Archive for the ‘BLACK PEOPLE’ Category
AFRICA!-MOTHER AFRICA!-BACK TO AFRICA-GHANA IS A NATURAL CHOICE FOR MANY BLACKAMERIKKKANS! -FROM THEGRIO.COM- O SE O ABURO MI ZAINABU AYIRA O!November 7, 2013
O SE O ABURO MI ZAINABU AYIRA!
Travel and Leisure
Why Ghana is fast becoming a hub for African-Americans
by Ezinne Ukoha | November 2, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Local chiefs wait for visiting Dutch Crown Prince Willem Alexander and Princess Maxima at Elmina Castle April 15, 2002 in Ghana. From Elmina the Dutch shipped over 50,000 slaves to Surinam and an unknown number to other destinations in North and South America. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)
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Africans in fashion speak on coming all-African issue of L’Uomo Vogue
We are now living in a time when Africa evokes images of vibrancy and growth instead of poverty, war and struggle.
In this context, Ghana is fast becoming a mecca for black Americans who are looking for lucrative opportunities in a new environment. According to recent reports, about 10,000 African-Americans visit Ghana yearly. Currently almost 3,000 American blacks reside in the capital, Accra, the major hub of Ghana.
Signs of a growing trend
While these numbers are not huge, they are still significant. Almost six years ago there were only 1,000 African-American expatriates living in Ghana, so clearly the numbers are rising steadily.
What has attracted them? The fact is this burgeoning nation has consistently enjoyed a peaceful political climate without many threats of internal or external strife since it gained its independence from the British back in 1957. The temperate weather also makes it an attractive choice.
But most importantly, there are elements that could resonate with anyone seeking a more laid back lifestyle. The pristine beaches, affordable living and a sense of spiritual calm that permeates the landscape makes Ghana an attractive alternative to the proverbial American “rat race.”
Ghana is living up to that hype, in addition to being a land of economic opportunity and bountiful resources.
Why relocate to Ghana?
Most Americans are starting to grasp the notion that they may have better luck financially in another country. As the American economy continues to falter, some blacks are finding that places new and unfamiliar could challenge them in ways leading to upward mobility.
Monies saved and invested elsewhere can yield bigger dividends. The educational attainment of many African-Americans can be put to immediate use in countries that have not been able to offer their populations similar luxuries until recently.
Much has been written about American blacks moving to South Africa for these very reasons, but I would like to suggest Ghana be added to the short list of locales for those considering planting new roots in the Motherland.
Technology, teaching and more opportunities
There are a plethora of companies in Ghana eager to recruit foreign applicants. If you are lucky enough to be well versed in all things digital, securing employment with a well-established technology firm is a strong possibility. Organizations such as Blogging Ghana have created platforms for interactivity within the social media realm that are reaching a global audience. Employees of such firms will have the opportunity to be proponents for change in an emerging field.
Or you can more easily start a family business. More than half of the African-Americans that reside in Accra are entrepreneurs. Local chiefs are often more than willing to grant prized land and other resources to budding entrepreneurs interested in real estate development, or other commercial ventures. This could also lead to a lucrative life in farming – or “agribusiness” – for those interested in a totally new, yet viable way of making a living.
Teaching is another highly desirable profession. English is the official language of Ghana; thus, entering academia as a teacher of the language could be one means of entrance into a coveted class. Plus, there are many supports extended to foreign pupils and the qualified staff who instruct them. You and your family could benefit from this aspect of the economy as native speakers.
Realistic challenges to immigration
But nothing comes easy. Newly minted migrants have encountered some issues adjusting to the regulatory patterns and overall atmosphere of their adopted homes. As progressive as Ghana is compared to their regional neighbors, there are still some difficulties that arise when it comes to everyday comfort. Coming from a Western culture creates certain expectations, and the thought of not having stable electricity, or constant running water can be a pain. Yes, this does happen, and may be a deal-breaker.
In addition, government agencies can also be hard to work with and in some cases they can prolong the process of becoming a citizen, which will limit your access to certain jobs. But, for many recent immigrants, aside from the “malaria issue” (which unfortunately is still the norm), settling in Accra isn’t nearly as intimidating as one would imagine.
Most importantly, acquaint yourself with the history of this very diverse country. Many Ghanaians are well traveled and knowledgeable about world affairs, so you have to be able to hold your own.
Weighing options for change
You have to look before you leap, so it’s advisable to visit first before you make such a drastic decision. You should ideally be armed with a well-drafted blueprint of what your vocation will be and have a few promising options lined up to assuage any doubts. Yes, it can take a considerable amount of time to achieve residency, but if you like Ghana and want to take a risk in your quest for a better life, you will likely succeed.
Ghana is the perfect choice if you are looking to experience living in Africa, because it has managed to take advantage of global opportunities, which has allowed the country to develop a comfortable level of stability. African-Americans will enjoy making a life in a place that will make them feel connected and celebrated in a way that they probably don’t fully enjoy in the U.S. as “minorities.”
