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Where do We go from Here: The Diaspora Duty

As we thrive we must thrive with our struggles intertwined. #BRINGBACKOURBLACKLIVES

We live in a scary time, and an exciting time. This is a #noholdsbarred time. This is a #speakyourmind time. This is a time of extreme poverty, and a time of extreme wealth. This is a time of young corporation owners and young movement leaders. This is a time of genocide and spiritual power. This is our time.


Black Lives Matter. Bring Back Our Girls. Burundi. Ferguson. Boko Haram. ISIS. Donald Trump. Beyonce. Lupita. Binyavanga. The parallels are our extreme reality. As successful to semi-successful Africans in the Diaspora, there is one singular value to our lives: making the world a better place. We are the most likely champions for a better world, and it’s up to us to take that opportunity and maximize it. We are worthy of celebration; we come from unlikely backgrounds and arrive at prominence. We are sexy, commanding of respect, supremely intelligent, unsung. We are the calm before the storm. There is so much more that we can do.


Many of us are moving back to the Continent to take on leadership roles, even as we keep a foothold abroad. We are building infrastructure, we are launching inventions, we are organizing and we are educating. We are building a new Africa. An Africa that is no longer an amalgam of poverty and disease, but a paradox of a thousand cities re-imagined and rebirthed—in a thousand different tongues and a host of different climates. From Lesotho to Bamako to Bujumbura to Lagos, from Brazzaville to Marrakech to Nairobi to Luanda, from Tripoli to Juba our Continent is its own planet.

Food stalls and shopping at Djemaa el-Fna Square

Food stalls and shopping at Djemaa el-Fna Square, Marrakech, Morocco.


As we leave behind and return to the Oaklands and the Brooklyns and the Chicagos and the Brixtons, the link that needs nurturing is the one that will apply finality to our success. That magical link that will pull back the generations that were lost to our Continent-planet: the partnership with Black Lives. These partnerships, as they continue to grow and deepen are the links that will eliminate police brutality in [tandem] with Black-on-Black war; and will increase the numbers of Abiolas, Lumumbas and Mandelas. Then it will not fall disproportionately on the entrepreneur to pave the roads and build the schools, nor will the targeting of the Mario Woods’ and the #234 be a regular occurrence in any of our communities.

black-lives-matter web

Lolade Siyonbola
Lolade is an author, techie and serial entrepreneur. She is an MA candidate at Yale University where she is pursuing research on immigration, cultural identity and social health.
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