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What a week I’ve had. I traveled with Roots to Glory Tours and owner Ada Anagho Brown to learn about the Gullah people, their history and journey from Africa. We traveled down the coast from St. Helena’s Island, St Simon’s Island, and Sapelo Island through Savannah to Charleston. Along the way we met the 5th generation descendant of Priscilla, a 10 year old enslaved African girl, whose ancestry was traced back to Sierra Leone. And also the descendant of another enslaved African that was traced to Sierra Leone because of a 5 line song she sung in a foreign language, passed down for generations. All of our tour guides had personal knowledge of the history of the area because of family members that lived it. At McLeod Planation, our tour guide was a history major with a true desire to get our history correct. Who knew that when the trip was planned months ago we would be in historic Charleston with all its tragic history; that the confederate flag would come down. I also had a wonderful surprise when I heard that King Happi V would join us in Charleston. He was the Fon from Bana, Cameroon that gave me the name, Nkakkwah, the second Fon (King) of Bana, that fought to end slavery from the Germans. The dress and necklace was a gift from him. The Fon was there to learn of the history of what became of the Africans taken from Africa and how we lived during the slavery years and how we were living now in the U.S. He related to us that his village lost 7 children and their Mother in a fire a few weeks before his visit. He spoke of our shared loss with the 9 deaths at the church and how our belief in God would give us peace and hope in the future. Such a good experience, I can’t wait to join the continuation tour next year! Also should mention my van mates and I really bonded as Sisters.
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