When Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African country to gain independence from colonial rule in 1957, W.E.B. DuBois, widely considered to be the Father of Pan Africanism, 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 the children of the Global African Family know about Mother Ghana?
In acknowledgment of the significance of its independence for the global African family, Ghana adopted the black star on its red, gold and green national flag to symbolize the vision of Marcus Garvey and his “Back to Africa” movement. This flag would become the motif for the displaced persons of African descent all over the world, many of whom wanted to see the ideals of Pan-Africanism fulfilled.
GHANA AND THE DIASPORA
There is no doubt that a significant number of the kidnapped, enslaved Africans taken as chattel during the Transatlantic Slave Trade came from or through Ghana as evidenced by the largest concentration of forts and dungeons along the coast of West Africa. Monumental resistance to the Ghana’s independence from colonial rule in 1957 was inspired by and in turn inspired Diasporan leaders, such as Dr. W.E.B. and Shirley Du Bois, George Padmore who answered the call to move to Ghana to live and contribute to actualization of Pan Africanism. At the dawn of independence and on into the first decade of independence, Ghana served as a beacon to waves of African descendants who returned with determination , skills, and an unflinching dedication. A token early returnees are Drs Robert and Sara Lee, Dr Alphaeus Hunton and Maya Angelou . Many also made it a point to visit the country including Richard Wright, Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr and Malcom X Pull factors have included the ideology of Dr Kwame Nkrumah the liberation of African people and the unity of Africa a cardinal principle guiding the Africa-centred policies of Ghana. While these policies may have been repressed in the 1970s, From the mid1980s Ghana has begun to once again assume the Pan African responsibilities embedded in her very inception. These include the establishment of sites of memory around the graves of three of the greatest Pan Africanists: W.E. B. Du Bois, George Padmore and Kwame Nkrumah, and the creation PANAFEST as well as the sustenance of a largely calm political and economic system are among the powerful pull factors which brought many members to a definitive decision to return. No doubt social media systems through which experiences , counselling and support are shared in recent years are playing a role in preparing for the realities of the return. Since 2019, the declaration of the Year of Return by the government of Ghana and its follow up initiative: Beyond the Return, actively interpret the profile of Ghana once more as the continental vanguard of Pan Africanism.
Ghana, the country where the African Diasporic journey began for many, once again seeks to endorse its prophetic responsibility as the Black Star of Africa and the “Gateway to Africa.” Within her most well-known ancient hieroglyphic language-Adinkra, we find the “Sankofa” symbol, which means to reclaim a past or a belonging; The Akan “Akwaaba,” means welcome or “Ako-Aba,” two words which translate to, you have gone and now you have returned.