Four hundred years ago, in 1619, the first enslaved African people came to what would become the United States. As we mark that anniversary, there are many projects underway to bring a fuller understanding of the devastation caused by the institution of slavery and how this institution continues to shape the United States today.
To commemorate this 400-year mark, Western African country of Ghana has declared 2019 “The Year of Return,” and the country is inviting people who are descendants of Africans who were enslaved to return to the land of their ancestors, and connect with others who have felt the impact of the African diaspora.
In this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Kesho Scott, Professor of Sociology and American Studies at Grinnell College, who took her daughter on the trip of a lifetime as part of “The Year of Return, Ghana 2019.”
“I am a decedent of a slave, that means that I am a descendant of someone who survived an atrocity,” Scott says. “I cannot think of myself, and I would hope no young person of African descendent would think of themselves as anything less because of this particular history.”
- Kesho Scott, Professor of Sociology and American Studies at Grinnell College