visits ghana, Know Your Rights Camp

*NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick celebrated the 4th of July tracing his ancestral roots to Ghana.

The athlete reportedly visited the Municipal Hospital in Keita, a village in Atito, President Kwame Nkrumah’s Memorial, and toured Cape Coast Castle.

Kaepernick shared his experience on social media, saying he was pleased with the love he received.

He wrote:

“What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence?” – Frederick Douglass. In a quest to find my personal independence, I had to find out where my ancestors came from. I set out tracing my African ancestral roots, and it lead me to Ghana. Upon finding out this information, I wanted to visit the sites responsible for myself (and many other Black folks in the African Diaspora) for being forced into the hells of the middle passage. I wanted to see a fraction of what they saw before reaching the point of no return. I spent time with the/my Ghanaian people, from visiting the local hospital in Keta and the village of Atito, to eating banku in the homes of local friends, and paying my respects to Kwame Nkrumah’s Memorial Park. I felt their love, and truly I hope that they felt mine in return.”

“What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence?” – Frederick Douglass. In a quest to find my personal independence, I had to find out where my ancestors came from. I set out tracing my African ancestral roots, and it lead me to Ghana. Upon finding out this information, I wanted to visit the sites responsible for myself (and many other Black folks in the African Diaspora) for being forced into the hells of the middle passage. I wanted to see a fraction of what they saw before reaching the point of no return. I spent time with the/my Ghanaian people, from visiting the local hospital in Keta and the village of Atito, to eating banku in the homes of local friends, and paying my respects to Kwame Nkrumah’s Memorial Park. I felt their love, and truly I hope that they felt mine in return.

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10 points camp

Prior to embarking on this journey, Kaepernick and a few of his friends organized the first “I Know My Rights” Camp for hundreds of underprivileged black and Latin children in Oakland, Calif.

The goal is to raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment, and provide information on how to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios.

The NY Daily News’s Shaun King was invited to the camp with his son and he wrote:

When EZ and I arrived at the venue in Oakland, it was immediately clear that that it was the definition of grassroots. Colin and just a few volunteers were actually managing the event, located at Impact Hub Oakland. Even though I’ve been a fan of Colin for years, and he and I have stayed in touch for most of this year, we had never met face-to-face. He’s a tall, strong dude. With his Afro out, he was clearly the tallest man in the room. Quick to smile, his eyes are fresh and intensely focused on whomever is in front of him.

Colin said of the event:

“I didn’t just want to hire someone to come in and do this. We did all of this ourselves. We even opted out of corporate sponsors because we just wanted the freedom to say exactly what we thought the kids we’ve brought here today need to hear and learn. I told myself that if I was going to do this type of work, that I was going to actually do it myself,” he said.

Read more at the NY Daily News.

The camp was inspired by the Black Panther Party’s 10 point plan:

1.      You have the right to be free.
2.      You have the right to be healthy.
3.      You have the right to be brilliant.
4.      You have the right to be safe.
5.      You have the right be loved.
6.      You have the right to be courageous.
7.      You have the right to be alive.
8.      You have the right to be trusted.
9.      You have the right to be educated.
10.  You have the right to know your rights.