First, I would like to thank all of our users, readers, and viewers who have made theGrio.com their stop in obtaining news and views concerning black America. I’m pleased to announce that our first special series for the site, The Obamas in Africa, is launching today.

This Friday the president and his family will make their first trip to West Africa when they visit Ghana. This will be historic; having the first African-American president visiting the African continent.

Ghana is in West Africa, the region from which our ancestors were captured and eventually dispersed throughout the Americas as slaves. The slave trade ravaged this region for centuries and created a longstanding culture of violence and oppression on both sides of the Atlantic.

The president’s brief stop in Ghana will likely conjure up feelings of redemption. We will witness Michelle Obama, a descendant of one of those enslaved Africans, return to her ancestor’s native land as first lady of the most powerful country in the world.

However, we should be careful to remember that this trip alone will not change much for the circumstances of the region, the rest of Africa, and black America’s complex relationship with the continent.

This is why we are launching our The Obamas in Africa series today. Leading up to and during the president’s arrival in Ghana we will look at the current state of the African Diaspora. We’ll delve into the issues plaguing Africa, the broken relationship between Africa and black Americans, the history of the continent. We’ll explore what we as a people can do to help Africa, and what we should expect from President Obama.

So we hope you enjoy our coverage and that you get involved in the conversations we will have around this very historic moment.