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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Elizabeth Ohene: How Ghana paid out tribute to George Floyd


We do funerals well in this article in Ghana. When it will come to the rituals, music, clothes and ceremonies that accompany them, I can safely say that nobody does them much better. 

As I viewed the funeral of George Floyd on tv, I necessary no reminding that most African-Americans can trace their origins to West Africa and grand funerals come easily to them. Or they have experienced to organise these unpleasant funerals of their individuals so routinely that they have become effectively practised.

George Floyd’s loss of life in police custody has galvanised the Black Lives Make a difference movement

Throughout the Houston funeral on Tuesday, there was a reference to the information of condolence sent to Mr Floyd’s relatives by Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo.

It was also described that at the president’s request, Mr Floyd’s title had been permanently mounted on the wall of the Diasporan African Discussion board at the W.E.B. Du Bois Centre in Ghana’s cash, Accra. 

This was carried out at a going ceremony, organised by the Ghana Tourism Authority previous week, in memory of Mr Floyd, who was killed on a avenue in Minnesota when a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.

Ghana marked in breathtaking scale the 12 months 2019, the 400th anniversary of the get started of the transatlantic slave trade. 

President Akufo-Addo declared 2019 the Calendar year of Return, with a special invitation to all Africans in the diaspora, in particular the descendants of slaves, to come to Ghana, possibly to pay a visit to or even to live permanently. 

Lots of of the forts and castles by means of which the slaves have been transported are nevertheless standing in Ghana and they remain a supply of trauma and emotional distress for browsing black people today. 

When the Floyd murder story broke, numerous men and women took it individually listed here. 

In advance of the outbreak of coronavirus, we experienced been searching forward to a major inflow of readers from the African-American neighborhood.

A slave castle along Ghana’s coastline is now a key vacationer attraction

Six black state attorneys general from the US had been in Ghana in March as element of the Further than the Return initiative, and ended up company at our Independence Day celebrations on 6 March. 

Between that team was Minnesota Lawyer Common Keith Ellison, who is now in cost of prosecuting the accused in the Floyd situation. 

When the GTA organised the memorial, it was particular and it showed.

A important aspect of funerals in Ghana are the colours worn. They would try out to explain the person who experienced died and how.

So the colour plan at Mr Floyd’s memorial was predominantly red and black to present a gentleman had been cut down in the key of his life, and his dying experienced been unnatural and surprising. 

The haunting music of the dirges on the flutes signalled that he was 1 of our very own and we ended up sending him off to our forefathers.

It has been exciting for us listed here to take note that our famed distinctive cloth, the kente, has also come to be component of the George Floyd tale. 

When senior US Democratic lawmakers “took a knee”, in a dramatic gesture to honour Mr Floyd, they all wore kente stoles. 

Democrats kneel in moment of silence for George Floyd

Ghanaians are intensely proud of the kente cloth. At the time upon a time, the kente, or kete as it is termed in my element of the place, was an practically unique fabric worn by royalty and prosperous people today. 

It is hand woven and each layout has a name and tells a story. 

With the passage of time and the intervention of the Arts Faculty of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Engineering in the second town Kumasi, the kente was remodeled and popularised for use amongst youthful people today in particular. 

It remains the material for particular occasions but we have now found a lot more and diversified takes advantage of for it. 

Person weaving kente
Kente is generally woven from silk and cotton

When the University of Ghana begun issuing its personal degrees following independence, it place kente strips on the unexciting academic gowns that it had been applying when it commenced life as a College College of London College. 

Kente stoles before long grew to become the image of graduation and other commemoration events, with the appropriate words woven into the strip. You may hence have Class of 2000, or Year of Return, or even The Greatest Dad kente stoles. 

We are joyful to have African-People in america adopt the kente to emphasize their African roots and if some others want to use it to display their solidarity, we have no problems. 

I suspect that some enterprising weavers will before long carry a kente design and style named I Can not Breathe, and we shall have on it to don’t forget and celebrate the daily life of Mr Floyd.

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