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A Letter to My Ancestors: Reflections from Osu Castle Visit

To My Highest and Most Elevated Ancestors:

Thank you for the opportunity to build this relationship with you. Though there are things I do not know about you, there are things I am understanding more and more. Today, we traveled to the Osu Castle and walked in the memory of my people—our people—who were captured and enslaved. When I was in school, the enslavement of Black people was taught as if it were our beginning, as if we suddenly popped up on the other side of the ocean to provide labor and submit to violence willingly. Not much is said about the journey of being trafficked to the New World, and nothing is said about the lives, communities, and cities you built long before colonization interrupted and destroyed your way of life. But today, I remember.

I saw the courtyard where you were branded, stood in the dungeons where you went blind because of being in darkness for six months—where food was thrown through the roof because the colonizers feared the women’s aggression. I laid eyes on the door where none of you returned, fixed my eyes into the cave where the strongest of you were forced to crouch under low ceilings in order to mishape your bodies and break your mind. I watched the water carry you to the ship and for twenty-four hours a day, you rowed until you reached the other side of that ocean. As the sun drenched me in sweat in tunnels that were too hot to breathe and too tight to turn around, I felt you. Through everything you still survived. My skin is a testament to the courage and creation within me. How did you do it?

I always knew I come from strength and power, but now I know I come from people who are the closest to God, whose suffering was alchemized into becoming the creators of contemporary culture. I come from people who fought whenever the opportunity arose, who knew resistance as closely as they knew pain. I come from a people who despite being ripped from their homes managed to still press forward and build lives that built lives that created me.

I am in awe of your beauty, brilliance, and bravery. I am so very proud to be a descendant of you. I am so very honored to have an opportunity to build a relationship with you, and I pray that you can show me and support me in continuing your legacy.

I don’t know how to thank you except to continue forward. I will resist as you did. I will work on my own healing so that I can soothe your scars. I will be your wildest dreams just as you are the foundation of why I dream to begin with.

I pray that you let me hear and know your stories and that my own journey in ancestral development deepens. Please help me to remember all of what I need from this experience. Please help me to internalize all the lessons that are mine. I can do this work. I can because you did. Thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice for me. Thank you for fighting. Thank you for remaining unbroken. Thank you for surviving.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.


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