🌬Marching to Zion Part 2: Ghana, Togo & Going Home 🇬🇭🇧🇯🙌🏿

It’s been a little over a week since I returned from a life changing trip to Ghana and Benin. In my spirit I felt like I needed to take a trip to Israel first, Ghana and then Nigeria (where my ancestors hailed from but Ghana was the last place they were before being removed from the African continent during the trans-atlanti slave trade). The Most High is faithful to give us the desires of our heart because over the past two years I have been able to go on life changing tours to Israel, Ghana and Togo. 

Each tour was intentionally designed for and led by Black people to ensure we connected with our culture in a way that was accurate and dignified. For more information on my trip to Israel read Marching to Zion: #BlackLivesMatterEverywhere which was published on this blog. 

Going to Ghana meant so much to me as it is a place of much history for Africans throughout the diaspora as the last place many were held before being shipped to the New World in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade but Ghana was also a place that many Hebrew refugees from Israel settled throughout history when fleeing Israel after the first and second temples were destroyed. Now these groups didn’t leave Israel and walk to Ghana in a few days but over the course of hundreds of years they migrated usually starting in Egypt and ending in Ghana with some Hebrews ending their migration in Nigeria, Cameroon, Zimbabwe and other places in Africa. Some groups in Ghana that migrated from Israel are: the Ewe, Ashanti, Sefwi (who currently have a vibrant Torah practicing community and Synangue) and the Ga Dagme. While in Ghana my local Tour Guides and drivers Kodjo, Derrick and David were Ewe and they were men of deep faith and showed us a good time. Our American Tour Guide was Peter a Guyanese-American who ensured that while in Ghana we saw as much of the country as possible while also ensuring that we patronized the businesses of local Ghanians. 

One purpose of this trip was to gather research about the ethnic groups in Ghana who migrated from Israel for my forthcoming book Prophetic Whirlwind: Uncovering the Black Biblical Destiny. The Sefwi and Ashanti were clear that their people migrated from Israel and my Ewe friends are also clear about this fact and all of these ethnic groups have Torah practices as a basis of their cultures. During my time in Ghana through the wonderful organization Kulanu which is Hebrew for All of Us I was able to visit the Sefwi Jewish Village and Synagogue as apart of the first African-American delegation to visit this group. Through the generous donations to my fundraising campaign I was able to give a monetary donation to the community for their guest house and I was able to deliver 180 Hanukkah  candles as they prepare to celebrate. This visit was life changing and witness of our faith to the individuals in my Tour group. 

Another impactful part of my tour was going to the Cape Coast and Elmina Slave Castles where my ancestors and millions of other enslaved Africans were held while waiting to be shipped to the New World for slavery. Sadly there was a church that held services right over the slave dungeons where men and women were held in dark cramped caves with no sunlight or adequate food. This deeply enraged me but also shown how false religion has been used to enslave not only the minds but the bodies of my people. I also realized that trumendous strength of my ancestors and I know I can overcome whatever stands before me because of them. I prayed at the Door of No Return which is the door the enslaved Africans walked through to get on slave ships never to see Africa again. As I prayed for my people I felt a strength and resolve that was truly empowering.

I want to thank each and every person who donated to my fundraiser for this trip and the Sefwi Jewish community. Be Blessed and see videos and picture from my trip below!  

Hanging out at the Ashanti Sword Site

The Ashanti Sword That No Man Can Pull Out (Like the King Arthur Story)

Making Traditional Akan Symbols

Ashanti Sword Site

Hanging out in the Sword Palace

Making my Own Fabric

Hanging with Ashanti Royalty

Sefwi Jewish Brother’s

Kodjo our Ewe Driver His Faith is Strong Like His Hebrew Ancestors!

Rev. Yolanda Brown Prayed for Us At The Slave Castles

Break Every Chain

The Slave Castle

Family Together at The Sefwi Synangogue

In my Sefwi Kente Cloth Prayer Shawl!

Worshipping Together

In the Sefwi Jewish Synangogue

Building with Michael and Kofi Leaders of the Sefwi Jewish Community

Poetry Challenge Day 6: When Will We Be Free??

Copyright © 1995-2012 The Marcus Garvey and UNIA Papers Project, UCLA

When will we be free? What does it take, who does it take? We don’t need another Messiah. Our modern life is not free; we are slaves to possessions, addictions and dead self-esteem. We can’t be free if we don’t know we are in neo-slavery. We won’t be free without radical love.

Southern Baptist Elect First African-American President

                                   By Gerald Herbert, AP

On Tuesday June 19th the Southern Baptist Convention made history when 7,700 ministers unanimously supported the vote for Rev. Fred Luter, Jr. to become the first Black president of the predominately White denomination. The Southern Baptist Convention is the world’s largest protestant denomination and some would say the whitest. The vote is extremely historic in light of church history, because the Southern Baptist denomination became a separate denomination in 1845 after a regional split with northern Baptist over the issues of slavery. After the Civil War a second split occurred when most Black Baptists in the South separated from white churches and set up their own congregations.

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Vintage Post: What New Monastics Can Learn From The Settlement House Movement

* First posted on Sojourners God’s Politics Blog in October 2008 as apart of a larger conversation about Christian Intentional Communities (or New Monastic Communities), race and class.

One of America’s earliest settlement houses

The settlement house movement is the foundation of public welfare in the United States. Beginning in the early 19th century within the immigrant enclaves of New York City and Chicago, this movement was led predominately by white middle class Christians who relocated to these communities to live together, serve, and evangelize the poor. During this period the immigrant enclaves of America’s major cities were the abandoned places of the empire. The settlement house movement was the foundation for the field of social work and quite possibly the earliest form of “inner-city ministry.” Out of this work of relocation and social service came the “settlement house,” which was an institution that provided for the social, physical, and spiritual needs of the immigrant poor. The “settlement house movement” became very popular during this era, and some of these institutions have endured until today. I spent many summers working for Hamilton Madison House, one of New York City’s oldest and largest settlement houses. My work at this institution gave me the opportunity to serve immigrant populations who were facing the same issues of poverty that my inner-city African-American community faced.

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Svante Myrick: From Homeless to Cornell to Mayor at Just 24-Years Old!

Ithaca, New York’s new Mayor Svante Myrick truly has an inspiring story, during his childhood he was homeless and living in a car with his family until his grandparents took them in. Myrick went on to attend Cornell with the encouragement of a dedicated teacher.  A Mayor with this background would be inspiring at any age but at 24-years old Mayor Myrick’s story is truly a modern-day miracle; in spite of his achievements Svante does not consider himself a “self-made man” but credits all who helped him along the way. In a time of constant negative political news it is refreshing to hear this story because it can give us  hope for our country’s civic future. He is inspired by President Obama’s  historic journey to the White House and just as the President inspired him I am sure Mayor Myrick will inspire countless other young Black men. Svante’s  story is proof that people of color and poor people can achieve greatness if given the opportunity.

MSNBC Interview with Mayor Svante Myrick