AfricaNews

NYC Mayor-Elect Eric Adams Re-connects with His African Ancestry By Visiting Ghana Before Taking Office

By Florence Mafomemeh

It was a spiritual journey Eric Adams had planned for a long time, to travel to Ghana to visit the former slave-trading post. Before leaving for Ghana, Adams told New York Post why he was making the trip. “I made a promise to myself that I would visit Ghana following the 400-year anniversary of slavery in America and the election, to show how far we have come and remember how far we still must go,” Adams said.

Eric Adams visited Elmina Castle, the first European slave-trading post in sub-Saharan Africa

While in Ghana, the Mayor-elect had the opportunity to honor his mother by placing a plaque of her name on the Sankofa Wall among many other notable people from Africa and the diaspora.  “This is an extremely significant moment for me. This is a 35-year journey that I am bringing to completion,” Adams told BEYOND THE RETURN. 

The former NYPD Captain said that placing her name on this wall among our ancestors is not only the sum of those who are part of their lineage but it’s the sum of our experiences. That we’re all connected.

Mayor-elect Eric Adams placing his mother’s plaque on the Sankofa Wall in Ghana.

Before leaving the Sankofa Wall he said, “Let’s start the journey so that we can make sure that never again will we allow others to sell us into slavery and never again will we sell ourselves into slavery. We are free,” he said. 

The 110th mayor-elect also visited the final resting place of Pan-African leader W.E.B. DuBois and laid a wreath in his honor. “The energy and spirit of our leader who understood the connection between our ancestors here and our ancestors that were born on the soils of America…I’m happy to reunite with his spirit here in Ghana,” Adams said.

The Brooklyn Borough President wrapped up his trip with a visit to the Diaspora African Forum and the W.E.B DuBois Center. The Mayor-Elect Eric Adams was also honored in Ghana.

Mayor-elect Eric Adams being honored at the embassy in Ghana

Speaking on “Here and Now” after returning to New York City from his trip, the Mayor-Elect told Sandra Bookman that this was the right time he had to undertake that journey.

He said he thought about it for so many years as a child and young adult and of the impact of what slavery did to us, and that we could act like it doesn’t have an impact, but it does.

“I knew we left the shores of Africa in slavery and I wanted to go back with Mayoralty and standing in those dungeons where they cramped into a small space 2,000 people who lived for months in their own waste, who were brutalized and had themselves targets and raped of children, boys and girls having your families divided and torn apart. It’s a miracle as black people we still can even communicate with each other after going through that horrific experience,” Adams told Bookman.

The former NYS Assembly Member said he wanted to return to Africa and stand in those dungeons and draw the energy of his ancestors. As part of the visit, the mayor-elect underwent traditional cleansing rites at Akwamufie in Ghana.

Mayor-Elect Eric Adams undergoing traditional cleansing rites in Ghana

“I had to close the open wound and come back re-energized that they did not die in vain on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. They did not die in vain on the plantations. They did not die in vain on building out the future that I stand on. I wanted to make it real and going back to Africa and placing my mother’s name on that wall where other African-American leaders are was a way of healing in starting the process and re-energizing me. This was the purposeful-driven life that I’m on right now and I needed to do that to make myself whole in many ways,” the mayor-elect said.

Adams said his trip to Ghana prepared him for this mayoral journey. “I know that for those men and women that we lost in those dungeons on the travel here, on those plantations, no matter how hard I think this is, I’m not picking cotton from sun up to sun down. I’m not delivering on all those evils,” he said.

