Ghana, considered a gateway of the brutal slave trade to the United States that began more than 400 years ago, is urging “unwanted” Americans of African heritage to resettle within its borders in the wake of the police killing of Minnesota resident George Floyd.
During a memorial and wreath-laying ceremony in honor of Floyd last Friday, Ghana’s Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture Barbara Oteng-Gyasi invited African Americans to “re-settle in Ghana if they feel unwanted” in the United States, the Independent Ghana news outlet reported.
Oteng-Gyasi reportedly declared:
Racism in America continues to be a deadly pandemic, for which for more than 400 years now, our brothers and sisters in the United States of America have yearned for a cure.
We continue to open our arms and invite all our brothers and sisters home. Ghana is your home. Africa is your home. We have our arms wide open ready to welcome you home. Please take advantage, come home build a life in Ghana, you do not have to stay where you are not wanted forever, you have a choice and Africa is waiting for you.
On Monday, NBC News reported that the African country had expanded its “Year of Return” initiative, an effort launched last year. As part of the initiative, Ghana called on the African diaspora across the world to “come home.”
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo officially launched the “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” in Washington, DC, in September 2018, the United Nations noted.
“We know of the extraordinary achievements and contributions they [Africans in the diaspora] made to the lives of the Americans, and it is important that this symbolic year — 400 years later — we commemorate their existence and their sacrifices,” the Ghanaian president declared.
The Ghanaian government launched the 2019 effort to mark 400 years since the first documented slave ship left Africa to the U.S. state of Virginia.