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  • Mwatabu S Okantah

Ghana Time, or, Fools' Frontier? (Part 7 of 7)

Updated: Jan 30

After each of my visits to West Africa, the real culture shock always sets in when I return to The States. We landed in New York, at JFK International Airport, to wait for the connecting flight back to Akron, Ohio “reality.” We were sad. We were tired yet renewed. After finding a spot to sit, I left my wife with our bags, and went in search of something to eat. As I passed a young Blackman seated near an escalator, he called out, “Why ya wearin’ island clothes?” I smiled and replied, “I just come back from Africa. Rasta not ‘bout islands. Rasta ‘bout we Africans, about Zion.” He countered, “Ya wearin’ Bob Marley on your shirt.” I shot back, “Yeah, and Bob sang about Africa!”


In that instant, our exchange made me flash back to the sounds of Marley’s music being played and his iconic images appearing all over the continent. The Year of the Return made Marley’s clarion call, “Exodus, movement of Jah people…,” real. It occurred to me, “Pictures of a Dreadlocked, Lion of Judah, Bob Marley are joined in fierce battle with the white Jesus in Africa.” I smiled and gently reminded the young Lion, “Jamaica was just another stop where the slave ships dropped off the Ancestors.” I heard them whispering, “The invaders did not know, they had captured Sun people. They could not know; they were bringing real Black Light into their own white dark world.”


I smiled.


Suggested Reading


The Healing Drum: African Wisdom Teachings (1989), Hall, Mitchell and Diallo, Yaya.


Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (1993), Morrison, Toni.


Akan Protocol: Remembering the Traditions of Our Ancestors (1997), Opokuwaa,

Nana Akua Kyerewaa.


The Quest for Spiritual Transformation: Introduction to Traditional Akan Religion, Rituals

And Practices (2005), Opokuwaa, Nana Akua Kyerewaa.


How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972), Rodney, Walter.


The Healing Wisdom of Africa (1999), Some, Malidoma Patrice.


Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman (1994),

Some, Malidoma Patrice.


Ritual: Power, Healing and Community (1993), Some, Malidoma Patrice.


The Spirit of Intimacy: Ancient African Teachings in the Ways of Relationships (1997),

Some, Sobonfu.


Why I Became an African Chief (2017), Whitaker, Nana Kwa David.


Rites of Passage: A Journey of Transformation (2006), Whitaker, Nana Kwa David.

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