We have all heard it said, that a picture is worth a thousand words. Below, you will see a few pictures that I took last fall, when I was in Ghana with LEAP for Ghana. What an awesome trip. Our team of six African-American author’s and activists, led by Poet Kwame Alexander and as guests of Juanita Britton, Queen Mother Nana Botwe Adobea II of Konko Village, shared hundreds of books, empowered the minds of young children and shared lots of love with the families of our ancestors.The thing about the LEAP for Ghana (Literacy, Empowerment and Action Project) venture, is that you go with hopes to empower and pour into others and they end up filling you with a new sense of purpose and understanding. Specifically, I came back seeing the strength of black and married families differently. In the village of Konko, where they remain deeply driven by their Christian faith and family first morals, more than 80% of the adult population was reported to be married.
Wherever, we can pick up understanding from our African ancestors we can pick up strength and encouragement for the challenges in African-American marriages. Perhaps the conditions and situations between here and there differ, but the resolve to honor commitments made, to stay together and work together does not change. Time and circumstance have left a great divide but the “roots” of marital and familial bonds endure.
What strength lies in watching a man walking down the road, machete in hand, with an entire tree on his head. Or, a woman leaving the village’s water well, presumably heading toward her home and family, with what appears to be a 55 gallon drum of water on her head. When we look at these images through the lens of our own marriage, we see our own reservoirs of marital strength. What great strength our marriage’s are rooted in. What wisdom, to live peaceably with little, but have the capacity to love a husband or wife, much.
I write this from a personal experience that sees daily images of black marriage that are flimsy. We know of the reports that paint pictures of lazy husbands and constant “reality” showings of self belittled black women. However, I pray that your black marriage finds strength to re-grip it’s commitment and to love your marriage. Let us all stand reminded, that our marriage came at a great cost and is steeped in strength and fortitude that is unbreakable. So, at the dawn of this new year, let us embrace our marriage with a refreshed focus and commitment.