Since reading Maya Angelou’s “All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes” in college I have dreamt about traveling to mainland Africa and finding people who looked like me. In her book, Ms Angelou travel’s to Ghana in the 60’s and visits a village where she was immediately embraced as a lost member because she had many of the features associated with that tribe.
One day I met three women and babysitting onto an elevator. Immediately, two of the women started asking me if this was my real hair, am I mixed, etc. Since moving to the DC area, I’ve gotten used to the “What are you?” questions. So, immediately went into my “My family is from Cape Verde, off the coast of Senegal…” spiel and explained that it’s a former Portuguese colony, yadda, yadda, yadda.
They told me that they were Fula from Gambia, they hadn’t heard of Cape Verde, but were very familiar with Senegal. One of the women told me that I resembled her mother and had a lot of the features of the Fula people. While searching online for pictures of Fula people was immediately struck by the resemblance in features between many Cape Verdeans and the Fula’s.
Maybe I will have my Maya Angelou moment, after all!
I’ve added some pictures of my family, people from Cape Verde and Fula’s of different West African countries.
|My Great Grandmother|