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Standing on the heap of American racism, as ‘nèg Ginen’

As a Haitian American, I thought of the Creole phrases “nou soti nan Ginen,” and “nou se nèg Ginen.” “We come from Guinea.” “We are people from Guinea.” By Guinea we mean Africa — somewhere. Over the centuries, these affirmations of ancestry have bound Haitians by blood and in revolution. They have been a bouquet garni in some of our proverbs, our songs, and our lore. Going to Ghana in 2020 was my return to “Ginen,” my own pilgrimage to pierce the mystery of an unknown ancestral past. I wanted to get to know myself better. At least that was my hope.

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