On 19th August 2021, H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo welcomed Viola Fletcher, Hughes Van Ellis and an accompanying delegation to the seat of Ghana’s Presidency Jubilee House.
On May 31st through to June 1st, 1921, homes and businesses in Greenwood District, Tulsa, Oklahoma were attacked and destroyed by mobs of white people leaving many of the Black people who had built for themselves a viable community and businesses dead and hospitalized.
This year, 2021 marks the centenary of this unfortunate event. Coincidentally, this centenary feeds into Ghana’s Beyond the Return initiative, an offshoot of the Year of Return 2019 and Ghana has been blessed to have as a part of the memorial of the former and celebration of the latter, the presence of the last two remaining survivors of the Tulsa Race massacre: Viola Fletcher known as ‘Mother Fletcher’ (107 years old) and her younger brother Hughes Van Ellis known as ‘Uncle Redd’ (100 years old). It had been the wish of the duo to visit Africa before they passed and Ghana was their choice for this wish.
Mother Fletcher addressing H.E. the President of Ghana expressed her deep appreciation towards the reception she has received in Ghana. She mentioned it had always been her dream to visit Ghana and said she hopes to make another visit. Her brother, Uncle Redd taking the mic addressed the shared unity of the African continent and the diaspora. Remarking to an applause, he stated “We are one”.
The President welcoming the guests mentioned that Ghana was in the process of drafting a Homeland Return Act which would guide the acquistion of Ghanaian nationality. Referencing the degradation of Black lives in the United States of America the President toasted the resilience of the African peoples which for him has been demonstrated by the prescence of the distinguished on Ghanaian soil.
The President went on to offer to Mother Fletcher and Uncle Redd Ghanaian citizenship and presented with them some Kente fabrics as well as a stool.
The visit of Mother Fletcher and Uncle Redd has been generously supported by the Diaspora Affairs Office and were ushered and received into the Presidency by Director, Akwasi Awua Ababio and his Deputy Nadia Adongo Musah.