Colin Kaepernick spent his Independence Day in a place where many people lost theirs.
The former 49ers quarterback posted on social media yesterday about his trip to Ghana, where he visited former slave trading sites as well as touring local villages and a hospital.
He posted a short video of the trip, along with the Frederick Douglass quote: “What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence?”
He followed that with a longer Instagram post, in which he described his trip.
“In a quest to find my personal independence, I had to find out where my ancestors came from,” he wrote. “I set out tracing my African ancestral roots, and it lead me to Ghana. Upon finding out this information, I wanted to visit the sites responsible for myself (and many other Black folks in the African Diaspora) for being forced into the hells of the middle passage. I wanted to see a fraction of what they saw before reaching the point of no return.
“I spent time with the/my Ghanaian people, from visiting the local hospital in Keta and the village of Atito, to eating banku in the homes of local friends, and paying my respects to Kwame Nkrumah’s Memorial Park.
“I felt their love, and truly I hope that they felt mine in return.”
This follows a stop in Egypt, in what’s clearly an extended tour for Kaepernick. That’s far from the public relations tour some have suggested he undertake if he wants to get back into football (though the many less-qualified quarterbacks who have signed contracts this offseason haven’t had to justify their interest in playing to the media before getting jobs).
For now, Kaepernick’s exploring his personal history, a far more meaningful journey.