Earlier this month, Ghana’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture extended an invitation to black Americans to leave the United States and resettle in Ghana, declaring that American blacks should “leave where you are not welcome.”
Ghana’s invitation comes as social unrest hits the States concerning alleged racism and police brutality, though such notions have been challenged by some academics.
“We continue to open our arms and invite all our brothers and sisters home,” said Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, Newsweek reported. “Ghana is your home. Africa is your home. We have our arms wide open ready to welcome you home. Please take advantage, come home build a life in Ghana, you do not have to stay where you are not wanted forever, you have a choice and Africa is waiting for you.”
The tourism minister called “racism” a “deadly pandemic” in the U.S., during a ceremony for the death of George Floyd, a black man who died last month following a disturbing arrest caught on viral video, though there is no evidence that alleged racism played a role in Floyd’s death.
“Racism in America continues to be a deadly pandemic, for which for more than 400 years now, our brothers and sisters in the United States of America have yearned for a cure,” Oteng-Gyasi said. “We gather in solidarity with brothers and sisters to change the status quo. Racism must end. We pray and hope that George Floyd’s death will not be in vain but will bring an end to prejudice and racial discrimination across the world.”
As noted by Newsweek, government officials in the capital of Ghana launched an initiative called “Beyond the Return,” encouraging investment in the nation.
“We feel that given the wealth that African Americans and black Americans have, given that spending power, travel budgets of blacks in America, we felt that it’s about time that we start that conversation that, instead of moving to any other destination, come back to where you came from,” said Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of Ghana’s Tourism Authority, according to NBC News.
NBC said officials told them the country is making a pathway to citizenship easier for foreigners and reforming the visa process to make Ghana more accessible to travelers, seeking “to increase tourists’ visits from 1 million to 8 million by 2027.”
The news outlet connected black Americans returning to Africa amidst “feelings of displacement for some in the black community linger as police-involved violence makes national headlines.”
“You think that, oh, America’s so great,” said Amma Aboagye, who was raised in Maryland and has resettled in Ghana. “But when you go there, your body is weaponized. Your body is seen as a threat. You, as a black man, being on the street, laughing, dapping up your people that you do in your village and everybody thinks is normal. When you go somewhere else, it’s seen as violent. It’s seen as disruptive.”