US Congressional Delegation Visits Ghana
This year marks the 400th year since the first African slaves step foot on the land we now call the United States of America; a land we all call home. In recognition of this significant time in history, a Congressional Delegation visited Ghana and the U.S. Army African headquarters this past week. The delegation spoke with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, Speaker Mike Oquaye and other senior government officials. Congressional members engaged in conversations on key issues such as regional security, sustainability and the climate crisis.
Some of the highlights of the trip included visits to the "Door of No Return" at Cape Coast and Elmina Castles. While the history there is still damaging it was impactful for the Congressional members to pay respects to a landmark that will forever connect the heartbeat of the two land masses and more notably the people therein. Congressman Hank Johnson reflects on his experience:
“Millions died in the transatlantic slave trade. Our visits to both castles revealed that they were dungeons of unspeakable cruelty and human degradation of the enslaved as well as the slave traders themselves... It was emotionally draining to get a glimpse of the suffering endured by my ancestors as they took their last steps on the African continent walking out of the ‘Doors of No Return,’ while exhilarating to be welcomed back home by my Ghanaian brothers and sisters as we reversed our ancestors' steps to walk into the castle through the ‘Door Of Return.’”
In total, 13 members of the Congressional Black Caucus joined the delegation. Among them are civil rights leader, Congressman John Lewis, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congresswoman Fredricka Wilson. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, one of the outspoken freshman activists in the House, also joins after Trump’s recent message for her to get out of the US right now. His words invoked crowd chants to "send her back". Well, she went back alright, but for a much more positive objective than the Trump supporters suggested.
The Congressional delegation was led by the first woman Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. “It is a special honor to be the first U.S. Speaker of the House to address the illustrious Parliament of Ghana, as we build on the partnership between our nations,” Speaker Pelosi stated. Congresswoman Karen Bass shares her gratitude of having speaker Pelosi lead the memorable trip. “I thank Speaker Pelosi for leading this important trip and for joining us in sending a signal of mutual respect and partnership to Ghana and the continent of Africa as a whole,” Congresswoman Bass remarked.
President Nana Akufo-Addo welcome the delegation and confirmed the significance of this year for both nations. “It is important that this symbolic year, 400 years later, we commemorate their existence and their sacrifices,” remarked President Akufo-Addo. House Majority Whip Clyburn considers the delegation to be “fitting and proper way” mark this significant period of time. Through this journey Whip Clyburn seeks “to pay homage to the sacrifices of our African ancestors and honor the contributions they made to building the United States of America.”
Members of the delegation include:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
House Majority Whip James Clyburn
Congressman John Lewis, Ways & Means Committee
Congressman Bobby Rush, Energy & Commerce Committee
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Budget Committee, Homeland Security Committee and Judiciary Committee
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Appropriations Committee and Budget Committee
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Energy & Commerce Committee and Homeland Security Committee
Congressman Hank Johnson, Judiciary Committee and Transportation & Infrastructure Committee
Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Agriculture Committee, Education & Labor Committee and House Administration Committee
Congresswoman Karen Bass, Foreign Affairs Committee and Judiciary Committee
Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Intelligence Committee and Ways & Means Committee
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Education & Labor Committee and Transportation & Infrastructure Committee
Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, Financial Services Committee and Joint Economic Committee
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Budget Committee, Education & Labor Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee
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