Forgiving Mother Africa
…it is the women of a country who help to mold its character, and to influence if not determine it's destiny… Frances E. W. Harper, 19th Century
We must be willing to overcome our very real feelings of rejection, self loathing and bitterness due to the selling of our ancestors by our own people. Further, we have to be able to separate fact from fiction as it pertains to what we have been taught about our history as the descendants of Africans. Forgiving Mother Africa for the circumstances which led us to the auction blocks and on to the plantations is no different than forgiving anyone else for trespasses against us, including those who came to her shores looking for bodies to work their fields.
Mother Africa, through the Traditional Rulers of Benin is asking Diasporic Africans to forgive them for their role in the genocide of African People. Much effort and planning has gone into developing restoration and reconciliation models that will facilitate the healing of Africans in the Diaspora. Moreover, the Traditional Rulers and the government of Benin stands ready and willing to do all in their power to restore Diasporic African by providing immediate citizenship and land, among other things. The Traditional Rulers and Tribal Chiefs in West Africa have carefully assessed the damages which were imposed upon their family members in the Diaspora. At this time, the approach is to restore our people, rebuild the communities which were destroyed by slavery and empower each individual who returns. Much effort and planning has been done by the Traditional Rulers and Tribal Chiefs over the past few years, awaiting our return. We are continuing to work toward the goal of insuring the message of reconciliation with Mother Africa is transmitted throughout the African Diaspora and that each of you knows within your heart that you are not Motherless children.
I have assembled a global team of outstanding individuals to assist and advise me on matter pertaining to our resettlement in Africa . These advisors are also working on an economic model which will allow returning Africans to be economically independent. We have everyone from Scholars to grassroots organizers to assist in this most important project. I've been told that I provide a wonderful perspective and approach to the issues facing Diasporic Africans and our brethren at home.
The African Diasporic Reconciliation Project is also preparing to host a conference on our resettlement in Benin sometime in 2008. Our team of global African women will also host a Congress in Benin in 2009 to address all issues concerning African women, worldwide. Your input and volunteers are needed. Language is no barrier.
For me personally, the issue that comes to the forefront is the urgent need for educating all of our children throughout the world on what happened to us during slavery and colonization. Education implies the most direct means of empowering our children, and we must dedicate much of our efforts in this direction and show more commitment to the purpose. We all need to know what occurred after we left the shores of our beloved mother. Africans on each side of the water suffered horribly and we must educate those who come behind to pick up our banners one day.
Another issue is gaining the confidence of Diasporic Africans and rid them of their fear of losing their individuality and ability to make their own decisions. We encourage self determination and the cultural identities of each Diasporic nation. This is important because any collaborative venture with our Motherland would succeed only if we all properly appreciate the efforts of the other and don't regard resettlement in Benin as an intrusion into your individuality and threatening to communal values already in place.
The success of the African Diasporic Reconciliation Project depends upon the implantation of sound policies on both sides that aids in the empowerment of both Diasporic Africans and their continental African counterparts, without compromising anyone's self determination. Any solution must not end up creating a segregated section of people totally disconnected from the Beninese people. Each issue or concern any of you have must be carefully considered before negotiations begin to frame any new social policies for empowerment and a sustainable Africa . If we all succeed in achieving this balance, including economic success of Diasporic Africans and contribute to the economy of Benin in the process, as well as preserving each cultural heritage, we can rest assured that our efforts will be fruitful and that our resettlement will bring us nothing but joy.
One aim, one goal, one Africa
Her Royal Grace, Princess Adinasse
Omo Oba, Alaketu
(Daughter of the King of Ketou)