Year of Return: The African Americans moving to Ghana – BBC Africa


To me there is no such thing as a black woman
in Ghana. I’m a woman in Ghana. Living in the US, all of the seats are taken,
all the big brands are there, where here, you have an opportunity to create a seat at
the table. It’s significant to know where you belong
and where you came from. For Angela Matthews and Cindy Meyers this morning marks the start
of a trip they never thought they would make. I think of our grandparents who wish they
could have gone back but we are doing it for them. The sisters are getting ready to travel to
Ghana, in West Africa – for the first time. This group could have visited this country
at anytime but they chose to make the journey this year. Ghana is encouraging more descendants of the
slave trade to retrace their roots. They’ve called 2019 the year of return. It’s 400 years after the first enslaved
Africans arrived in what is now the US. This is Cape Coast Castle. It was one of the most important African bases
for British slave traders during the 18th century. Historians believe at least twelve million
people were shipped from West Africa to plantations in the Americas and the Caribbean. “As we walk down the dungeons, let me say
that this is the real dungeon in Ghana.” I never thought I would make this trip never.
My sister and I are the first generation to make it here and it is just truly amazing,
truly amazing. For Angela and her sister, the trip to the
castle and its dungeons holds a special meaning. They recently took a DNA test and discovered
they have Ghanaian heritage – meaning their ancestors may have been held in these cells.
I’m so grateful to be here and to be here with my ancestors it gives me great joy and
i feel like I’m home. Thank you in gratitude to every ancestor from
my bloodline, thank you for being strong enough to make it. I’m sorry you had to go through
this. You know this place is very saddening to see
how they were treated. So inhumane. I mean who would do that? Why? Money? It’s just
were saddening. Enslaved Africans were pushed through the
‘Door of No Return’ and onto waiting ships. For many it would be the last time they would
see the continent. But being here, taking my shoes off, getting
into the water, the Atlantic Ocean. I felt at peace, I felt home, I felt like all of
my ancestors and we were reunited. It was just a wonderful feeling. For some black Americans Ghana is more than
a holiday destination… This is very busy hustle and bustle, right
down the street is Oxford Street, the main street where people go out… Ghana’s economy is attracting young people
who are searching for more than their identity. My name is Voltaire Xodus, I’m a consultant
and I’m a founder of the company WeUp. I’ve been here five weeks and when I’ve
hit the ground I tried to build my network as much as possible going out to different
spaces and events. You are new in Ghana, you are not really familiar
with the African prints. I’m trying to combine things that you can
wear in Ghana, and wear out there. But why would someone who has never even visited
Ghana before choose to move there? For me being in business, it’s an opportunity
to be a part of creating a city and a country that’s emerging.
So, living in the US all the seats are taken, all the big brands are there and where here
the cement is wet and you have an opportunity to create a seat at the table.
Everybody is born with a gift. The question is how much do you water that seed of potential. But he admits it’s not just about business.
The main differences between my life in Ghana and the US, is the peace. Ghana is a very
peaceful place. That’s where you get comments from your
friends ‘be safe’ – and they actually live in Chicago Illinois.
There is a lot of violence in the city of Chicago. So, the irony is if someone in Chicago
is asking me to be safe in a place that’s peaceful, but that’s partly tied to the
imagery that they are fed every day. This is Lakeshia Ford. Five years ago, she decided to move Ghana
to start a new life -and with it came a new sense of identity.
To me there is no such thing as a black woman in Ghana. I’m a woman in Ghana – we are
all black. I don’t see colour here because I’m a
part of the majority and I think that’s a privilege and a luxury. She was born and brought up in the US and
her move to Ghana was about starting her own business – but it became more than that. This place, as in the African continent, specifically
Ghana, has restauration for people of colour in the diaspora. I want to show people that
this is not just an alternative but a real option to live your life and be successful.
We found two partners that help us with sponsorship… Lakeshia has no plans to move back to the
US and she’s encouraging others to join her.
Any black person that is in the diaspora, a trip needs to be made to the African continent,
there’s almost this undefined closure that happens. You don’t even know you need closure
in a certain light but coming here you get it and there is almost an alignment that happens. Back at the tour group – Angela, Cindy and
the other travellers have also been able to discover a different side to Ghana. The country estimates the number of tourists
wanting to find out about their heritage will increase by up by 40% this year. For Angela, retracing her roots has changed
how she looks at her home country. In this time with all the things that are
going on in our country, with our current president, it’s significant to know where
you belong and where you came from. For me coming back here, reuniting with my
ancestors, makes me feel at home, I have a culture I have a people, I belong. That’s the significance it has for me.

