When you land in the House of Slaves in Goree ( Wikipedia) city that never sleeps wanting the American Dream, there are many challenges. None of which are new in a place that has received immigrants from its early days. Castle Clinton, Ellis Island, the LES, Queens and hundreds of locations can testify to this. One very common question everyone gets asked is "where are you from?" If not "what's your background". In the back of my mind I can't and won't forget that back home is "the house of slaves" in the island of Goree, many captured black have been forcefully taken away from their families, sent to the other side of the Atlantic through the door of no return. A trip to NYC showed me the door of return at the African burial ground, downtown. I came not knowing but everyday been realizing more and more what makes us all the same no matter where we are from or our background.
African Burial Ground picture by Ibrahima D.
From the shore of West Africa to the Eastern borders of The United States of America, I came to share stories. This means sharing my passion for New York City with the people who want to discover it while not losing my roots. Just like me, many griots in Senegal has passed along stories, legends of passed times and still do beautifully. There are many ways NYC is the best place for it. I always feel I am a part of the big colorful puzzle that makes the city unique. It amazes me how people are so friendly and open minded. You can't help it but join in and not mind not being the centerpiece yet an important piece. There is no New York without new things, new places, new flavors, new thoughts, new people. It's an ordinary place with extraordinary people. The beauty of the city that never sleeps is awakened in all of us. Each look brings us to a new beginning. Angles and spaces open for all kinds of adventures. It only takes a little notion of what one observes to find oneself in a whole new world with miles of marvel. The history of New York is inevitably linked to many francophone countries especially France since one of the most recognized heritage of the city itself was a French gift made by two French: "The Liberty Enlightening The World" (statue of liberty). Senegal was a colony of France until 1960 when it gained independence. Let's precise I wasn't born yet. In the country of Hospitality, Senegal, I was born and raised. The school I went to was a mini melting pot of its own with people from so many different background, I was educated to embrace all people no matter how we think differently. So there is the beginning of my story which I hope to continue sharing here using letters and pixels.