By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Correspondent
On Aug. 18, the NAACP began a journey to honor African ancestors.
Members of the storied civil rights organization and numerous guests boarded a bus from Washington, D.C. Their initial destination was Jamestown, in Virginia’s Colonial National Historical Park, where they held a prayer vigil and candle lighting ceremony to mark the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans.
The two-week observance included an Aug. 19 visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture which was followed by a trip to Ghana, West Africa, and onto Jamestown—thus the theme “Jamestown to Jamestown.”
“This is to honor the memory of all those stolen from Africa over 400 years ago,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said.
“We honor the strength and resilience of our ancestors,” Karen Boykin-Towns, vice chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors, wrote on Twitter.
“We must use the experience to guide our journey forward. Let’s become renewed in our fight for a democracy that is equal and just,” Boykin-Towns said.
During the trip, the NAACP will take part in an ancestral healing ceremony at an ocean, and members will attend a business and development summit. They also will participate in an African ancestry reveal at the Door of No Return. And, embers will get to experience the Assin Manso Last Bath Slave River, where enslaved Africans had their last bath before being shipped to the western world.
Highlights of the journey include a welcome by local chiefs, politicians, community leaders and the traditional council of Jamestown, Accra; a tour of the Cape Coast Castle slave dungeons and the West African Heritage Museum in Ghana; and a visit to the W.E.B. DuBois Center and other vital museums and monuments in the West African nation.
Members are also invited to visit Kumasi, the home of the great Ashanti Kingdom. Participants will be able to attend the Akwaside Festival at Manhiya Palace, the seat of the Asantehene, King of the Ashanti people.
Akwasidae is a festival held every 42 days to honor personal and community ancestors.
NNPA officials called this an opportunity to experience traditional Ghanian culture in all its splendor, color, grace, strength and vibrancy.
“Jamestown to Jamestown represents one of the most powerful moments in the history of the Black Experience,” Johnson said.
“We are now able to actualize the healing and collective unity, so many generations have worked to achieve in ways which bring power to our communities in America, Africa and throughout our Diaspora.”