Never in my 40 years of living have I been so excited about Black History Month. That’s African-American history. That’s the history of African descendants who live (or have lived) in America. My first trip to the continent of Africa opened my eyes and gave me an even greater appreciation of who I am and what my ancestors endured for me to be who and where I am.
A fellow speaker whom I respect tremendously extended the invitation to our speaking network to join him on a trip to Accra, Ghana where his father and stepmother, native Ghanaians, lived. This seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime, and I was not going to miss it.
After securing my flight, getting the necessary immunizations, and my obtaining my Ghana Visa, I was set for this amazing 11-day trip to the continent where my ancestors lived and were torn from. For Black History Month, I will share my inspiring, enlightening, painful at times, yet invigorating journey.
I flew to Dallas, had a few hours layover then an eight-hour flight to London Heathrow.
More hours laying over than six hours to Accra. On the flight, I met a sweet 20-something young Ghanaian lady called Lee. She was flying from London where she had lived with her mother and was visiting her father in Ghana. Although I had planned to sleep, we talked most of the flight. We talked about life, careers, our relationships with our parents, and so much more. I thought she looked a lot like my cousin who people say looks like me…so maybe she looked like me. I called her my daughter anyway because she opened up and shared so much with me.
On the flight, I watched the map that showed the area over which we were flying. There it was. Africa. It was incredible just seeing the shape of the beautiful continent I had always wanted to visit. Then I saw the names of the country I would be visiting and others I hope to see one day.
Then I made it! It had been a long journey getting there, but the my journey exploring this beautiful country was just beginning.
Justin captured this photo as I came down the escalator taking my first steps and then going through customs in Accra, Ghana.
My first breath of African air! I was ready to see Ghana! Well, after we checked into the Airbnb and got some rest. Justin’s father and stepmother (with some help) picked us up to meet Valda, the other speaker meeting us, and get checked into our home for the next 10 days.
I had no idea what I was in for, but I was there for it all!
I’m Summer Owens, and my passion is helping youth and young adults realize success no matter what obstacles they face. As an international resilience and leadership keynote speaker, author, S.O. What! Success Coach, and creator of the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum, I empower people to say, “So what!” to even their greatest challenges. provide a framework to help people see past their challenges and focus on solutions using the S.O. What! Success System (Overcome Obstacles + Eliminate Excuses + Calculate Choices = S.O. What! Success). Through keynotes, workshops, books, online courses, and workbooks, I use life’s challenges and my own story of resilience as a rape survivor and teen mom success story to help others confidently pursue their dreams.
Looking for an inspiring college motivational speaker? A high school literacy curriculum? A middle school life skills workbook? A great example for teen mothers? A women’s empowerment or single mother’s conference speaker? I’m your girl and will help any audience say, “S.O. What!”.