100 thoughts on “Year of Return: The African Americans moving to Ghana – BBC Africa

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  2. In that case all Europeans should go back Europe and give the native Americans and Australian aboriginals back there land. which was stolen and their culture destroyed.

    A racist or euro supremacist will then regurgitate a diabolical statement such as "we brought technology and infrastructure to the Americas and Australia"

    but with all that "technology and infrastructure" why are people in the west still so unhappy depression and anxiety are at an unprecedented high. meth and other sinister narcotics are destroying communities.

    The Australian aboriginals have had there natural way of living destroyed hundreds of thousands where killed on European arrival. now in the present day Australia is an "advanced and technological" state. based on a racist theory you would think aboriginal lives would be better but they are now more worse off then ever before with high rates of alcoholism.

    during the early 1800s a popular spectator sport of white European people in Sydney was to make Aboriginal men drunk with alcohol and encourage them to fight each other, this would regularly be to the death.

    in addition a lot of Aboriginal laborers would be paid in the form of alcohol moreover tobacco.

    Also without African resources the west would not be able to technologically exist today. coltan for example is found primarily in the Congo.

    without coltan your phone wont work in fact its NEEDED FOR MOST ELECTRONICS RESEARCH COLTAN. rubber, gold, diamonds and oil just to name a few are abundant in Africa. The richest man in history was a black man by the name of Mansa Musa.

    There are more pyramids in Sudan then there are in Egypt. look up the Nubian kingdom. Also look up the great wall of Zimbabwe.

    A lot of racists are intimidated by black men to an extent one could even say jealous primary factors of jealousy are either the black mans anatomy i.e genitals or musculature, athletic capacity ect or of the blacks mans potential to economically rise and develop.

    They fear the black man rising and seeking retribution for the hundreds of years of mistreatment and stolen resources , better yet global humiliation they have suffered.

    Retribution I would say is NOT the way as forward. Africans just need to come together and Ideologically and economically isolate themselves from the rest of the world. Rebuilding a new African infrastructure based on African modalities, not European, American or Chinese ones.

    Indeed Africans should not let any nation exploit the the land moving forward and only engage in FAIR and EQUAL TRADE with other nations. Africa could then somehow find its glory it once had i.e Benin Empire, Kingdom Of Ghana, Mali Empire, Nok Civilization, Kingdom Of Kush, Songhai Empire, Land Of Punt, ect.

    I have nothing against anyone of any race in fact I love all races. I am not insecure hence I don't utter hateful words against any race or nationality. We should all.be able to coexist peacefully. Its very Utopian I know but all we can do is pray for the best.

  3. Everyone of you people are on Heavy Heavy Narcotics did you people just get Released from an Insane Asylum or something Because no one in there correct state of mind would ever think of that particular place in Africa as a paradise you people are crazy and need psychological intervention ASAP wow I've never ever heard of anyone saying this about a place that GDP is practically in the Toilet and they are poor as hell Exactly why would TYRONE want to leave his Country of The United States for a place like that you all are Insane good Luck in that primitive place for primitive people such as yourselves

  4. All of us should PACK-OUR-SHYT, abandon the USA, UK, Canada, France, & all these other albino-centric colonial places & go find someplace to live in/on the Motherland. The economies of all these colonial places would tank within 10 years.

