Mr John Lewis, made an emotional remark at the Oguamanhen’s Emintsimadze Palace, in relation to building a new world, when he, together with the US Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ms Nancy Pelosi, and other Congressional delegates, visited the Cape Coast and Elmina castles in the Central Region as part of the “Year of Return” activities in Ghana on Tuesday.
Appearing emotional, Mr Lewis, after touring the two castles and receiving a briefing on how African slaves were kept in dungeons, chained together and shipped to America through the “Door of No Return” now “Door of Return”, echoed the feelings of the delegation from the Black Caucus and said: “We need to do all we can to bring our world community together.”
Mr Lewis, described as the: “the conscience of the US Congress,” who represents the people of Georgia’s 5th Congressional District and one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement in USA has ever produced and a colleague of the late Dr Martin Luther King Jr., appeared tearful as he lamented the horrors of the slave trade.
“We have a right to save the planet for the generations yet unborn. We need to build a new world so that we all can be free at home and abroad,” the man who has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties and building what he calls: “The Beloved Community” in America said.
He said they wept while on the tour of the castles and thanked Speaker Nancy Pelosi for deciding to be part of the Black Caucus delegation for the Year of Return visit to Ghana, which is part of activities marking the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arriving in America.
Background of the Year of Return
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in September 2018 in Washington DC, declared and formally launched the “Year of Return Ghana 2019” for Africans in the Diaspora, giving fresh impetus to the quest to unite Africans on the continent with their brothers and sisters in the Diaspora.
The Black Caucus in the US Congress subsequently linked the Ghanaian government’s initiative with the passage in Congress in 2017 of the 400 Years of African-American History Commission Act, which include the setting up of a history commission to carry out and provide funding for activities marking the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Africans in the English colonies at Point Comfort, Virginia, in 1619.
Subsequently, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accompanied by 12-Members of the US House of Representatives Congressional Black Caucus, visited Ghana this week as part of the commemoration which would be repeated in the US House of Representatives.