J Amoah Speaks

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Accra, Ghana

Whether we choose to believe it or not, we all come from somewhere. We all have a lineage we can trace back to. I believe it is important for us to embrace our various cultures and take pride in where we come from. I’ll use myself as an example…

 

There are three flags that have a great significance in my life, the British, the American, and the Ghanaian flag. The British flag represents my birthplace, the American flag represents where I was raised, and the Ghanaian flag represents my heritage and culture. Although I was not born in Ghana, I take a lot of pride in being a Ghanaian woman.

 

I’ll be honest; this was not always the case. I remember growing up, kids in school used to always make fun and tease all the African kids. They would call them all kinds of disgusting and hurtful names and because I witnessed that, I became insecure about being African. I took NO pride in where I was from; it was so bad I would even deny being African.  I look back and feel so embarrassed and ashamed that I did not embrace my culture. I now take so much pride in coming from such a rich and vibrant continent.

 

I am pretty sure that I am not the only person who has ever struggled with embracing where they come from. Maybe you have struggled with accepting the fact that you are half African American and half white, or that you’re from South America and have an accent. Or maybe kids made fun of you for having parents who did not speak English.

 

Whatever the case may be, I want to encourage you to take pride in where you come from. Perhaps you have a darker skin complexion and you feel insecure about it. Well, I want to encourage you to embrace that beautiful chocolate skin. Or maybe you have freckles and red hair and come from a line of very fair skin, I want you embrace that gorgeous skin tone. It doesn’t matter if you are Italian, African, Irish, Caribbean, French, Korean, Hispanic, or Indian, we are all unique and beautiful, that is something we should never be embarrassed about!

 

You should never be ashamed of having an accent. News Flash: EVERYONE has an accent! Whether you are from America or mars, we all have an accent. We must learn to respect everyone’s culture, do not think your culture is more superior than others. Maybe you’re not sure where you come from or your family doesn’t have a specific “culture”…that’s okay, embrace what you do know; embrace the unique things that make your family special. Take pride in the food you eat, the music you listen to and even the way you dress.

 

I want us all to stop caring about other people’s opinions or thoughts about us. Who cares what they think. Listen, if I had the confidence I have now, I would have boldly embraced being African and even educate those kids in school who were ignorant about African culture.

 

We should also remember to educate ourselves on various cultures. For example…there is no such thing as “Speaking African.” Africa is huge and there are so many countries within the continent. They each have their own unique language and dialect. It’s like asking someone from Europe, you speak European? How can someone speak European LOL? There are so many countries within Europe that speak French, Russian, and Italian etc.… It’s the same thing with various cultures. If you’re not sure do not assume, rather educate yourself.

 

Also, just because you weren’t born in that country or speak the native language doesn’t make you any less apart of that culture. That’s the beautiful thing about culture, even if you are only 25% Irish, embrace and take pride in the fact that you come from an Irish descent.

 

I truly believe it’s beautiful when we can share and appreciate our culture with others. God has blessed each and every one of us with a unique heritage. I want to inspire everyone reading this to accept and take pride in their beautiful and vibrant culture. I know embracing where you come from can be a bit of a challenge for some people but we can do all things through Christ.

Stay Blessed

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