You imagine that the events of history take place in some nebulous “other time” unrelated to your own life. Yet I feel the consequences of Joseph’s actions every day in Britain. It was partly because of the pervasiveness of racism there that I’d come to Ghana–only to find my ancestor had collaborated in establishing its tenets…. The shock is physical. You feel winded. The sun is too bright. Your head aches. You find yourself walking along a sand-blown highway no longer sure who you are any more.
See Hazel Rowley, A Sort of Homecoming, and the books discussed therein.