  5. I have ancestry from all of Africa, primarily West Africa. I would love to visit every country in which I have heritage: Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Cameroon, the Congos, and Kenya.

  6. Is any body else wondering why black Americans are either Ghanians or Kenyians? Are there only 2 countries in Africa? JS

  7. African-Americans should be given free (or at least discounted) ticket and accomodation prices to travel to African countries as a part of the reparation process.

  8. I want to move back to the motherland so bad, but I don’t know where to start. My ancestors were brought to Haiti, and my parents migrated to the US and someday, I pray I can leave the US for good. This place is NOT my home.

  9. Hmm Africans sold Africans into slavery huh?? I see were still pushing that falsw narrative. Africans sold hebrews into slavery. More precisely the Yahudi…but sure i guess. Africans huh. Ooook were coming back

  10. There's not enough money in Chase Bank that would make me want to move to Ghana, or any other African country. If Africans would rather live in America or Europe, why would I want to live there?

  11. It’s great that these people are retracing their roots – I can’t imagine what it feels like to not know who you are but I don’t want a repeat of what happened when African-Americans “went back” to Liberia and did exactly what their white masters did to them to the indigenous people.

    The truth is that by absolutely no fault of their own, entire communities have lost their ancestral cultures but they have made new and beautiful ones and there are many post-slavery cultures in the African diaspora. Be proud of where you came from but don’t use it as some kind of costume or way to exoticize yourself because people still practice these cultures and are discriminated against and oppressed because of their culture and heritage. It’s essentially cultural appropriation, especially if you have no know affiliation to that culture.

    I am a Nigerian btw – please reply with your opinions so I can learn more about other perspectives because this is how me and other Nigerians view this matter, especially in the wake of services like AncestryDNA.

  12. Smh you are still lost…. you still have no clue of the history of Ghana or where your from but so happy to see a slave holding cell. Lost people of the book still spiritually blind.

  13. My only concern is the govt structure. It is said by expatriots. That The police is worse than americas. U have to grease their palms. Burgalry is out of control.u have to grease many palms to get thibgs done or prosper- something those of us that dont live in nyc, chicago, etc do not have to deal with.

  14. I haven’t return to Ghana since I move to America, I am now a naturalized American . But I haven’t forgotten my country. I will one day return to Ghana with my family.

  15. I don't understand why people condemn the slave trade and get get so emotional. IT WAS JUST BUSINESS. I don't know about the people who were taken from other West African countries but most of the one's from Ghana would have been slaves anyway. Africans already practiced slavery. And why the fuck would you leave America to go and live in Ghana? What the fuck.

  16. Wait till you realize that you’re a Hebrew and not a so called african. Many tribes carry Hebrew customs and not all so called blacks are Hamitic in decent the slaves were shemetic the Israelites who were ran out of Jerusalem in 70ad. Our people need to wake up out of the black lie and actually read the Bible and research history your land is israel being rand down by those responsible for putting you into slavery.

  17. Black Americans are delusional black Africans are no different than white people they hate black Americans all the same..

  18. As sentimental as this video may seem these women are actually a big threat to the U.S economy and eventually the world economy

  19. I’m from the US. I 💕 the campaign that Ghana has to welcome diaspora during the Year of Return. It makes me feel good and want to visit. I have been to an African country but not in West Africa. It was the first time in my life I had ever been in a place where most everyone was brown skin like me. Some places I’ve traveled the people stare because hardly anyone looks like me. I only have a little bit of Ghana DNA. I am mostly Central African DNA but I think they would still welcome me in Ghana. I’m planning a trip to Brazil this year but next year 🇬🇭

  20. I visited Ghana,Africa August 2019.Absolutely loved it.Mother Africa.flew into Accra…amazing city.busy but amazing …actually had the privilege of staying in a city called Upper West Wa.10 hour bus trip from Accra.also visited Cape Coast.and a lot of other neighboring villages …Kumasi,Jarapa,ECT…very humbling experience.stood right there in the dungeon where our ancestors were held captive for long periods of time.planning on going back 2020.you will not return the same.Greetings Africa.God bless you all

  21. I'm building a small private beach resort in Ghana. I took the leap from the USA. I also want to purchase property in Rwanda.

