by Anthony R. Green
Greetings BIBA fans! Apologies for the brief radio silence. I am writing to you from an artist residency in Kumasi, Ghana, and this past week has filled me with quite a bit of magic, emotions, and intensity. The following BIBA blogs will briefly touch on my experiences here in Ghana, but just know that what I will present here will only scratch the surface of all that has actually happened during my trip! While I wish I could share everything with all of you, I’m not sure if the internet even has enough space for that! HA!!! At any rate, this blog will focus on arriving to Accra.
The direct flight from Amsterdam to Accra was smooth and surprisingly enriching. I was sitting next to a Black woman from the US whose husband is Ghanaian. She explained to me that after her first trip to Ghana, she never wanted to leave, and she has been back every year. She also reports that many Black US citizens feel the same way (and now I totally understand why!). I watched two incredibly powerful Black movies: “Judas and the Black Messiah” directed by Shaka King, and “Waves” by Trey Edward Shults. While Shults is not Black, the movie boasted Black lead roles in a drama that touched heavily upon Blackness (similarly to “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”). After landing, there is a series of lines in which one must stand in order to receive a coronavirus test and the proper passport and visa controls. While waiting in these lines, I heard stories from other people about this particular trip. One Black young man from Canada was coming to visit extended family he has never met before. Another young Black couple from the United States was coming visit friends and experience the country again. There were Black Dutch families coming, Ghanaians living abroad coming to visit family and friends, and more. It was beautiful to hear such stories in passing, and to be immersed in Blackness in a way I had never experienced.
The nighttime taxi ride to my hotel was such magic. It was about 9PM when I left the airport. I saw TroTros (vans filled with passengers that are the cheapest form of public transportation), vendors selling goods, friends dancing and smiling, palm trees, street food … the driver showed me some fantastic architecture, and pointed to the Dutch embassy when we passed it along the way. After a small hiccup with Google maps, we arrived to the hotel, and I checked in, relaxed, and prepared myself for an exciting adventure in Ghana. I was also looking forward to trying pawpaw for the first time at breakfast the next day!
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