Photo Credit: Courtesy of BET+
Embracing Roots, Womanhood, and African Heritage: Gabrielle Union's "My Journey to 50" on BET+
Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey as Gabrielle Union celebrates her 50th trip around the sun in the unfiltered and empowering documentary “My Journey to 50” on BET+. From the magical island of Zanzibar to the vibrant coast of Ghana, the breathtaking parks of Namibia, and the pulsating nightlife of South Africa, Union’s epic adventure becomes a transformative experience that resonates with ancestral connections and the quest for self-discovery.
“I’ve always had a lifelong thirst for knowledge. Connecting with the birthplace of civilization and my own ancestry helped me inch closer to my true self,” said Union. In this documentary, she fearlessly uncovers her vulnerability as she embarks on a life-changing trip that sees Union explore her ancestral roots – taking courageous steps towards her true self and inspiring us to embrace our own history and heritage. Through her exploration of African regions and cultures, Gabrielle confronts her past traumas, allowing herself to find peace and grow. Union’s courageous willingness to document this experience and face her emotional wounds inspires viewers to do the same, offering us a pathway to healing.
On her journey, Union is accompanied by her husband Dwyane Wade, daughter Kaavia, and her supportive family, friends and loved ones. Together, they navigate the diverse landscapes of various countries in Africa, forming an unbreakable bond that brings them closer together along the way. The documentary showcases the strength that emanates from genuine support, inspiring us to uplift one another and overcome obstacles collectively.
Union’s voyage through the continent challenges conventional sentiments of age and encourages us to embrace new meanings to the word “home” She says, “Before the trip, home was Omaha, Nebraska, the north side specifically. I come from one of the largest Black families in the state of Nebraska – one of the largest in the Midwest, and home has always been rooted [there]. After the trip, I would say home is somewhere in West Africa – just where energetically I feel home.”
The documentary serves as a spark for viewers to ignite a flame within us to pursue our passions unapologetically and reconnect with the profound beauty of our African roots and its vibrant tapestry of heritage. When asked about misconceptions that she hopes Black Americans can unlearn about the continent, Union shares, “We know nothing – we have been lied to. Our lack of knowledge and the misinformation we’ve been given is actually dangerous…It’s important to know the truth, and if you have to seek that out by getting on a plane, do it. If you seek it out academically, do it…All we know is the land we were taken from. Come back – we are welcome. It is beautiful. The people are beautiful – and different! Be open to learning the truth.”
“My Journey to 50” emphasizes the importance of magnifying the voices and experiences that make the many countries in Africa truly remarkable. By embracing these narratives, we broaden our perspectives, foster empathy, and embark on a personal journey of growth and acceptance. Viewers become invited to challenge preconceived notions and engage in a process of unlearning and opening ourselves to a deeper understanding of the richness that the regions across the continent possess.
Union’s 50th birthday experience is a poignant reminder of the importance of knowledge and finding empowerment through discovery with the people that matter most. Union says, “There was no other place I wanted to spend my 50th birthday. It was an experience I’ll never forget and I’m excited for audiences to join me on the journey.”
“Gabrielle Union: My Journey to 50” is now streaming exclusively on BET+.