Plus, you don’t have to be a millionaire in order to live quite decently. Moreover, there are resources available, like The African American Association of Ghana (AAGG), to help make your transition a smooth one.
Overall, you will be living among a people who are just as excited to get to know you as you are to know them. Ghanaians are very hospitable, which makes it easy to make friends and quickly build a network, which is ultimately the key to survival in any foreign country.
That’s what makes Ghana a welcoming and worthwhile choice for African-Americans who might be thinking of relocating to a new land of opportunity.
Follow Ezinne Ukoha on Twitter @nilegirl.
Trayvon Martin’s mother: Verdict will ‘not define’ who my son was
Aliyah Frumin // 4:50 PM on 07/26/2013
Speaking at the National Urban League’s conference in Philadelphia, Sybrina Fulton says, “Please use my story. Please use my tragedy to say to yourself we cannot let this happen to anybody else’s child.”
Sybrina Fulton, the mother of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin, hopes her tragedy will prevent others from having to endure the pain she has gone through.
Fulton made the remarks at the National Urban League’s annual conference on Friday in Philadelphia.
“Please use my story. Please use my tragedy. Please use my broken heart to say to yourself: We cannot let this happen to anybody else’s child,” she told the crowd.
She also said she supports a federal investigation into the case of George Zimmerman, a former volunteer neighborhood watchman who shot and killed Martin in February 2012. He was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter and said he acted in self-defense.
Fulton also spoke about the Trayvon Martin foundation and how she will continue to be an advocate for her son.
“At times I feel like I’m a broken vessel. At times, I don’t’ know if I’m going or coming. But I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is using me and God is using my family to make a change, to make a difference,” she said, adding “The verdict is not going to define who Trayvon Martin was. We will define his legacy.”
Watch Fulton’s remarks above.
Were My Enslaved Forebears From Angola?
Tracing Your Roots: A DNA test leads to questions, and a search for answers in historical records.
By Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Jason Amos, NEHGS Researcher
Updated Friday, June 21, 2013, at 8:57 PM
(The Root) –
“My father’s family just got our African-Ancestry test back, and on our matrilineal side, we were traced to Angola. I was shocked, because I was under the impression that most slaves from Angola ended up elsewhere in the Americas, not in the United States. I’d like to know the percentage of Angolans that ended up in the U.S. What was their typical point of entry? Do you have any info about genealogy records that might help me establish Angolan ties? –Diamond Sharp
You had your mitochondrial DNA tested. Mitochondrial DNA is passed down from a mother to her children, so this test traces a person’s mother’s mother’s mother’s line, back for generations. All children inherit this identical genetic signature from their mothers, but only daughters pass it down from generation to generation. Accordingly, it is an ideal way to trace the maternal branch of a person’s family back hundreds, even thousands, of years.
One of the biggest surprises about the history of the slave trade to the United States is the high percentage of our ancestors who were shipped to this country from Angola. African Americans have traditionally thought of Ghana and Senegal as our most common ancestral homes on the African continent, but almost half of all of the slaves arriving in this country were shipped here from two sources: Senegambia, yes, but also, Angola.
The slave trade from Angola to the New World began in the 16th century and continued (illegally) until 1860. It is estimated that, incredibly, there were more than 5 million slaves who came to the Western Hemisphere from Angola; more than half went to Brazil. Far fewer, in terms of absolute numbers, came to the U.S. (since the U.S. received dramatically fewer numbers of slaves than did Brazil, or even Haiti or Cuba or Jamaica, for instance). But the percentage from Angola was comparatively high.
According to historians Linda Heywood and John Thornton, we know that the first “20 and odd” Africans imported into Virginia in 1619 came from Angola. In fact, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, of the 388,000 Africans who landed in the various ports in North America over the entire course of the slave trade, 24 percent, or about 93,000 of them, came from Angola. In other words, an African American has about a one in four chance of being descended from these Central Africans.
It is possible that your Angolan maternal ancestor arrived in Virginia or New York or at another major port such as Charleston or New Orleans between 1619 and 1807. But the first ship that brought the Angolans to Virginia was the White Lion, whose crew captured a Spanish slave ship, the Sao Joao de Bautista, and took some of the slaves it was carrying to Cartagena, Colombia.
In 1808, the U.S. government made the importation of slaves into America illegal, but the illegal slave trade brought in many Angolans after that. The selling and trading of slaves in domestic markets was still allowed. If you are able to trace your enslaved ancestors back to an original owner, it might be possible to find more information about your ancestors’ arrival.
Henry Louis Gates Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University. He is also editor-in-chief of The Root. Follow him on Twitter.
Send your questions about tracing your own roots to TracingYourRoots@theroot.com.
This answer was provided in consultation with researchers from New England Historic Genealogical Society. Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country’s leading nonprofit resource for family history research. Its website, AmericanAncestors.org, contains more than 300 million searchable records for research in New England, New York and beyond. With the leading experts in the field, NEHGS staff can provide assistance and guidance for questions in most research areas. They can also be hired to conduct research on your family. Learn more today.
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