Ebonee Davis Demonstrates The Cultural Energy Of West Africa With A Stunning Photo Series

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If yall know Ebonee Davis then you know she is a stunning model and activist who is never afraid to speak her truth. Recently she shared the details of a trip to Ghana with Vogue where she shared pictures depicting a side of the continent they never show in the media.

In her piece, she said “As a black person living in America, I’ve often felt disconnected from a sense of identity, or I’ve felt like I’ve had to take on an identity that was given to me,” she said. “Our culture prior to slavery was unknown to me; it was erased. I wanted to go back to the motherland, so I could begin to put the pieces together and discover for myself.”

“[Cape Town] is gorgeous and I love it there, but you don’t really get the sense that you’re in Africa,” she said. “In West Africa, you very much feel like, okay, now I’m here.” Upon arriving in Accra, Davis was immediately struck by a powerful sense of community that compelled her to dive in head-first. First up: the city’s thriving food markets. “Wherever I go in the world, I want to know what they eat; that’s a huge part of their culture and what I love about traveling,” she said. Local specialties like kelewele, banku, and grilled tilapia struck the deepest chord; so did the ebullient optimism surrounding her. “One of the most beautiful things I saw was the dancing, constant nonstop dancing,” said Davis. “You’re driving down the street and you see groups of kids or whole families having what looks like a dance party, in front of their houses or a church or [even] just on the side of the road. It’s pretty remarkable to see the happiness.”

The joyful energy lay so at odds with the negative messaging that defines Africa’s portrayal across Western media. “We’re often fed these images of African children with swollen bellies and flies buzzing around their heads, which is not an accurate representation of the culture and what is actually happening,” she said. “Granted, there are places where there is famine, but in Accra there’s such a rich sense of spirit and happiness—and a lot of development, too.”

“I went back as not only a free person but as an empowered person,” said Davis. “I’m free and not just because I’m not in [physical] chains—I don’t have the mental chains, either. I [visited] with a sense of self, and a sense of who I am beyond social structures and the narratives that dominate the ideas around blackness.”

Check out some of her stunning photos:

Her pictures were taken by Amarachi Nwosu and Kofi Dua and in the piece she said she purchased the clothes from a local market.

“I bought an outfit in the market and then I was like, ‘You know, I wish we had more,’ so I went back to the shop and the owner just let us change and shoot as many as we wanted,” said Davis, who was moved by the generosity. “It’s one thing to show up with your own clothes and stuff that you brought from home, but to actually be in that space and represent in something that came from there was incredibly impactful.”

So dope! See the full story here.

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