28 DAYS OF BLACKNESS: Why The Diaspora Is Amazing (A Loveletter To The 6th Region)

In examining my own family tree (or trying to) when I was younger, I would be so frustrated because I couldn’t find all of things needed to make my family tree complete. I can only research 3 generations on both sides. As a history nerd (read: nerdy kid at heart), I want to know.

I really want to know.

As problematic as TikTok is, it is that free app which has provided a resurgence in wanting to know more about my own family history, and where my people (my specific line) comes from. There was a TikTok challenge last year where our African cousins would be, could be, able to tell where on the continent Black-/African-Americans would be descended from. So, I participated.

I found like 5-7 pictures, used the hashtag given, and waited on responses in the comments. I was brought to tears when I got responses–I was told I could be from Nigeria, Ghana, and specifically–of the Yoruba tribe because of my features. Now, according to what I can piece together my mother’s family has some Native American ancestry (Cherokee and Blackfeet), but I don’t have enough information about that to do any other research. Yet, being Yoruba is this:

The Yoruba people are a West African ethnic group that mainly inhabits parts of Nigeria, Benin and Togo that constitute Yorubaland. The Yorubas constitute around 45 million people in Africa, are a few hundred thousand outside the continent, and bear further representation among members of the African diaspora.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Yoruba

But here we go: identity. And that felt so good to see, and perhaps have that been validated. It is one of the reasons that I decided to truly begin investigating my ancestral line. Which exposed me to this beautiful thing known as the 6th Region of Africa.

Family, do you know what this means? We can go home. HOME. We actually have somewhere to go. I am applying for my passport, and be embraced by my extended family. This is why White people in the country cannot understand what it would mean to have the documents and pictures which have our family information on it! For the want of the preservation of reputation, whiteness and ‘comfort’ we are still looking to find our family in the age of iPhones!

I consider the Diaspora my extended family, and map! As I look through my own records, put my own history together, it only makes me starve for more information. And I am hopeful I will find it, and gather cousins along the way.

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