In 1723, approximately 88 slaves from Senegambia, West Africa survived crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a ship called the Expedition landing in New Orleans, Louisiana, the same city I would generations later, go on to be born and raised. The captured slaves who did not successfully make it to New Orleans drowned to their death in the Atlantic Ocean. The transatlantic slave trade would not be the last incident of tragic deaths resulting from Africans crossing the Atlantic. In 2021 alone, hundreds of African migrants off the coast of Senegal have attempted to cross the same Atlantic Ocean that our ancestors were physically forced to traverse. This time, Africans’ forced migration is due to political oppression, corruption, extreme poverty and unemployment. Overpacked in wooden boats trying to reach Europe attempting to have a better life, many of them end up dying in the Atlantic, a narrative all too familiar.
I was born on the side of the Atlantic Ocean where majority of Africa’s youth dream of living: America. However, when western media portray the American Dream, they often forget to portray the presence of racial economic inequality and systematic oppression. Experiencing America, as an educated African American gave me a deeper realization of the financial inequalities in my country and the ability to reflect on if it truly was the best place for me to invest in. As a law student concentrating on International Law and Africa Foreign Policy Affairs; I spent over ten years learning the political and economic differences between the USA and Africa.