Some Black Americans Exiting the US for Ghana
In SummaryA rash of nationwide events revolving around racism and Ghana's president inviting those of African descendants have led to Black Americans considering a move to Ghana.
A plethora of discriminatory acts in the United States in 2020 and racial issues leading to the Black Lives Matter movement led to some Black Americans leaving for Ghana.
Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghana’s president in 2019, invited those with African ancestry to the country to mark the “Year of Return.” It marked 400 years since the first Africans arrived to the colonies on slave ships.
Sonjiah Davis is a successful therapist in the U.S. Still, she said she is constantly looking over her shoulder and the racism she has seen and experienced is taking a psychological toll.
“I didn’t even realize how traumatized I was, especially in regards to police,” Davis told CBS News. “My immediate thought all the time was, ‘Oh, my gosh, you know, what if a police officer pulls me over? Am I going to be physically safe? Am I going to come out of it alive?'”
She said trauma is unfortunately rooted in her DNA from the transatlantic slave trade to the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921. Davis said she was hit hard after the murder of George Floyd.
“I was barely holding on. I could feel myself nearing a nervous breakdown,” she said. “That’s why I made the decision that I had to get out of there.”
Davis was one of the many who visited Ghana in 2019 during the government’s “Year of Return” campaign. The invitation brought in a large number of tourists with hopes of converting them to permanent residents.
Erieka Bennett, head of the African Diaspora Forum, said that after Floyd was killed, the organization received close to 300 inquiries a day asking how to relocate to Ghana.
“Home is not a place. It’s how you feel where you are,” said Bennet. “The feeling of belonging, the feeling of welcome and a sense of freedom.”
Nearly 5,000 African Americans have returned to Ghana and stayed.
“I feel loved, I feel supported. I feel regarded. I feel like I matter,” Davis said. “I don’t feel like I am looked at for the color of my skin. I’m just a person here. I’m just another person.”