•Back in Africa: Ghana-based digital marketer Muhammida el-Muhajir
In recent years, thousands of African-Americans have made the decision to “return home” to the African continent, an Al Jazeera report said.
On the reason for the trend, the report, broadcast on Monday in an episode of ‘The Stream’, said: “Many say they want to escape the racial pressure pot of the United States, while some want to connect to the land of their ancestors. For others, countries like Ghana wooed them with an easy immigration process and the promise of a better life.”
Muhammida el-Muhajir, a digital marketer who moved to Ghana from New York City, was reported as saying: “I want people to understand that they have options and alternatives. Most black people in America don’t know that these options exist; they think they have to suffer because there’s nowhere else to go. But no, there are other places.”
Going back in history, Al Jazeera recalled that over the past 200 years there have been several “back-to-Africa” movements.
It said: “The American Colonization Society (ACS), founded in 1816, was established under the belief that black people would have better opportunities in Africa than in the United States. In fact, the Republic of Liberia started as a settlement of the ACS and the country’s first president, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, was an African-American from Virginia.”
But it’s not always rosy back in Africa: “Though many in African countries are welcoming of the Americans in their midst, not everyone is thrilled by their new neighbours. As Barrett Holmes Pitner points out, some even claim African-Americans behave more like colonisers than returning family.”
Returnees featured in the programme include Litha Sokutu, Anthropologist and Social Literacy Consultant; Barrett Pitner, Columnist, of barrettholmespitner.com, and Kaylan Reid Shipanga, Editor, African American in Africa .