Ghana’s president has invited African descendants in the diaspora back to his country during “The Year of Return” which commemorates 400 years since the first Africans arrived in Virginia, USA. 107-year-old Viola Fletcher, and her brother, Hughes Van Ellis, who is 100, had been waiting for just such an opportunity, and flew 6,300 miles from Oklahoma to Ghana in August. They are the oldest living survivors of the infamous Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, when 300 black people from a prosperous neighborhood were killed by a white mob and 10,000 people were left homeless. In the eight days of their all-expenses paid trip to Ghana, the duo attended more than 19 events, were granted Ghanaian citizenship and received many honors and mementos. Poignant trips to the Sankofa Memorial wall where the names of hundreds of members of the diaspora are inscribed, and the dungeon of Osu Castle where thousands of their ancestors were held captive before transportation to the US, reinforced the purpose of the trip. “I let the world know that nobody can stop us. They tried to burn us, kill us, smoke us and drag us. We are still here,” says Van Ellis.

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