I had people that looked like me, from picture, who told me where my line actually began. It was humbling. It was powerful. I felt both seen and all alone.
Home. Really, truly home.
What a thing to see, and feel! But I suppose that is the humbling thing about ‘home’. There will always be someone waiting there, no matter how long you have been gone–and there is still room for you…even after 402 years.