Congressman John Robert Lewis Honoured by Diaspora African Forum

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Rep. John Robert Lewis, was a civil rights icon who worked alongside some of the greatest black leaders in history.  He spent a lifetime in the fight for equality for black people in America having worked alongside Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and countless others.  In 2011, he was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Barack Obama. Sadly, he died on July 17, 2020 due to complications with pancreatic cancer.

As part of a wreath-laying ceremony that honoured Pan African leaders in on July 27th, the Diaspora African Forum unveiled the name of Rep. John Robert Lewis on the Sankofa Wall located at their headquarters behind the W.E.B.  Dubois Centre in Accra. The Diaspora African Forum is supported by the African Union and its Head of Mission is H.E. Ambassador Erieka Bennett.  Their vision is to bridge the gap between the African diaspora and Africa. They are consistently dedicated to recognizing people who have made significant contributions to the advancement of people of African descent around the world.

The addition of John Robert Lewis’ name to the wall, is important because it reminds us of how united we are in the fight for our freedoms as people of African descent.  Those in attendance of the ceremony included, the Minister of Tourism Arts & Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, Director of Diaspora Affairs, Akwasi Ababio, Executive Director of PANAFEST, Rabbi Kohain, and Director of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, Alhaji Abubakari Issah Osman.

Last year, Lewis visited Ghana with the Congressional Black Caucus and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It was a historical trip as they participated in the Year of Return by commemorating the 400-year anniversary of the first documented ship of enslaved Africans who arrived in the English colony that is now the United States.  In commemorating the year, it was also an opportunity to celebrate the resilience of the African spirit.  He paid a visit to the dungeons at both the Cape Coast and Elmina Castle which was significant because that is where millions of captured Africans were transported through during the slave trade era.

The name, John Robert Lewis, will live forever on the Sankofa Wall in Ghana.  A symbolic return to the motherland and a testament and representative of the ancestors who never imagined one of their descendants would ever return home.

By: Ivy Prosper

Diaspora Community In Ghana Protest In Solidarity With Black Community In U.S.

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It has been heartbreaking as Africans to see our brothers and sisters in the diaspora, living in America continuing to suffer injustice.  The killing of George Floyd has sparked worldwide protests in support of African Americans.  Over the last few days, Floyd’s killing has sparked outrage across the U.S. and worldwide, leading to many protests, rallies and petitions for change.

On the morning of June 1, 2020, a peaceful protest was organized and attended by representatives of the diaspora and local Ghanaian community to lend our voices to the ongoing issues affecting the black community. Ambassador Erieka Bennet, Head of Mission at Diaspora African Forum, Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority and Coordinator for Beyond the Return, Rabbi Kohain, Executive Secretary for the Panafest Foundation, Jermain Nkrumah of Diaspora Network Television and Rev. Dr. Princess Ocansey, Migration Expert of Diaspora African Forum on the African Union Labour Advisory were key speakers at the protest.  A petition signed by all attendees was delivered to the U.S. Embassy.

 

Last year, Ghana continued to strengthen its bond with the diaspora with its Year of Return campaign which saw many diasporans visit not only Ghana but several other African countries. Ghana thus paved the way and many have also welcomed the statement released on the President’s social media handles related to the killing of George Floyd.

 

In a related new, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, released a statement through his social media expressing his deep condolences in the death of George Floyd.  He said, “It cannot be right that, in the 21st century, the United States, this great bastion of democracy, continues to grapple with the problem of systemic racism.”