I met my cousin Anthony in person for the second time ever last night. We have been Social Media friends for awhile. We met at a nice Restaurant and Bar in Accra with some of his longtime friends. The first time we met was in 2015 after discovering each other for the first time in our DNA matches. That time he and I met in a coffeehouse and I introduced him to his cousin, my dad. I know that he is related to my dad because he shows up as a DNA match to my dads as well. We know which side the match comes from for both of us and which line. We are half cousins sharing only one great or greater grandparent. Which for him was a lady named Millie Ann (Last name unknown) who married Henderson Cullins. What we still don’t know is who Millie’s parents were? You see most African Americans hit a brick wall going beyond the 1870 census because of slavery. Often times we are related even if we don’t share surnames. We have narrowed it down to his Cullins line on his father’s mothers side, and possibly a branch off of my Haskins line on my father’s mother’s side.
Tony told me he had similar feelings to what I had and many African Americans do when he first came to Ghana many years ago. The feeling of being home even though when you first come you know you have never been there before. You meet extended family there. Tony met Anita seated (in black and white) when he first arrived ten years ago. The feeling of coming to Ghana to me was like being present at an event in history that I didn’t actually witness, but observed from a distance, and being welcomed home. You feel the presence of the ancestors everywhere you go urging you to stay, and when you leave you have the urge to return. It’s as if home isn’t the same anymore.
I am deeply saddened. Last night I heard the devastating news that Kobe Bryant a forty-one year old former NBA basketball player died in a tragic accident in Calabasas Hills, California his thirteen year old daughter Gianna, John Altobelli, a baseball coach, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa were amongst the fatalities. My heart goes out to his family at this time, I can not imagine their pain, I am so sorry to hear of this tragedy–