  22. As a South African, I would love to see Africans in America coming back to Africa and investing hear….yes Africa is not the richest continent, but its ours!

  23. I'm Haitian, I've been keeping track of the '2019 the year of return' for almost a year now, and I've been thinking…
    When I do decide to go to Africa; I hope no -master- (–kidnapper–) monster asks me what is my business in my business in Africa.

  24. Iam Somali girl working at the airport and I treat my white customers like shit , and most don't say nothing to me. The problem is that most whites help each other , keep the good jobs for white people .there is nothing wrong with that because I would not give white person the good job if I was in Africa either. I would give the white person the service jobs and fast food jobs.

  25. You are all welcome to AFRICA. Doctors, Teachers, Entertainers, Artists, innovators, and more……there’s a seat at the table for you.

  26. The slaves and the ones who enslaved them are both dead, what is the rememberance about , this is not a religion , is just an event. How about you get ready for the next fight instead of crying about the last one that you lost . Start making guns not remembering some shit that went down years ago.

  27. Big mistake they usually come back to the USA, pls show before & after documentary why showing one part?? Find the ones who left back to US once the money is running out no jobs in ghana & realize poverty is real …???

  28. As most West Africans were taken to the Americas through slave trade, our East African Ancestors who were shipped to the Arab World cannot be traced up to today and no one is bothered to ask! Sad
    Kudos to Ghana. Hope more Black people get to rediscover themselves and find their Origin

  29. Welcome to Africa. You are welcomed to Kenya too. Read more about this country. Check out: https://shop.camerapixmagazines.com/product/journey-through-kenya/

  30. So first Ghana sold their ancestors, and now they want their hard earned cash for tourism? That, ladies and gentlemen, is called a slap to the face.

  31. Now you wait and see the United States government is going to say if any African-American wants to move to Guyana they are going to have to give up their citizenship

  32. I'm Polish if that's the way your logic works but I wouldn't live in Poland. It's a great place to visit. If you are into technology Europe and Africa are the wrong places.

  33. It is ironic that Ghana, the most racist country in West Africa, where people from neighboring countries who have lived there for generations are unable to obtain citizenship legally because they are not 'Ghanaian blood', is trying to attract foreigners who have no connection except for some fake DNA test.

  34. It's a humbling experience, whoever comes to Africa live never remain the same. I can testify that,there is a peace,joy and love for fellow human. Indeed Africa is the true origin of man.

  35. Welcome home..i have 4 African Americans Friends living in my area at East legon….they are so lovely and friendly..

  36. All of the seats are NOT taken in the United States. People build businesses everyday in the U.S. Has anyone ever heard of Daymond John?

  37. This is so sad! I hate these Pastors that keep telling me my ancestors are cursed! These are angels whose beautiful souls were tortured by the wicked people.

  38. right……leaving out the facts like it was other black people that captured and sold their ancestors.
    and not the white man walking into African with a big net and started ''without warning'' enslaving them.

  39. THIS IS ZIONIST PROPAGANDA BLACK AMERICANS ARE NOT MOVING TO AFRICA some may visit but we are not Moving there- BLACK AMERICANS ARE NOT AFRICAN WE ARE INDIGENOUS TO AMERICA AND THIS IS GOING TO BE MADE KNOWN VERY SOON EVERYWHERE They re trying to push this narrative because they don't wanna pay us what they owe us in america but Black americans will never leave America to go to some foreign land – Africans come to America because they don't have the resources there There is nothing in African economically for BLack American Indians

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