Boris’s Father was Ghanian and the Kodjoe family spends time there each year. The image and branding challenge Ghana faces is the same the African continent faces as a whole. In most of the rest of the world, especially in the US, no positive visual representation of Africa is found in popular culture. People in the US associate Africa with famine, disease, civil wars and mass exodus to Europe, due to decades of one- dimensional media coverage. This generational misrepresentation of an entire continent in addition to the history of colonialism, slavery, and exploitation, has lead to a disconnection of the diaspora from Africa. The celebration of the Year Of Return commemorates 400 years of slavery by honoring our ancestors and reconnecting with our emotional heritage. We are all Africans, descendants of survivors, of kings and queens. By experiencing our culture first hand, each ‘guest’ goes through a transformative process that will change his/her perception of him/herself. Pride, courage, and honor are part of our collective heritage, a heritage that makes us powerful as individuals, and as a result makes Africa powerful as a whole.
The Kodjoe Family Foundation is raising funds to provide scholarships for students to join the ESSENCE FULL CIRCLE FESTIVAL in Ghana and other African countries in order to reconnect with their emotional heritage.