Bridget Ofori, Isaac Oraweme
We all know how the story goes: African slaves were kidnapped, taken thousands of miles from what they knew, from the land of their birth, and then sold into a life of involuntary servitude. Unfortunately, there is no paper trail detailing the exact origins of these Africans that were stolen from their homes. We are talking about an era when individuals were sold and resold like cattle, an era where no one was concerned about recording the family trees of said “cattle”. This, is the experience of Africans, most notably those who were transplanted to the Americas during that era, during slavery.
The institution of slavery was and still is deeply personal for many, but also a unique experience for people of African Descent specifically those Africans that were transported to America. If you ask a black immigrant anywhere about their ethnic background, you will probably be confronted by a person proudly proclaiming: I’m “Jamaican”, “Nigerian”, “Ghanaian”, and “Gambian”. If you asked people whose history is tied to the slave trade if they know their origin(s), you will probably receive a solemn look followed by the words, “I have no idea”. During the slave trade, Black people were stripped of their names, history, and humanity. Those who tried to reclaim what was taken from them or attempted to discover their origins were killed upon capture.
Today, there is a new awakening, a new found curiosity amongst people of African Descent. This awakening can only be described as the thirst for knowledge. The urge to discover, or actually, to rediscover and to reclaim their long lost history. This retracing is the Sankofa, the Voyageback to the land of birth of your ancestors’ ancestors. In order to make that Voyageback, you must connect the dots to know your history, roots and your land of origin. For most, the only real way to retrace their roots is through a DNA test which will reveal their ancestry.
DNA testing can now provide the precise ethnic makeup of a person. Now if you were to ask a Black person who has undergone DNA testing about their country of origin you will surely hear something along the lines of “I’m 16% Igbo (Nigeria), 65% Ashanti (Ghana)…” and so forth. While this is part of a larger trend of people taking an interest in their ancestors’ family, cultural, and living backgrounds, for Black people it is a welcome reprieve. You can locate the lands your ancestors were taken from, and go visit.
The question now becomes: What next after you DNA test? What do you intend to do with your discovery? That is where Voyageback comes in. There is so much to be said for the recent trend in people wanting to retrace their history and roots.
It is not uncommon to find Black men and women who are proud of their newly rediscovered African heritage and who are doing everything within their power to connect with the land of their ancestors. It is the longing one has, the quest to know your history, language, and to meet one’s extended family.
The mission and passion of Voyageback is to be that bridge that connects the dots for the Black Diaspora, anywhere in the world all the way to their ancestral lands in Africa. We provide guided tours for those who want to Voyageback to their ancestral lands.
Using your precise ancestral DNA results, we curate unique trips for each individual, with tours tailored to meet your needs. Ranging from a short one week trip to one destination, a multi-country itinerary, or Relocation* services. We are able to not only connect you to your roots, but we promise to do it all on a budget. The goal of these seamlessly curated trips is to ensure that you come away with a sense of understanding, a sense of self, and a sense of closure.
Let’s go to Africa!