Prince Johnson II is a senior studying education. He traces his family history back to West Africa.
Family History: My family worked on the Moultrie rice plantations along the coastal islands of South Carolina. Since I was made aware that my family history extends from Sierra Leone and Ghana, I’ve wanted to go there.
Cultural Rediscovery: When I first stepped off of the plane, the first thought was “I am in Africa … I made it here.” I was welcomed not as a black person, but as a person. It was quite liberating. It was easy for me to fit in. Every Ghanaian I met thought I was from Ghana. They said they could not believe a child in the Diaspora could have the strong features of the Ashanti, an ethnic group in Ghana. I was actually able to greet the king of the Ashanti people. As part of my cultural rediscovery, I decided to practice enculturation, using traditional cultural symbols and integrating that with the teachings of Christ. In that way, my walk becomes more relevant for me.
Service Learning: I taught at Mother Teresa’s home for abandoned children. I learned to identify with the children I served. It was difficult for me to say goodbye to them, so I decided to sponsor their education for the next three years.
The Slave Castles: Visiting the castles where the slaves were held was like walking through hell. It was a place of very little hope and life. But later I realized that my life is the hope and answer to the prayers of those who were kept there. It was the first time I felt the spirits of my ancestors. They were telling me to preserve the dignity of all human beings and to make my life count for God’s sake and for theirs. I won’t let them die in vain.
Saying Goodbye: Saying goodbye was the most difficult part of the trip. I realized that I felt so much a part of the people and the culture. Ghana feels like home.