Ghana still calling for African Americans tired of US hostility, racism
In 1961, 93-year-old Black scholar and historian W.E.B. Du Bois moved to Ghana, and soon after he was granted Ghanaian citizenship.
He had endured Jim Crow racism, FBI surveillance and the confiscation of his passport by the United States, and decided it was enough. He handed White America a scathing resignation notice, in the form of a poem, “Ghana Calls.”
Nearly 60 years after Du Bois’s death, America is still trying to perfume itself to the world as a haven of freedom and progress, but the past weekend has been a reminder that America is all too content to tolerate he murder of Blacks, Karen Attiah, a Ghanaian-American writer and editor, wrote in an article in the Washington Post.
On Saturday, a White 18-year-old allegedly traveled to Buffalo, New York, with a genocidal mission to kill as many Black people as he could.
Donning body armor and armed with an assault weapon, he managed to slaughter 10 people, all of them Black, before he was taken alive by police. His chilling manifesto made explicit references to the great replacement theory and anxieties about immigrants, Jews and nonwhites taking power from Whites.
Two days after the Buffalo massacre, I went to Du Bois’s house, which is now a museum. The full text of “Ghana Calls” is painted on a small portion of a hallway. There, I pondered what Black asylum from white supremacy truly looks like.
There is an American exceptionalist idea that the country is so great that Black people should be willing to endure its ills. We hear all the time “stay and fight” from elected leaders, who do little with their power to protect Black people when we vote for them.
Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Maya Angelou and Nina Simone all left America for Europe and Africa to feel mentally and spiritually free from White America’s psychic violence. Sometimes, leaving is the most powerful form of resistance.