Sunday, 23 May 2010

Ten Days in Africa

Regi Allen travels to three West African countries to discover for himself the truth behind the myths that separate black identity in Africa from black identity in the Diaspora.
There's a shorter version which is woven more tightly; stylistically its better and sums up the whole film pretty nicely in 8:20 mins, unfortunately I couldn't embed or download & upload.


CNu said...

Whatever semblence of pan-African identity may have formerly existed between Black American leadership and African leadership in the recently post-colonial period, that spark has been dead and buried longer than the formerly brightly burning spark of American Black Nationalism.

Black warfighting boots will do horrific damage on African soil in the next decade.

Matter fact, it's a political, mimetic necessity already tightly scripted and cast...., watch it jump off and begin to heat up under Preznit Obama.

Just watch - and remember who said it first.

Afro-Europe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Afro-Europe said...

Hi KONWOMYN, interesting video. I must admit I have never been to Africa. I have seen the slave quarters on my holidays in Curacao, so I don't have to go Ghana or Senegal to have that experience of standing in front a door of no return.

About the video. I've seen these type of going-back-to-my roots videos before. The only purpose of these videos seems to be to show the culture gap between African-Americans tourists and African locals.

I have never seen a film were Caribbean people “returned” to Africa. I wonder how that would turn out.

If I would go to Africa I think I would go to Lagos, I am more an urbanite.

You've got a great blog by the way.

KonWomyn said...


You really think so? Journeys like these to me suggest that the Pan-African spiritual is alive - to give some sense of roots for people who have a connection to Africa's past - although that narrative has changed somewhat from a primitive Africa to an impoverished, war-stricken one.

And politically - Ghadaffi's on that hustle, there could well be a United States of Africa in the next 5-10 years ;( But really tho' there are somewhat serious movements and organisations moving towards Pan Africanism.

Yea I know abt the AfriCom agenda and our Kenyan brother in the Whitehouse - apart from oil that was the other ulterior motive of the Ghana trip. First was the base in Djibouti, then secret prisons in Ethiopia next Ghana.

KonWomyn said...

Hey Afro Europe

Thanks for dropping a comment. Excuse my assumptions, I thought you were African born living in Europe cos you always post so much stuff abt African migrants in Europe. Oops.

Can't think of a film off the top of m head, but I'll ask my peoples. But from the books I've read and the people I've spoken to, there's still that sense of connection to a mythical past.

I've always assumed the disconnection was a generational thing because people my age weren't even born in the times when Pan Africanism was at its height or when the Black Power Movement was at its peak in the 60s and 70s during the Black Power Movement. So the search for a past is somewhat different for this generation.

People want to connect to what they can relate to but each place serves a purpose in one's imagination - if I went to Tanzania or the Congo, I'd want to connect with the twentysomethings and thirtysomethings in the cities to see where they're at, BUT if I went to Ethiopia (I've been there twice but for 1-3 day periods) my mission would be primarily historical and spiritual to find the churches and learn more about the Orthodox Church and RasTafarI.

But in watching that video I wonder how it might have been for Regi Allen if he had not gone in a tour group and without a camera - just by himself, not as a tourist. How much would have been different? Maybe the Ghanaian kids wouldn't be so attracted to him, maybe he would get a different view of Ghana - I don't know.

Anyway, thanks for the compliment.


KonWomyn said...

By the way I say this as an African, born and bred.

CNu said...

there could well be a United States of Africa in the next 5-10 years

As good a place as any for the sino-islamic/russo-anglospheric resource wars to get underway in earnest...,

Afro-Europe said...

Hi Konwoman,

I think you're right about Regi Allen. If you go with such a large group, there is no way you will be able to connect. But from black and white friends who visited Ghana and Senegal in small groups, I still got the impression that they experienced it as tourists.

I personally met people from South Africa and Nigeria trough black European student exchange programs (a long time ago), I didn't feel no cultural barrier. The Nigerian student played basketball like a pro, so there was a fit immediately!

"I thought you were African born living in Europe cos you always post so much stuff abt African migrants in Europe. Oops."
No I am of Surinamese and Dutch Caribbean descent and I am born and raised in The Netherlands.

The whole idea of Afro-Europe is creating a black perspective on Europe for black people living in Europe. I have Germany next door but I knew absolutely nothing about the black community in Germany until I met an Afro-German. Because she knew nothing about the black community in the Netherlands, it was clear there was a black horizon waiting to be explored.

Peace and solidarity

Anonymous said...

There is always a palpable sadness about these films of African American return. Two Black worlds seem to collide with little mutual comprehension or so it seems. I like the young teenager on the hustle with 'we Africans are one country' and 'European slavery' or words to that effect. Surely he is after something more than mere solidarity.
I co-sign with you Lady blogger, I do think Pan Africanism is a living thing and will get bigger. For instance, think of the US Black Caucus and disinvestment in RSA in the bad days.


KonWomyn said...

Afro Europe,
You’re from Surinam, nice! Were there elections there recently or something, heard something about it yesterday when I was listening to some people who were discussing the political situation in Jamaica and the Caribbean generally. Has the Surinamese community integrated well in the Netherlands? It seems to be that tensions are with newly arrived migrants, but haven’t heard much about older migrant communities.

Its good you have a blog that canvasses all the news and views of Africans in Europe – it was only when I visited the European Continent that I got a sense of being an African in Europe and that I was different and stood out, whereas in the UK its more that I’m aware of my Africanness, but because of the history of cultural encounter and the impact of Black presence in the UK you almost take it for-granted that people know you’re Africa. (Even though you still get the usual stereotypes of surprise you speak English).

Maybe for you it’s different you were born and bred in the Netherlands so the feeling of difference is something you’ve grown up with or does not exist because Surinamese have been there for so long?

KonWomyn said...

Wsup Ebele,

Well perhaps it’s not all doom and gloom, I think there’s a deep feeling of loss and disconnection but at the same time there is a deep connection too – at the end of this film you get that sense. Regi Allen got what he had gone for – that sense of ancestral belonging and home. You can watch the whole thing online.

LOL, I feel you on Michael. He’s a hustler for sure, he’s cool. There’s def the commercial element to his game, but then there is also something about Black Americanness that he sees, that lotsa urban African kids in that identity - from music to fashion to politics.

I s’pose for us Africans, it’s a modern mythical image in a similar way that Black Americans see Africans as mythical ancients…

About African Americans in South Africa, it’s a good thing that Blacks are doing business on international fronts and moving things, but I still get the impression for those in big business in Jo’burg money is the over-riding aim, not solidarity.

This is based on my own experiences. However with African Americans living in Cape Town it's different most I met were pretty cool, but then they weren’t business owners, mostly conscious, artsy peoples.