Alagie Barrow is a US Army Veteran. He is giving an interesting perspective on an African country “inviting” African Americans to move to Africa due to possible racism they may face in America. He has now relocated back to Gambia. Since he’s familiar with both worlds, I believe that allows him to have a very balanced perspective.
I hear some of our people telling African Americans to leave America if they are not wanted there. They ask African Americans to come back to Africa; their “home”! While I support panafricanism and its ideals, especially Marcus Garvey’s calls for a return to Africa, I’m also very realistic about most things!
America belongs to African Americans as much as it belongs to anyone that calls America home! They don’t need favors or sympathy as if someone is doing them a favor by “allowing” them to live in the USA! That’s the home their ancestors built with 400 years of forced labor! And to this day, with all the symbolic gestures, we hear very little about reparations!
Folks like me who have been out for over two decades can come back home when overwhelmed by the hatred. I can manage. NAWEC switched off the lights? No problem, I grew up with candles and kerosene lamps so I can manage! Water shut off? I hate it but heck, we still have a well in the family compound in latrikunda! I can manage living almost anywhere in Africa. The same cannot be said for someone who’s never lived in Africa.
On African Americans Adapting To African Economies
One, it’s not as if we Africans have our countries in order to be inviting anyone to our heavens! All it would take is for one African American to eye our most priced possession: Power! Those who have it will be the very ones trying to send them back to the USA! We will start complaining about them bringing “things” that are not according to our “culture” and “religions”. Never mind that stealing or helping thieves is also not part of our religion but we somehow love our own thieves!
Two, uprooting and moving anywhere is a challenge. It requires money and the promise of a livable future at the very least. Imagine an African American uprooting their family and coming to live in The Gambia with no capital or skills that don’t require working for someone else! There’s a reason we have a huge amount of Gambians living outside Gambia you know! It has nothing to do with not loving Gambia or Africa. Just because you choose to live here does not make you any more patriotic than the young man living in a shelter somewhere in Italy! Hell even evil Yaya Jammeh misses Gambia! Not sure how much he loves the country but he loved the ability to rape and kill and get cheered by evil minions!
If there’s a bright side to this hatred against blacks, it should serve as a fillip of sorts to Africans so we can get our acts together! Build Africa so it becomes so attractive to our kith and kin all over the world. That way, we don’t even have to send out invites. Our progress will speak for us and it will be the reason others will consider moving here! As things stand, some Gambians who have been living here most of their lives think they’re more entitled than those of us that “just” returned. And last I checked, I’m still Gambian! Imagine how someone who is not “Gambian” will be treated!