Last week I celebrated my birthday in Cartagena, Colombia which was awesome. One place I had to visit while there was San Basilio de Palenque, southeast of Cartagena. Palenque is the first documented free town in the Americas founded about 1603 by Benkos Biohó a former African royal who had been enslaved in Cartagena. Today the spirit Benkos aka Domingo Biohó and the pride of their African heritage is very evident in the village and among the people of Palenque. Below are some photos I snapped while visiting, if you decide to visit Colombia please make it a point to visit Palenque, the tour company we used for our a day trip was Experience Real Cartagena
Three weeks ago I celebrated my birthday in Cairo Egypt, to date that was the best birthday I’ve had. My trip was packed with culture and adventure. Our first full day there which was Sunday, we had to visit the pyramids in Giza and the Sphinx on camels. The next day we ventured to The Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha which opened in 1848. Tuesday was my birthday and I wanted to ride an ATV in the desert and that’s what we did our backdrop were the pyramids of Giza after that we had dinner on the Nile River. Wednesday we started our day at the Egyptian Museumfor a two our tour of the museum, there we saw the mummies of Ramses I, Seti I, and many other royal figures. We also saw ancient Egyptian antiques and artifacts belonging to Tutankhamun aka King Tut. After the museum we went to Cairo Tower, the tower offers panoramic view of the capital. To end our Wednesday, we were treated to a dinner cruise up on Nile River.
Thursday was our last official activity day so we made it a good one. We first visited The Mosque of Amir which was originally built in 641-642 AD. The original structure was the first mosque ever built in Egypt and in Africa. Then we proceeded to the Dahshur and there we went inside of The Pyramid of Snefru aka The Red Pyramid, there was no light walking down into the pyramid, so we had to use the light from our cellphones to help guide us. I was nervous so I asked my friend to go first (lol). Next we went to The Pyramid of Djoser aka the Step Pyramid, which is was built during the 3rd dynasty. After that we went inside of tombs with hieroglyphics written on the walls. Seeing that was surreal, being inside of something and being able to touch something that was built before Christ was born was surreal. I stood inside of history and my pictures don’t do any of what I saw with my own eyes justice. My trip was amazing, I plan to go back to Egypt to visit different parts, I also plan to take more cultural and historical trips. If anyone is interested in visiting Cairo, I can put you in contact with a great guide.
Genealogist, author, and speaker, Megan Smolenyak post this video below in the AfriGeneas African American Genealogy Community Facebook group the other day and I just had to share with all who haven’t seen it. I think Megan did an awesome job on the research of Pharrell’s ancestors as well as a good job on the production of her video.
I wanted to visit the Ivory Coast this past May for my 30th birthday but I waited to the last minute to plan the trip to the motherland so I didn’t get a chance to go. This past September while touring Monroe County, Alabama my cousin Melvina took us to Africa that’s right I said Africa. Tucked away in the wooded hills of Monroe County, AL lies a place that once was known as Africa, it was the home of My Great Great Grandparents Dave Burgess and Annies Lee Lock, according to my cousin Melvina. I asked her why might they have called the area Africa? “I guess it was because there were only black people back in these woods” My ancestors knew their roots began in Africa, and most likely wanted pay homage to the motherland.
As the Genealogy Roadshow wraps up, PBS will be airing a new six part series THE AFRICAN AMERICANS: MANY RIVERS TO CROSS with Henry Louis Gates. So those of us that are interested in not only genealogy but African American history should enjoy the new series. This series “is the first documentary film to air since 1968 to chronicle the full sweep of African-American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent through more than four centuries of remarkable historic events up to the present day — when America has a black president, yet remains a nation divided by race I am surely looking forward to watching this. See preview below