Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Tulsa race massacre survivors visit Ghana, accept citizenship

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

Two survivors of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre in Oklahoma, United States of America are currently touring Ghana, their first visit to the continent.

Viola Ford Fletcher, 107 and her brother Hughes Van Ellis, 100 are the last two known living survivors of the 1921 racist massacre in Tulsa.

On May 31, 1921, a group of Black men had gone to the Tulsa courthouse to defend a young African American man accused of assaulting a white woman.

They were met with a mob of hundreds of furious white people, sparking tensions and shots fired.

The African Americans retreated to their neighborhood, Greenwood though but the next day, at dawn, white men looted and burned the entire neighborhood called Black Wall Street due to how prosperous it was.

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Tulsa Massacre
The Tulsa Massacre survivors being honored in Ghana. Photo: BBC

As many as 300 African American residents lost their lives in the massacre and nearly 10,000 people were left homeless.

The two survivors are in Ghana as part of a “homecoming” campaign organized by the social media platform Our Black Truth.

In Ghana the two have been touring some historical sites including slave castles to mark hundred years since the Tulsa massacre occurred.

The Ghanaian government offered them citizenship which the two have accepted after meeting Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo.

Tulsa Massacre survivors in Ghana
Ghana’s President meets the Tulsa survivors. Photo Courtesy Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President.

“We accept it with great joy and we thank the president for this great honour,” said Viola Fletcher and Van Ellis.

Ghana’s Deputy Director of Diaspora Affairs at the Office of the President, Dr. Nadia Musah, said “It was quite an emotional moment for everyone.”


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