Independent Minds, Working Together
Randie Henderson

Randie Henderson ‘14

Major: English and Africana Studies

SIT, Cape Coast, Ghana: Origins of African Identity (Fall 2012)

I was coerced by family and friends to think about going abroad while in college. After toying with the idea, I knew I had to go. At a point where racial tension, confusion, and assumed apathy was taking over campus I felt a great desire to be somewhere where I could blend in. I knew that Ghana was one of the motherland countries where people of African descent originated from before the slave trade and I wanted to learn about a history I felt should be my foundation. To no surprise living in Ghana did more than hide me from the stressors of everyday life in America. Instead, going abroad demanded that I observe, learn, interact, and change what I found problematic. This experience gave me the will to come back to school and complete two Junior I.S.'s in one semester that focused mainly on black people in relation to America. I would have never been able to stick with my topics had Ghana not provided me with the confidence to articulate what I meant and the courage to be open to new information and knowledge from those who knew more than me. I experienced growth that would have normally taken me a year to acquire by going abroad and I would not trade that experience for anything in the world. It is a wonderful thing to have a support system, people who believe in you, and want you to do well, and that's what I had before going to Ghana, in Ghana, and coming back from Ghana. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity that I was blessed with. I have been changed because of that experience.