Today the 5th of June 2020 recorded another historical event on the black history calendar as the leadership of the first country to be liberated from colonialism in Africa, Ghana, officially added her voice to the many cries of injustice given to people of color in the United States of America. But, what made this act of compassion so significant was its timeliness.
At, the point when tensions have been heightened in the United States of America with demonstrations, burning of shops and in some cases violent protests, one may think that such an act from an office of the State might savage diplomacy ties between the United States and Ghana, but the Government of Ghana chose to side with their African counterparts; even if it meant being blamed afterwards for helping popularise an American domestic matter which could spark an international outrage.
But, the question is, was it a domestic matter? As an African was unfairly treated despite his call for help which later led to his death at the hand of a white policeman? Social media answered the question long ago as the hash tag ‘black lives matter’ was on many trends on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. But, that wasn’t enough to ring a loud bell across the globe that injustice to one African somewhere was injustice to all Africans everywhere. And, this was well echoed as the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture together with a group of Africans from the Diaspora, set up a ceremony in honor of the late George Floyd with the press at the Dubois Centre in Accra; the home of one of the most revered Pan – Africanists W.E.B. Dubois.
This symbolic statement has made a mark on the wall of international diplomacy simply saying ‘Africa is watching’. Also, with earlier posts on social media by the President of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo – Addo describing the unfortunate incident as an act of hatred, it has been recorded that indeed African leaders have their eyes on how their brothers are being treated and are not happy about it.
This sends a reminder to people of color around the world that Ghana is a land of no discrimination and injustice, and also recognizes the fact that African – Americans and Ghanaians are one people. Therefore, just as their joy was our joy last year during the year of return, this year, their pain is our pain as we go beyond the return.
Therefore, let this act by the leadership of the Tourism sector of Ghana, not be seen as unnecessary but rather as a very important show of compassion and solidarity with Africans in the Diaspora for the strengthening of future ties, emotional healing, and for possible developmental progress of the nation and Africa as a whole.
By Jerry Wonder