Mrs. Viola Ford Fletcher – one of the last known survivors of the 1921 Race Massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the company of her brother Hughes (Redd) Van Ellis, has paid a courtesy call on the King of the Igbo Community in Ghana (Eze Ndigbo Ghana) – HRM. Eze Dr. Amb. Chukwudi Ihenetu.
Ford Fletcher is 107 years this year while Van Ellis is 100. Born on May 10, 1914, she has outlasted one of the deadliest chapters in American history for which she has decided to celebrate her centenary by reconnecting with Africa where she considers as her motherland.
An impressive, culturally rich, and traditionally welcoming ceremony in that regard has been held in honor of the two on Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at the palace of the Eze Ndigbo Ghana at East Legon in Accra. The objective is to highlight the celebration of their lives and the reunion of the African-American community and their African families.
The King and his royals were all joyous playing host to the world’s oldest woman alive and being part of her first ever historic trip to Africa.
“This is a history that will be shown on CNN, Aljazeera and BBC. It is history that the President of America is aware of what happened here today. Our children will one day talk about it and boast with it. That, we hosted and celebrated Mama Fletcher and Uncle Redd; and we were shown on several television channels abroad including CNN,” he told journalists in an interview.
Mother Fletcher had made visiting Africa her number one choice among her remaining desires. According to her, the trip to Ghana in West Africa is to see where she believes their history originated.
The two were accompanied on the visit by the Head of Missions of the Diaspora African Forum, her Excellency Ambassador Dr. Erika Bennett who remarked that the expectations of the delegation have been surpassed since Mama Fletcher had also requested to visit Nigeria to experience their culture.
“We have been overwhelmed by the rich traditional cultural display which has been exhibited here at this wonderful reception. Instead of us going to Nigeria, you brought Nigeria to us here in Ghana.”
The visitors were treated to a very rich traditional Igbo culture where they were given a fore taste of the finest Igbo food, music and culture reflecting the history of the African people.
Also present at the event were some Chiefs from the Yoruba Community as well as representatives from the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana, among others.
Mrs. Viola Ford Fletcher and Hughes (Redd) Van Ellis were crowned with Chieftaincy titles and showered with assorted gift items from the King and the Igbo Community in Ghana.
HRM. Eze Dr. Amb. Chukwudi Ihenetu, used the occasion to throw an open invitation to other African-Americans in the diaspora to return home to Africa where they belong.
“We want the other African-Americans to remember that where they are coming from – Africa is a land of milk and honey…We need people with experience from all sectors of life to come down here. Let us work together; let us unite together; and let us make Africa a great continent again,” the King stated.
Source: ghananewsonline.com.gh, with additional files from africanewsradio.com
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