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African American Association of Ghana marks Juneteenth festival

Juneteenth/African American Association of Ghana/ African Diaspora/African slavery

The African American Association of Ghana (AAAG), in partnership with the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), has marked the Juneteenth festival in Ghana.

The celebration started with a parade from the Du Bois Centre through the Lands Commission, 37 Military Hospital and Jubilee House to Accra Tourist Information Centre.

The president of AAAG, Diallo Sumbri, said Juneteenth is important because it signifies the continual resistance of Africans to slavery, which began in Africa and continued to America.

He said, “Africans didn’t just opt to be slaves, but fought here and there in the prisons while some jumped over the ship and chose death by sea instead of being shackled. So, Juneteenth is a continuation of that struggle for freedom.”

Sumbri said AAAG is a vibrant community of African-Americans living in Ghana, united by a shared mission to promote cultural, social, spiritual and economic well-being while reintegrating into the Ghanaian society.

“The association strives to facilitate the cultural, social, educational and economic integration of African Americans and other people of African descent returning from the diaspora into Ghanaian society,” he said.

The deputy minister for tourism, art and culture, Mark Okraku-Mantey, said it is important for the government to partner diasporans and give them due recognition because they have expertise, which could be leveraged through collaboration to bring value to the country as well as the continent.

He said, “It is important to remember a day like this again, to reinforce the relationship with the six regions of Africa because we know what is convenient for us as Africans.”

Okraku-Mantey added that the government is working very hard to improve the residency processes to ease the stay for more diasporans in the country.

The chief executive officer of GTA, Akwasi Agyemang, said although we are free, there is the need to free our minds and thoughts from slavery. He, therefore, called for the mental emancipation of black people across the world, adding that it would lead to a more positive view of the continent.

Nadia Adongo-Fynn, deputy director for diaspora affairs, noted that the support and partnership of the AAAG with her outfit indicates the commitment of the government to the diaspora in the spirit of the ‘Year of Return’.

Juneteenth is an annual celebration of the liberation of over 250,000 slaves in Gavelston, Texas, on 19 June 1865. Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.




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