Liaison Between USVI and Ghana Established

Dear Editor,

As many readers are aware highly unique activities and ceremonies have just taken place in Accra, the capitol city of Ghana. A five member delegation from the U.S. Virgin Islands traveled to Ghana for week long activities leading up to an Emancipation Day Celebration.

Last Sunday, the first day of the event, the Director of the Kumasi Cultural Centre in that country, Mr. Samuel Adjei, with reference to Ghanaian culture said in a speech, “it is important for a person to know his or her true identity and to maintain it.”

Adjei also announced an exchange program between the youth of Ghana and those of the Virgin Islands to give young people the opportunity to explore their shared heritage.

On Wednesday Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey, the African country’s Minister of Tourism and Diasporean Relations stated in a speech, “Ghana has a policy of reuniting the African family all over the world.” He further stated, “there was a need to educate people in the homeland about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade…”

Mr. Shelley Moorhead, of St. Croix, President of the African Caribbean Reparation and Restoration Alliance said the V.I. group was invited to Ghana “to repair and restore the family.” Of special importance was the spiritual healing and reconciliation ceremony which the V.I. delegates were scheduled to be a part of on Sunday, July 29, along with African Chiefs.

During the St. John Arts Festival a few months ago, I had the opportunity to speak at length with Bertha Oubagy, a Ghanaian expert on African Textiles. As Ms. Oubagy explained the meaning of the various African symbols on one of the textile displays to me, she mentioned that many of the people she saw on the streets of Cruz Bay had facial similarities to the people in her country. At that moment, the experience of looking at the Ghanaian textiles, and hearing about this observation touched me at a very deep level.

I very much look forward to learning more in the weeks and months about the newly established liaison between the USVI and Ghana.

Very Sincerely,
Susan Mann