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Not only was I introduced to many new foods, I saw world through an eastern world view of peace, harmony and tranquility.
My original purpose for going to China was to meet publishers, expand my Internet radio shows at www.maxineshow.com, www.voiceamerica.com, and www.artistfirst.com, and learn about culture. In addition, I'd like to change negative image of African Americans which is portrayed in videos and have Chinese learn about different aspects of black culture through literature written by African Americans for African Americans.
But on this journey, I found a deeper meaning. The human connection. I feel trip will be beginning of future relationships with people from China.
What was particularly heartwarming was fact that, in spite of language barrier, people were friendly and embraced my sister Nancy and I. They seemed to be magnetically drawn to our natural hairstyles. (Nancy wears sister locks and I wore my hair in an individual, braided shag style.) We are still reeling from how we were treated like celebrities.
Everywhere we went, people showed an open, honest curiosity and many people took photos with us and of us. It made me feel more Afrocentric and aware of our natural African beauty. To say least, it was a restorative experience. Forget about white standard of beauty. Even my full-figure seemed to be one of interest, and looks of approbation spoke volumes to me. It was if head nods said, "Go on with your bad self. What tribe are you from?"
Just as William J. Ledererís book, The Ugly American, pointed out Americansí shortcomings, only downside of trip was I became aware of how spoiled we are as Americans. I canít count complaints I heard from group because of having Chinese food each day, but after all, we were in China. When in RomeÖ
As I learn more about import export business, international publishing business, I will share this with interested writers and aspiring entrepreneurs. This trip was funded by MBOC, (Minority Business Development Agency, U.S.. Department of Commerce and Office of Economic Development) through Los Angeles City. The purpose is to encourage more minority businesses to do international trade business. (For more information, contact Long Chang at (714)956-0669.)
So in honor of Fatherís Day, I write this article as a tribute to my late father, Mervin Vann.
Our parents leave us lessons which live on long after their deaths. My fatherís lesson was that you are never too old to travel and enjoy life.
Thank you, Daddy.
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