In better understanding Ethiopia, I do myself a great service in building a foundation to buffer the psychological burden of living in the U.S. While individual choice is the only variable to performing the visible role of an “Ethiopian-American” i.e speaking the language, basic knowledge of Ethiopian history/current events; the internal dichotomy and racialization as a dark-skinned American from an immigrant family are not. This is what makes me passionate about social sciences. When Barack Obama traveled to Kenya in search of his cultural and familial heritage, later chronicling the journey in his lauded memoire, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, he transformed into the man who would eventually be the 44thPresident of the United States.
Unlike our Black/African American family – diaspora Africans have a traceable connection to the homeland. As evidenced by President Obama’s path, this is an advantage! We can keep our integrity as Ethiopian Americans by gradually incorporating our adopted homes stylings. In philosophy and mathematical logic this is called “Spatio-temporal continuity” (in referencing the Ship of Theseus). Spatio-temporal continuity is a condition specific state which allows the “voyager” to endure, and retain their identity in spite of undergoing alteration.
This sweet spot won’t come easy because the Ethiopian-African diaspora carry a heavy legacy. From quelling the underlying struggle – between worlds of plenty and worlds of want; between the modern and the ancient. To traversing an inherited maelstrom of identity, class and race issues from our new racial classification as Black Americans.