Tulsa race massacre survivors granted Ghanaian citizenship

Tulsa race massacre survivors granted Ghanaian citizenship

In collaboration with Ministry of Tourism, Ghana Tourism Authority, the Diaspora Affairs – Office of the President, the Embassy of Ghana in Washington, DC hosted a ceremony granting Ghanaian Citizenship to  two of the last three survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.


At the event held on Tuesday February 28, Madam Viola Fletcher who is 108 years old and her brother Mr. Hughes Van Ellis, 102 years old, also known as Uncle Redd, were formally awarded the certificates of citizenship of the Republic of Ghana.


In 2018, Ghana declared the “Year of Return”  as a major spiritual landmark and birth-right journey inviting the Global African family, home and abroad, to mark 400 years of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia, in the United States.


Madam Viola Fletcher and Mr Highes Van Ellis visited Ghana in August, 2021 and this opened the door for His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to confer citizenship on them. During the week-long visit, they were granted royal Ghanaian status and names by the Osu Traditional Council. The names and titles given them are Queen Mother Naa Lamley Viola Fletcher and Nii Bio Lantey Hughes Van Ellis.


On behalf of the President of Ghana, Hajia Alima Mahama, Ghana’s Ambassador to the US administered the oath in the presence of the new citizens’ friends and family members, Dr. Erieka Bennett; Head of Mission of Diaspora African Forum and Council Woman Regina Goodwin of Tulsa Oklahoma.


The ceremony was witnessed by Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal; Ghana’s Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah; Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mr. Augustine Blay Secretary to the Vice President, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman; CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Kwasi Awuah Ababio; Diaspora Affairs and Rocky Dawuni; a three-time Grammy nominated singer, songwriter, producer and activist.


The Fletchers signed the citizenship instrument and had their biometrics captured after the swearing-in ceremony.



Caption: Photo of Viola Fletcher (108-year-old) and her brother Van Ellis (101-year-old), both in matching gold-print fabric at their Ghana citizenship ceremony at the Embassy of Ghana in Washington, DC.


PhotosClick here to see more photos from that day


Source: Ghana Embassy, DC