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Completing the loop on the Slave Journey to the Americas

Posted by Business in Ghana on December 15, 2010

A Group of African Americans Head back As Free Men and Women to the Land of their Ancestors

In late December, Cameroon will be the first African nation to host a DNA-certified group of African American returnees to the country of their origin.  Some 50 African Americans from the United States will travel to the Central African country for a 10-day visit following DNA certification of their ancestral origins. Their ancestors were found to have come from different ethnic groups, including the Tikar, Bamileke and Masa, in the Central African country.

The journey is hosted by the Baltimore, Maryland-based not-for-profit ARK Jammers Connection, which is working with the government of Cameroon to organize the first Ancestry Reconnection Program (ARP).

“This trip represents, for those who have decided to make it, a major personal and collective triumph, and a completion, under more auspicious circumstances, of an important historical loop,” said Ms Avline Ava, President of the ARK Jammers Connection, Inc.  “These men and women will remind the world of a journey that started over four centuries ago with their ancestors traveling to the New World in chains and through dangerous seas. They are preparing to go back home as free men and women, in planes and through open and friendly skies, completing that journey,” Ava added.

It is emerging from DNA test results that the part of the African continent that became the nation of Cameroon played a significant role during the slave trade, both as a source and a point of exit for enslaved Africans from the region.  “Present-day Cameroon is one of the countries that we find ancestry results from most often, along with Nigeria and Sierra Leone.” said Gina Paige, President of the Washington-based African Ancestry, Inc (www.africanancestry.com), which provided the tests for the program.

The traveling party will include men and women of all ages and backgrounds who seek a historical and spiritual reconnection to their forebears. “I have photographs of my slave ancestors who came from Cameroon,” said a member of the group, and I will be bringing those with me.

Dr. Lisa Aubrey, Associate Professor of African and African American Studies and Political Science, with a small team of student researchers, at Arizona State University, have come up with interesting new information on the role Cameroon played in the slave trade.  “We are finding out, for example, the names and origins of ships, dates, and the number of Africans that were captured and transported during one of the periods under study,” Dr. Aubrey said.

The Cameroonian-Americans will be exposed to the culture and traditions of their ethnic communities of origin and have a chance to sample the great diversity in language, geography and religion that earned for Cameroon the name, “Africa in Miniature”.  Scheduled to arrive on December 27 in Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital, the group will leave for the US on January 5, 2011.

A mega concert involving the biggest names in Cameroonian music – Manu Dibango, Yannick Noah, Ekambi Brilliant, Noel Ekwabi, etc. – will crown the cultural events planned to mark the homecoming event.

The trip to Cameroon, ARJ Jammers President Ava said, is the first in a series of Ancestry Reconnection Programs through which Cameroon hopes to establish longer term relations with Cameroonian-Americans.

 

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2 Responses to “Completing the loop on the Slave Journey to the Americas”

  1. Steve DUFE said

    Wow, this is great. Guys u are welcome home. Prepare ua stomachs for some of the best natural food in the world. Welcome home. I am sure once u get here, u will not see reason to go back.I pray that u have a safe journey. I will love to do something on Africa positive, a magazine that sells Africa from a positive angle in Germany when u are here. Pls contact me via my email so I can have your program and maybe pics for the magazine.
    Steve Dufe
    Journalist

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