By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Senior Nationwide Correspondent, @StacyBrownMedia
Viola Fletcher, a 108-year-old survivor of the 1921 Tulsa Race Bloodbath, has turn out to be a Ghanaian citizen alongside her 101-year-old brother, Hughes Van Ellis.
The historic occasion passed off on Tuesday, February 28, at Ghana’s embassy in Washington, the place Fletcher and Ellis have been formally sworn in as residents of Ghana.
The ceremony was marked by vigorous music from African musicians and the energetic dancing of younger kids.
It marked the primary time that anybody had been sworn in as a citizen on the Ghana Embassy.
“I’m so grateful to all. I thanks a lot for this honor,” Fletcher, often known as Mom Fletcher, mentioned earlier than signing her citizenship papers.
Her brother echoed Fletcher.
“I’m so grateful to Ghana, and all of you,” Ellis, often known as Uncle Purple, asserted.
Notable attendees on the ceremony included Oklahoma State Rep. Regina Goodwin, information character Tiffany Cross, and Ambassador Erieka Bennett.
Ambassador Bennett emphasised that being African is just not outlined by birthplace, however by one’s connection to the continent.
“You don’t need to be born in Africa to be an African,” the Ambassador declared. “Africa is born in you.”
Cross, the previous MSNBC anchor, spoke of feeling the spirit of Africa and her ancestors within the room, whereas Goodwin expressed satisfaction for Fletcher and Ellis’s survival as proof that the African spirit can’t be damaged.
“That is what it’s all about,” Cross associated. “The spirit of Africa, it’s highly effective and wealthy historical past.”
Fletcher and Ellis’s acquisition of Ghanaian citizenship is a big milestone of their lengthy and noteworthy lives. As survivors of one of many worst race massacres in American historical past, their journey to Ghana represents a symbolic homecoming and a strong reminder of the resilience and perseverance of the African spirit.
The ceremony additionally highlighted the significance of recognizing the contributions of the African diaspora and their continued connection to the continent. As Africa continues to try for unity and progress, Bennett mentioned occasions like this function an inspiration to all these in search of to embrace their heritage and contribute to a brighter future for the continent.
“Ghana is so welcoming, and it’s for everybody,” Bennett said, concluding that she wished all all through the diaspora to know they’ll go to and even stay there.
“Welcome dwelling,” she mentioned.