From Kenya to the USA: Visiting family and friends and learning his/her/ourstory September 4, 2022

In this letter from Nairobi, Kenya, I share pictures and stories from a month of travels to six states in the USA, beginning in Ocean County, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and continuing to magical Brooklyn, New York. In Virginia, friends and I visit Emancipation Oak at Hampton University and “Hearth Memorial to the Enslaved” at William & Jewell. In Liberty, Missouri, we visit the Liberty African American Legacy Memorial, dedicated during the 2022 Clay County Juneteenth celebration with the participation of Masons. In Kansas, we visit the Lawrence Arts Center and The Wishing Bench in East Lawrence. The letter concludes with recommendations of good reads about community, midwives, women leaders, West African history, inspiring stories about young entrepreneurs across Africa, and works by a Kenyan poetess that peer “into the heart and mysteries of life.”

[ Download the letter here as a PDF ]

L September 4th, 2022

Thank you so much for sharing. I enjoyed the stories and photos.

N September 4th, 2022

Thank you for sharing your travel digest. I loved the photos and commentary and felt like I was living vicariously through you. What an interesting experience, almost like a field visit combined with family time. Thanks for including my book on your reading list. I am happy that you have received your copy and hope you find it an interesting read.

E September 4th, 2022

Thanks so much for sharing. You have been busy! So sorry to hear you came down with covid; I hope it wasn’t a bad bout. Your letter reminds me of blogging. Photos and memories and links, with a bit of history and lore to pass on. Very nicely done!

S September 4th, 2022

Enjoyed the letter as I ate lunch at my desk, this cloudy and cool day. Sorry our paths did not meet. Peace.

K September 4th, 2022

You are industrious putting together the newsletter, informative and enjoyable to read. Glad you made it back safely. I enjoyed having time to visit with you and catch up a bit as it were.

V September 4th, 2022

Thank you for this very interesting and stimulating account of your travel. I discovered your interest in African American history. Touching photos. I will probably print it so that our parents can read it on paper. xx love

G September 4th, 2022

Your newsletter is great!!! You really had a fun-filled time in the U.S.

I September 4th, 2022

Wow, Kathryn That sounds like quite a trip! Sounds like you and your family are all doing good! We are fine here! Very hot and dry summer here. Very Little rain.

M September 4th, 2022

Thanks for sharing this letter, and for the shoutout for the book, which I hope you enjoyed. Good to see Linda, also. It looks like you’ve been having a good vacation. I’m traveling soon. Very much looking forward to taking a break from the heat here. Any plans to visit West Africa soon? Do let me know. Best.

T September 4th, 2022

How beautiful, and informative!

O September 4th, 2022

Nice travel and nice read! Indeed, a good idea to record that way.

R September 4th, 2022

Very rich and inspiring letter!!

A September 4th, 2022

So interesting – what a tour of the Black experience in the USA.

D September 4th, 2022

Glad your wish came true… we might have to plan a trip to Kansas soon.

W September 4th, 2022

You are doing cultural work.

F September 4th, 2022

Just finished reading the letter. Great use of your leave in the US. Time spent between families, friends and visiting sites and people strongly engaged in valorizing Black history. Also: I wish a happy life to the newlyweds.

H September 4th, 2022

Loved your latest newsletter❣️

ZZ September 4th, 2022

So glad you had such a great time during your vacation in the States. What beautiful memories! Thanks for sharing… and making me learn something new, too!

U September 4th, 2022

Very rich and inspiring letter!! I like the personal investigations into African American history and female leadership – with stories of the encounters and visits, plus the links to reads.

P September 4th, 2022

Hi Kathryn, thank you for sharing. Such a lovely way to keep family, friends and followers up to speed.

C September 4th, 2022

Really interesting. Read the entire thing. Didn’t go through the links though.

Y September 4th, 2022

Reads well, lovely pictures. Good to see the youngsters all grown up, and Cecelia.

J September 4th, 2022

Thanks, Mamma, for sharing.

Q September 4th, 2022

I enjoyed learning about the painter Tanner and his Banjo Lesson, Bagpipe Lesson, and The Raising of Lazarus painting bought by the French. I look forward to zooming with you to learn more about African American legacies and how they are celebrated today in the USA. Who is wanting to destroy Elizabeth Street Garden in Manhattan? The link did not work for me [link has since been corrected in the letter]. Interesting programme in Park Slope in Brooklyn to spread news about the trees in the neighbourhood. Label what exists in the city, informing people about their surroundings and biodiversity and other topics. No need to confine such education to botanical gardens. I am considering suggesting something like this to our city council, which turned green in recent elections! I am back to school since this morning but, as you see, am catching up with my emails tonight :) Hope to hear you on Signal sometime, but it seems you seldom check this network. So many addresses to check, so many networks to be on :) ) Lots of love,

B September 4th, 2022

This is beautiful. Sorry it’s taken me a while to get to it! Lots of information, but you do share it well & thank you for sharing. Sure wish I had had more time to see you in KC. Be safe & continue to keep in touch. Love. ♥♥♥

X September 4th, 2022

I have just read your letter – about your trip. So generous of you to take the time to organize your ideas and share your thoughts and reflections. Thank you so much. I am happy if I was an inspiration for the letter, as you mention. I always discover things – books, places, perspectives – when I read you, like about midwives and ways of repairing historical injustices. I learned about the sculptress Elizabeth Catlett. I went to see more about her and learned that her father died before she was born. In some of her art, she represents maternal love and maternal fear, and calls for reproductive justice. I also went to check out the “Mothers and Artists” talk/film you mentioned. I thought it would be about mothers and artists’ daughters or sons, but no. It was more about the imposter syndrome that some women have when they are both artists and mothers – two very strong identities experienced at the same time, no? Finally, thanks for sharing about the books you have been reading. Like you, I also picked up “Women and Leadership” and am reading it. I’ve also been reading poetry, and you mention a book of poems. It had been a long time since I had not read poetry. About a month ago, I went to a recital and found the experience, well, like “seeds of transformation.” And, so, I’ve been reading poetry since then. Love the photographs. Good to see you so well and full of life. Thank you again for sharing.

Z September 4th, 2022

Love your newsletter. Very nice ritual. Excellent way to maintain communication with family and friends, strengthen bonds of affection and network… maintain village. Thanks for keeping me on your list of recipients. #grateful #blessed I agree with why you’re including pictures. Very nice way to connect the words with a picture – worth a thousand.