What do you do when you’re so angry with your country that you don’t want to celebrate her independence? Well, you pack your bags and leave, or at least that’s the gospel according to America’s National Football League (NFL) free agent, Colin Kaepernick, who boycotted Independence Day by flying down to Ghana.
For black Americans, Independence Day has always been complicated – it's worth noting that when the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, many black men and women were still slaves (so, it begs the question: Independence for who?)
So, yeah, instead of being in the mood for a Happy 4th of July, Kaepernick found himself reflecting on this quote by Abolitionist movement leader, Frederick Douglass, who gave a scathing speech the day after Independence Day in 1852:
"What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence?"
This triggered Kaepernick's hunger to trace his ancestral roots and find "personal independence." So, after a warm welcome to Ghana, he visited the Cape Coast Castle where, during the slave trade, thousands of captured Africans were packed in dungeons while awaiting transportation.
And, according to his Instagram post, he ate banku in the homes of local friends and paid respects to Kwame Nkrumah’s Memorial Park. Watch the video of his "personal independence" trip below: