Why GHANA

slavery and Panafest

W.E.B. DuBois championed equal rights for Diasporans in the United States and around the world. Ultimately, the man widely considered the Father of Pan Africanism did away with his protracted romanticism of America. He relocated to Ghana and worked alongside the nation’s government until his death. He is still buried there today.

When Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African country to gain independence from colonial rule in 1957, DuBois called Ghana the vanguard of Pan Africanism. The title is compatible with the history of the Ghanaian people, one that reveals the responsibility she has toward all children of the Diaspora. What then must these children know about Mother Ghana?

History of Ghana and the Ghanaians

Like most Africans, Ghanaians trace their beginnings to Egyptian, Ethiopic and Mesopotamian roots. Based on their traditions, culture and historical migrations, many Ghanaian tribes believe they are descendants of the ancient Hebrews of Israel who originated from Black African tribes.

According to long-standing oral legend, the ancient Ghanaians migrated from East Africa to sub-Saharan Africa during the first Arab invasion of the continent. They followed the sun until it stopped moving and built an altar on the land they were on and called it Ghana. Researchers have found startling similarities between Ghanaian and Hebrew traditions—the former are still observed to this day.

Ghana and the Diaspora

Most of the African slaves taken during the Transatlantic Slave Trade came from or through Ghana. Recent studies show the majority trace their ancestral origins to Ghana. Ghana’s independence from colonial rule in 1957 inspired Diasporan leaders abroad, such as Du Bois, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who all referred to the new country as the Promised Land for Black people.

In acknowledgment of the magnitude of their independence, Ghana adopted the black star on its red, gold and green national flag to symbolize the prophecy of Marcus Garvey and his “Back to Africa” movement. This flag would become the motif for the displaced of African descent all over the world, many of whom wanted to see the ideals of Pan-Africanism fulfilled.

Ghana, the country where the African Diasporic journey began, endorses its prophetic responsibility as the Black Star of Africa and the “Gateway to Africa.” Within her ancient hieroglyphic language, we find the “Sankofa” symbol, which means to reclaim a past or a belonging; and “Akwaaba,” which means welcome or “Ako-Aba,” two words which translate to, you have gone and now you have returned.

Some interesting facts about Ghana

  • Ghana is located in the center of the Earth
  • The sun rests for three days in the center of the earth during the winter solstice —between the dates of December 22-25. It rests on the zero degrees longitude and latitude of the equator, which is directly over the head of the Tropic of Capricorn where the country of Ghana is geographically located.
  • Ghana was formerly known as the Gold Coast to Europeans because it was a land filled with gold.
  • Ghana is where most of the slaves during the Atlantic Slave Trade were either from or taken to in order to be shipped to the New World.
  • The mythical story of King Arthur and his immovable sword was taken from the real history of Ghana’s High Priest Okomfo Anokye and his sword. Okomfo Anokye was a real life historical figure in Ghana and, to this day, people all over the world visit the site in Kumasi where the sword remains unmoved.
  • There are many interesting similarities between the Golden Stool of the Ashanti people in Ghana and the Biblical Ark of the Covenant of the ancient Israelites.
  • Ghana was the first Black African country to gain its independence from Colonial rule.
  • Ghana adopted the black star on its red, gold and green flag to represent Marcus Garvey’s Back to Africa Movement, as the country whose shores are the gateway into Africa.
  • W.E.B Du Bois, widely considered the Father of Pan Africanism, is buried in Ghana. His memorial is a tourist site.
  • Ghana is the only country in Africa that celebrates the Emancipation of the slaves.
  • Ghana was the promised land for Dr. Martin Luther King
  • Ghana is the only country in Africa that grants dual citizenship to the descendants of African slaves in the Diaspora under their “right of abode” clause in the Ghana Constitution.
  • Ghana is the most peaceful and democratic nation in Africa.

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