Posted on May 25, 2022

For African Americans Tired of U.S. Hostility, Ghana Is Still Calling

Karen Attiah, Washington Post, May 18, 2022

In 1961, 93-year-old Black scholar and historian W.E.B. Du Bois moved to Ghana, and soon after he was granted Ghanaian citizenship. He had endured Jim Crow racism, FBI surveillance and the confiscation of his passport by the United States, and decided it was enough. He handed White America a scathing resignation notice, in the form of a poem, “Ghana Calls,” which in part reads:

“From reeking West whose day is done,

Who stink and stagger in their dung

Toward Africa…

Come with us, dark America:

The scum of Europe battened here

And drowned a dream

Made fetid swamp a refuge seem …”


Two days after the Buffalo massacre, I went to Du Bois’s house, which is now a museum. The full text of “Ghana Calls” is painted on a small portion of a hallway. There, I pondered what Black asylum from white supremacy truly looks like.


{snip} The rise of social media communities such as Nomadness Travel Tribe, Travel Noire and Blaxit Global are a testament to a growing awareness that Black people don’t have to feel trapped in America. {snip}


For the past several years, Ghana has been trying to capitalize off the desire of African Americans to return to Ghana and escape their country’s brutalities. “You do not have to stay where you are not wanted forever,” said Ghana’s tourism minister, Barbara Oteng Gyasi, in 2020, at a ceremony in Accra marking George Floyd’s murder. “You have a choice, and Africa is waiting for you.” Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo’s “Year of Return” initiatives have attracted celebrities and social media influencers. In 2019, he gave Ghanaian citizenship to 126 foreign nationals who had been living in the country for many years. Chance the Rapper has tweeted that he wants to take a group with him to Ghana this summer. Stevie Wonder has plans to relocate to Ghana. According to reports, about 5,000 African Americans have relocated to Ghana since 2020.

As open racism becomes more mainstream in major Western countries, will “Blaxit” become a bigger movement? It’s … complicated. The feeling of having to leave home for a better life comes with grief, guilt and moving costs. Cultural differences, and ignorance on both sides about African and African American history and culture, are not easy to overcome. Black people from the Americas will be confronted with the ugly truth that Africans participated in selling captured Africans to the Europeans. And immigration brings a fear of increased gentrification, and that investment and tourism dollars will not benefit average Ghanaians.