My trip to Morocco Africa and Barcelona Spain was truly inspiring where the old, new, and ancient combine to produce a picturesque map of history. Both places share legacies of conquests, colonization, disruption, rebuilding and renewal.
Once again, I was in Africa and once again I touched the soil of the mysterious continent that I so love and long for.
Moroccan culture is a blend of Indigenous Berber, Sub-Saharan African, Arab and European influences. Intensely proud, courageous and desperate.
Barcelona founded around the third century BC. said to be named after the father of Hannibal, (Hamilcar Barca) then taken by Rome in the Middle Ages.
Spain is populated by people of Catalonia from Pakistan, Italy, China, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Morocco. There is a tacit awareness of the cultural tug-of-war that exists but space is given to those “different” to move and live though cautiously.
Both countries richly diverse yet still struggling with issues of cultural identity and inclusion. But these tensions are hardly noticeable to the unfamiliar tourist on the ground.
My crew were well received wherever we went the few wary looks we received came only from fellow tourists.
Back home I am still glowing with the warmth of my trip but soon greeted with the all too familiar social ills of America, fresh new cases of violence, racism and your garden variety craziness. The tensions are palpable yet the denial still looming high.
I’m reminded of repeated warnings to America that if the racial issues between black and white people are
allowed to drift…
“…it will, cause the streets of American cities to run with blood…” ~Citadel of Faith~
Can any honest observer not see the evidence of our neglect? The decades of racial upheavals? The literal blood running through the streets as a direct result of real structural, institutional and unbridled racism?
Ask the families of Emmet Till, Martin Luther King Jr, Medgar Evers, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott and the countless other families of black men, women, and children whose blood has literally flowed in the street…they will tell you the truth that far too many have ignored or denied.
Perhaps we have grown so accustomed to seeing ‘black blood’ being spilled this tragedy has gone unnoticed. We stand on the precipice with change in reach, a paradigmatic shift in how we engage one another as unique beings on this planet is perceptible still “Travail and sorrow” awaits.
It is always darkest just before the dawn and in anticipation of tomorrow’s sunrise the birds have begun to sing.
It is time to arise!