- 250 African-Americans assembled at the Cape Coast Castle as part of activities marking The Year of Return
- They gathered to mark the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship of enslaved Africans to English North America in 1619
- Over 70 families discovered their ancestry during the African Ancestry DNA disclosure, which is possibly the largest ever in Africa
- While this was ongoing, tens and thousands of African-Americans had assembled at the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton, Virginia, to also mark the same activity
Some 250 African-Americans gathered at the Cape Coast Castle, Ghana, to mark the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship of enslaved Africans to English North America in 1619.
While this was ongoing, tens and thousands of African-Americans had assembled at the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton, Virginia, to also mark the same activity.
Here at the Cape Coast Castle, one of nearly 40 slave castles built in the Gold Coast, now Ghana, more than 70 families discovered their family tree during the African Ancestry DNA disclosure which is possibly the largest ever in the continent.
African Ancestry, the only global company notable for tracing maternal and paternal lineages of African descent to re-connect with the roots of their family used its inclusive database to help them trace their family tree to a specific present-day African countries and ethnic groups dating back over 500 years.
With a simple swap of your cheek and reliable information from the world’s largest database of African DNA descent, the company is able to resolve an individual's country and ethnic group of origin.
President and CEO of The Adinkra Group, Diallo Sumbry, revealed that the event was intentionally planned to coincide with the same time that history indicates the slave ships arrived in the US.
“We intentionally planned for it to happen at the same time history tells us the ships arrived in the US.,'' he said.
''To touch the water on both sides of the globe where the ships landed and from where they left 400+ years ago helps to sustain the paradigm shift we feel of Africans throughout the diaspora longing to return at the tectonic plate level under the ocean floor through our bodies on earth up through and above the clouds with thunder and lightning,” Diallo Sumbry, also curator of the historic Jamestown to Jamestown trip to Ghana in partnership with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), added, according to Face2Face Africa.
He further indicated that the return is spiritual in nature but shows itself physically as it requires our bodies to physically return to invoke all our senses.
''Our spirits have been longing to return for a while,” Diallo Sumbry, who is also Ghana’s first African-American Tourism Ambassador said.
Co-facilitated by Sunseekers Tours and the Ghana Tourism Authority, the historic Jamestown to Jamestown trip made it possible for 250 people including actor Danny Glover, to go on the tour from Jamestown, Virginia, to Jamestown in Accra, to discover their ancestry.
The tour began with a word of prayer and candle light ceremony on August 18, 2019, in Virginia, where the English ship, White Lion, ''brought not anything but 20 and odd Negroes'' as indicated by John Rolfe, the plantation owner and official overseeing the colony.
250 African Americans flocked to the Smithsonian Museum of African-American history before coming to Ghana on a South African Airways flight.
Upon arrival, they were received with a royal durbar in Ghana which was joined by Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the chiefs and people of Jamestown in Accra.
A two-day African-American Business Summit and a black-tie gala later followed as part of the activities.
After the African Ancestry DNA reveal in Cape Coast, the participants visited the Assin Manso Ancestral Slave River Park aka the “Last Bath” and they enacted a similar ceremony as in Jamestown, Virginia, where they captured water from the James River and wrote a message to their ancestors in a note-card and placed in a bonfire.
Other places and events the participants visited in Ghana included the Akwasidae festival in Ejisu, the Kumasi craft villages in Ahiwaa, Ntonso Craft Village, Bonwire Kente Weaving Village, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, W.E.B. DuBois Centre in Accra and Arts Center among many other places.
Even as they leave Ghana, the African-Americans are expected to have memories of the journey, 'knitted' on their hearts and maintain their link with the continent, where their ancestors called home.
Diallo Sumbry, indicated that this passage only marks the beginning and says The Year of Return still has a long calendar of events.
''We have already begun the planning for Jamestown to Jamestown next year to make it twice as big, better and impactful,” Diallo Sumbry revealed.
This article was originally written by Face2Face Africa and edited to meet the YEN.com.gh House Style
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