West African country Ghana has honored survivors of the unfortunate massacre of black people in the year 1921 known popularly as the “Tulsa Massacre” citizenship in a grand ceremony in Accra.
Among the beneficiaries was 107-year-old Viola Fletcher and her 100-year-old brother, Van Ellis who traveled to Ghana to mark the 100-year remembrance of the 1921 massacre which left a significant mark on the black community.
The two, Viola and Ellis were granted Ghanaian citizenship along with other people from the diaspora. The group which was obviously happy with their new citizenship status said “We accept it with great joy and we thank the president for this great honor.”
The event was themed a “naming ceremony” because the beneficiaries were given local names by the authorities. To give them formal recognition, each of them was offered a document that legally seals their names and status.
The country’s Deputy Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture, Mr. Mantey said “the naming ceremony we are having for our brothers and sisters is to reconnect with them and welcome them back home and also to review their identities as Africans and Ghanaians to be precise.”
He added that “We’ve read about your story, the massacre that went on years ago, we’ve heard of stories like Amadou Diallo who was shot 41 times, but he didn’t have a gun on him. We saw the George Floyd story and so, it is obvious that it is not over and it will not be over until it’s over. So we appreciate those of you who went through all of that for us. The choice by Madame Fletcher, Uncle Redd and the team, to visit Ghana is a step in the right direction.”
The ceremony was organized by the Ghana Tourism Authority in collaboration with Diaspora Africa Forum and the Osu Traditional Council. Since their visit to Ghana, the group has taken the opportunity to visit sites including the Osu Castle Dungeon, where African slaves were kept before dispatch during the transatlantic slave trade.