We are in the midst of a generational transcendence - the restoration of African culture in western societies. A modern day revolution, rather, to rebirth pride and knowledge - media/publishing platforms such as aKomaand global celebratory festivals such as AfroPunk - are the physical manifestations of the diasporic seeds. 

Let’s embark on a journey to show how our roots in Africa have planted seeds throughout Paris, France…as we uncover: deeper knowledge of self, the African Diaspora, and the innate communal nature of black people globally. 

Luggage’s packed in the trunk, the taxi driver signaled left on our way from the international airport - I was warmly embraced by the sight of 10-15 black men huddled on an intersection in a common Parisian neighborhood. As we continued on our path to the AirBnB for our stay – I was continuously welcomed with images of my brothers and sisters of Africa walking the streets of France in populous accounts. 

Prior to landing, I expected to encounter a few people who look “like me” in this foreign city. However, my HBCU education and consciousness of the African diaspora did not prepare me for witnessing a multitude of diasporic seeds in the flesh - literally. Synonymous to big cities such as New York, Paris reflected ethnic multiplicity.

My four day venture throughout the city confirmed that the media portrayals of Paris are inaccurate, considering the diverse community that exist today – specifically, the black community.  This experience reaffirmed the burning passion and ambition for us as black people to represent our selves. Why? Because WE ARE AFRICA! As descendants of Africa, it is essential we utilize platforms such as aKoma to tell our story, build our brand, and highlight the modernized African culture amongst the millennial generation and beyond. 

[‘It takes a village to raise a child’ – African proverb]

Conversely, a village divided – cannot rise up a child to be intellectually and culturally mature. As we are children of Africa, the aKoma brand seeks to rebuild that ‘village’ concept by embodying the nature of a communal tribe. Historically, a tribe reflected collective unity – expressed via rituals, appearance, oral history and more.

The modernized expressions of such tribe have transformed.  The rituals are now activities such as AfroPunk and African Food Festivals. The Natural Hair Movement and re-emergence of traditional clothing such as dashikis are renovated appearances. Our oral history is no longer given around a fire where the elderly serve as historical story tellers to the youth – rather, the modernized platform of such historical story telling is social media. 

In the absence of accurate and self-reflecting history books – our conscious brothers and sisters are tasked with filling the educational gaps behind our blackness and power. History is no longer told from the mouth to listening ears – our raw history is being told from fingertips to eye sight: Facebook shares, blog articles, and the aKoma platform serve as a primary example to my point at hand. We have to educate ourselves – if not, the world will provide falsity in our absence of knowledge of self. By rebuilding our tribe as a global village, we can progressive walk in the prayers of ancestors as we advance in society as a whole. Hence our goal is to restore the Tribe…Tribe Goals!

[As we are only as strong as our weakest link – we must be a resilient tribe of equal consciousness.]

There is a spectrum of cultural identity within the African Diaspora. Some are plighted with a journey of unanswered questions and lack of connectedness. Conversely, others have experienced profound adoration by embracing Africa and the culture. What is the disparity? To identify with self, one must first identify with Africa.

Juxtaposed to many African Americans, I perceived my brothers and sisters of the diaspora in France to be boldly unapologetic about their black existence. As knowledge expands in our cocoon and pride grows wings, we will all exude the very same unapologetic existence of our blackness!

[Demystifying “Crabs in a Bucket”]

Some compare the black community to “Crabs in a bucket.” An analogy to depict that once one of us decides to rise beyond our current environment (bucket) – the greater majority (crabs) uses their claws to collectively pull the outlier back to their fragmented existence. Let the record show – AfroPunk, Paris utterly debunks such myth.

Hence, there is another aspect of the crab we haven’t examined. Scientific research indicates – in contrast to many other social organisms, which associate with close kin, terrestrial hermit crabs socialize with nonrelatives. The black community is comprised of blood relatives and non-relatives – whom ironically we call our brother, sister, aunty, uncle and more. A trip to Paris, France to attend AfroPunk affirmed that there is another essence of support and acknowledgement that is evident within the black community – relatives or not. We used those very same claws to uplift one another at the festival, in order to transcend the generational revolutionary spirit of Africa. 

The aKoma platform serves as the microphone on the revolutionary stage of the African consciousness. It is our purpose to achieve the goals established by our ancestors and welcome the next generation with a culture painted in pride, knowledge and unity.

Despite the multitude of our brothers and sisters whose foot prints are sprinkled across America, Europe, Asia and beyond, we are essential to our core existence - We are Africa with tribe goals…

More from aKoma