The year 2019 is the “Year of Return,” according to Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
During a September 2018 event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., he said the “time is right” for people of African descent to make the journey back, with Ghana leading the way with its open arms.
An article posted to The Final Call’s website noted that President Akufo-Addo declared Black Americans have earned the right, “not by coincidence,” but historically by a conscious effort that validated “the struggles, strengths and links” between Africans on the continent and those who are a part of the African Diaspora.
He noted the gallery of Black intellectuals, leaders and creative professionals like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., W.E.B. DuBois, Maya Angelou and Stevie Wonder who have honored Ghana by their presence and have in turn been inspired by Ghana.
During the Sept. 28 event, U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) closed the “Year of Return” event by thanking President Akufo-Addo and Ghana’s first lady for spearheading such a historic initiative, according to The Final Call report.
“The country which I honor, and Ghana with its amazing history will be in the forefront of galvanizing and cementing this wonderful relationship between…the people of the United States of America and the great republic, which is the nation of Ghana,” said the Black lawmaker. “With its wonderful president and first lady who are leading us into the 21st-century, let the blessings of all be upon you. Let us be connected through our ancestry and the spirits. And let’s never forget the dark passage which will turn into a light of return in this wonderful year of 2019 commemorating our first venture (the Trans-Atlantic slave trade) in 1619.”
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