2019 - The Year of Return
For me, this trip signals the emergence of a profound desire to retrace my roots and return to the continent from which my entire existence stems. A few months ago I ran my ancestry DNA to see if/how much Ghanaian blood courses through my veins. 15%! Nothing to sneeze at, heeeey auntie! If you didn’t know, Ghana was a major hub for the transatlantic slave trade from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
All year you may have seen Ghana rise to higher prominence in the news. 2019 marks 400 years since those first slave ships took off with a stolen people. My great-great-great grandparents on either side. To any black person out there, even if u do not trace your ancestry to Ghana, remember that most slaves captured within this region and even elsewhere were brought here before finally being shipped like goods (saying this with a heavy heart) to foreign lands… North America, South America, the Caribbean, etc.
I’m taking this trip as one step in figuring out all the facets of MY identity -- and how I continue to lead a life of authenticity that enriches our community by deepening my knowledge base. I’m literally going back HOME to witness first-hand the struggles of my ancestors and ideally gaining a better appreciation of where I stand today. With the responsibility of improving our tomorrow.
Recently, the New York Times put out the "1619 Project". This is so well done. Black history and culture are at the core and heart of American history and culture in so many ways that have been hidden or ignored. The accompanying podcast is fascinating, deeply moving, eye-opening and thought-provoking.
Help me expand my world view through this new learning experience!
To pay for this experience, I’ve done about 83% of the heavy lifting. I’ve cut any and all unnecessary frills. I’m packing my lunch every single day. All the stuff I'd do normally times 12... I’m calculating what it takes to get through the week on as little as possible, all while maintaining basic adult responsibilities, rent, groceries, gas, Duke Energy… *face palm* But, this trip is taking every cent I have.
I just need a teeny bit of help getting over the finish line. This is where I'm counting on you.
The goal you see is what’s left to cover tools I didn’t know I needed. New luggage (because I bounced around A LOT on the Obama campaign and my old luggage is #dead), immunization (because immunization shots like Yellow Fever shot are almost $300! YEESH!), a five-way adapter (so you and I can stay in touch…) and an array of other tidbits to get to and from successfully.
I’ve been scraping all my little pennies together for the last few months (Lawd, it's a beautiful struggle!) And I want to thank any of you who’s ALREADY provided a free meal or a sippy drank for ya girl lately. Love you, mean it! This page is the last stop on a journey of enlightenment. Feel free to donate a little or a lot. Everything is love. Everything is appreciated.
When is the trip?
I’ll be leaving Cincinnati on December 19 headed back home to Indiana for a day or two for the official #JFamChrimah before taking off to London and eventually Accra, Ghana! Actual dates of travel are from Thursday, December 19, 2019 through Saturday, January 4, 2020 returning to work on Monday, January 6.
You can also find me on these platforms…
Venmo - @LaurenEly5
Cashapp - $LaurenEly5
PayPal - paypal.me/BaublesforGood
Zelle - [email protected], 219-671-7735
GooglePay - [email protected], 219-671-7735
ApplePal - 219-671-7735
More updates to come. Stay tuned!