President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their children Malia and Sasha were greeted with cheers and the waving of American and Ghanaian flags as crowds lined the roadway from the airport to the downtown of Accra when they arrived Saturday.
Accra, Ghana was the last leg of a weeklong journey that began in Russia, then Italy and finally Africa. Banners strung across the street of Accra, capital of Ghana, proclaimed “Akwaaba (welcome home) Barack and Michelle Obama.” (Jonathan Clayton for TimesOnLIne)
Ghana was the center of African slavery and gained independence in 1957. Michelle Obama’s great-great-great grandfather was born into slavery and lived as a slave in South Carolina. The first family planned to visit the site of Cape Castle, a former Dutch slaving port. (TimesOnLIne)
A council or durbar of local chiefs has been summoned to a ceremony to mark the occasion at which the First Lady will be granted the title of Queen of the Cape Coast. She will be presented with a hand-made wooden stool as a symbol of family stability and rolls of colorful kente cloth.
Honorable Daasebre Kwebu Ewusi VII, the current president of the council, said that the Obamas’ visit to Cape Castle slave fort will be an emotional moment. “It is a moving place, full of history which reminds us of our painful past and the turmoil that our ancestors went through,” Mr. Ewusi said. He added that the challenges of today were poverty and underdevelopment, issues that the President’s visit is designed to bring to the forefront.
“I am keeping details of the ceremony hush-hush in tradition with our culture but as one of our queens she [Mrs Obama] will be very powerful,” he added. (TimesOnLIne)
Photo Credit: Jason Reed/Reuters
Cheri Cabot, Politics Correspondent
Cheri is a freelance writer, living in Southern California. She has two grown children and is the proud grandmother of three. Cheri is also a purveyor of fine coffee, warm chatter and dry wit.
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