Where in Africa is your dad from?

One of the great things about international travel is the opportunity to experience new perspectives. For example, in Morocco, being a biracial American was hard to explain. Consider:
  1. Morocco is in Africa, where almost everyone is some shade of brown. When asked, "What's your background?" answering, "My dad is Black," is meaningless. They could easily respond, "So is mine, so...?"
  2. Many people in far away countries have a specific idea of what American looks like. My light brown skin, freckles, big brown eyes and dark brown hair do not meet the definition of American. I further confuse by not wearing running shoes and shorts (yep; American women are pretty much the only ones in the world who combine these two items, making it easy to tell they're American).
  3. In the US, we divide and commune based on things like race, gender, sexual preference or socioeconomics. Abroad, they connect or separate based on where they are from. So, when trying to connect with me, the Moroccans wanted to know from where my family originates. My mom's family is from England. Ok, good, they get that. And my dad is Black. See bullet 1 and you can see how this conversation started to sound like Abbott and Costello.
Africans know we had slavery. They don't realize how it decimated our connection to Africa. To them, not knowing where your ancestors are from is an indescribable loss. Maybe it is to us too, and we just don't fully realize it.


  1. Serene,
    I have always loved your perspective on the world. I have several friends from Ghana who upon meeting them for the first time always asked where my family was from. Saying Colorado and Texas meant ZERO. I was actually dismissed by a frustrated shopkeeper once after a lecture on being obtuse. I now give my husband's standard response...I am a displaced African.
    Love you. Enjoy the playoffs....GO BRONCOS!
    Peace and good to you,

    1. Obtuse? How ironic. I like your husband's answer and may try it on my next voyage.
      Much love, Serene

  2. Twin you are right. We descendants of enslaved Africans suffer from an indescribablem loss and so many of us have no or little conscious awareness of the significance of such a profound loss. Sad....

    Reading about your journeys is delightful!