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Which Flag do I Fly? The Problem of Identity in the Diaspora

Updated: Feb 17, 2022

Who are you?

Identity: The fact of being who or what a person or thing is.

Identity is at the core of our being; it is a foundational principle on which individuals build their lives. Our identities are intimately intertwined with our view of self, and influence how we interact with the world around us. Cultural and national identity is often associated with pride in one’s heritage or roots, and a strong sense of cultural identity allows people to affirm the fact that they know who they are, and where they came from.

But what if this isn’t your story of identity? What if cultural identity is one thing you were never able to fully grasp with both hands and claim as yours? What if the idea of identity makes you feel more cut off than it does rooted?

Many people in the Diaspora know this feeling well. The feeling of being in one culture, but of another, never really able to claim either as theirs. There is profound disconnect surrounding these fundamental questions:

Who are you?

Where are you from? No, where are you really from?

Which culture do you claim as yours?

Which flag do you fly?

Identity is a complex thing, and there are many ways one may identify. Your life experiences may relate to one culture, linking you to a certain place. But a lack of certain experiences can also make one wrestle with who they are.

Are they allowed to claim an African identity when they haven’t been completely submerged in that culture?

Identity is defined above as the fact of being. Wherever your bloodline originates, it ties you to the Motherland. You are from a long line of rich heritage, a people so bespoke and beautiful.

You don’t have to search for belonging, its written in your DNA.

The truth is, identity can be complex and nuanced, but it can develop and evolve as you explore the question of “Who are you?”

You need not be isolated in the journey of exploration. The Diaspora Project encourages people to explore their roots and heritage, spark conversations with family members and friends and delve into the richness of ancestry, culture, heritage and, most importantly, identity.

You belong. Now and always, you belong.

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