Posted on March 30, 2020

Why Black Americans Are Moving to Africa

Princess Jones, New York Post, March 28, 2020

Monique John wasn’t sure what to expect when she stepped off the plane in her new home: the West African nation of Liberia.

“It was very rundown looking,” the Brooklyn-born 28-year-old recalled of her first glimpse of the capital, Monrovia, nearly three years ago. “But my feeling as I was walking along the city’s main streets was a sense of excitement . . . it felt almost like an out-of-body experience to finally be in Africa.”

John is one of a number of African Americans moving to the Motherland, some inspired by the recent “Year of Return” movement initiated by Ghana, 400 years after the first Africans were brought in chains to Jamestown, Va. Last year, Ghana gave citizenship to 126 people of African descent, many of them Americans.

Meanwhile, rapper Ludacris obtained Gabonese citizenship, as did actor Samuel L. Jackson after tracing his heritage back to that nation’s Bantu Tribe. (Neither has moved there full-time.)

New Jersey couple Chrystol and Jason Warde hope to make their move this year.

“We wanted to be in a place where we can bring our experiences to people who are going to appreciate it to help develop [businesses],” said Chrystol, 33, the owner of two women’s clothing stores. Her 34-year-old husband, who emigrated from Guyana at 19, is a CPA.


Kaylan Reid, a journalist who grew up in Mount Vernon, NY, has lived in Namibia for 10 years.

“There is a comfort that comes with being around people who look like you, and seeing [people like you] on billboards and in government positions,” said Reid, 36.


But many others, including Kishimbo, now living in Tanzania, say they moved for their children, because they see Africa as a safe haven from racism. {snip}


Rukiya McNair, 38, rejoices in a different kind of wealth. {snip}


“I didn’t want my children to grow up in the United States,” she added. “It’s something different when you get pulled over by the police [in Tanzania], and you don’t have to worry about your life being taken. They’re able to be children here.”