Florence Mafomemeh Administrator
Florence Mafomemeh is the founder and owner of Black Nation News. She is an award-winning journalist and video producer with over six years of experience in video, audio and digital journalism. She produces general assignment stories and is very passionate about those that impact the lives of ordinary people. A native of Cameroon in West Africa, Florence wanted to become a journalist from the time she was in secondary school. As a news junkie then, she realized that news didn’t reach all ordinary people and their stories were not being told. She told herself that she would be a journalist so that she would bring the news to them and give them a voice by telling their stories to the world. Growing up, Florence watched, read and listened to a lot of national and international news and used much of her pocket allowance to buy international news magazines like Time. In order to not miss the news, she slept with a small radio under her pillow and usually left a tape for news to be recorded for her when she was out. Currently living in New York City, Florence graduated from Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in 2019 with a master’s degree in Journalism. While in school, she produced radio and TV News stories on deadline as a one-man band. She also reported news stories around New York City for the NYCITY News Service. Florence was also a news reporter and co-anchor for 219 West, a TV News Magazine that aired on CUNY-TV. As a field Community Producer at Brooklyn Free Speech TV, Florence produces news stories that highlight issues in East New York and New York City. One of her stories about a non-profit organization that provides valuable resources to the East New York Community won her the George Stoney B Free Award for B-Informed. As a freelance writer for NYCPolitics.com, she wrote outstanding news pieces during the crucial 2021 New York City primary elections where Ranked-Choice voting was used for the first time. Florence also has a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism from CUNY- Brooklyn College, a B.A. in English, and an M.A. in the Literatures in English and Commonwealth nations from the University of Yaounde 1 in Cameroon. She specialized/majored in Caribbean Literature, focusing on the West Indies where she did her dissertation on the works of the legendary West Indian writer V.S. Naipaul. She also has certificates in journalism, community news production & reporting, proofreading and editing 101 from New York University-SCPS, People’s Production House and Teacher’s College, Columbia University. While at people’s Production House, Florence was radio reporter and co-host of Global Movements Urban Struggles-GMUS on WBAI Radio. GMUS was a show that tackled various issues facing various communities in New York City and around the United States. Having lived through many challenging experiences and seeing people going through them everyday, Florence is passionate about telling stories that matter. She is fulfilling her childhood dream of telling ordinary people’s stories that change lives and help to inspire others. I hope you have a great time here on OBNN and find something to take with you even if it is just a good laugh! Please, do not forget to leave me a comment, share the link to the site, and sign up with your email address at the right side of the home page to receive notifications of new posts. Also check out my personal blog at https://florencemafomemeh.wordpress.com/ where you can also see the “more you should know about me” blog post of November 2, 2013.
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Florence Mafomemeh Administrator
Florence Mafomemeh is the founder and owner of Black Nation News. She is an award-winning journalist and video producer with over six years of experience in video, audio and digital journalism. She produces general assignment stories and is very passionate about those that impact the lives of ordinary people. A native of Cameroon in West Africa, Florence wanted to become a journalist from the time she was in secondary school. As a news junkie then, she realized that news didn’t reach all ordinary people and their stories were not being told. She told herself that she would be a journalist so that she would bring the news to them and give them a voice by telling their stories to the world. Growing up, Florence watched, read and listened to a lot of national and international news and used much of her pocket allowance to buy international news magazines like Time. In order to not miss the news, she slept with a small radio under her pillow and usually left a tape for news to be recorded for her when she was out. Currently living in New York City, Florence graduated from Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in 2019 with a master’s degree in Journalism. While in school, she produced radio and TV News stories on deadline as a one-man band. She also reported news stories around New York City for the NYCITY News Service. Florence was also a news reporter and co-anchor for 219 West, a TV News Magazine that aired on CUNY-TV. As a field Community Producer at Brooklyn Free Speech TV, Florence produces news stories that highlight issues in East New York and New York City. One of her stories about a non-profit organization that provides valuable resources to the East New York Community won her the George Stoney B Free Award for B-Informed. As a freelance writer for NYCPolitics.com, she wrote outstanding news pieces during the crucial 2021 New York City primary elections where Ranked-Choice voting was used for the first time. Florence also has a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism from CUNY- Brooklyn College, a B.A. in English, and an M.A. in the Literatures in English and Commonwealth nations from the University of Yaounde 1 in Cameroon. She specialized/majored in Caribbean Literature, focusing on the West Indies where she did her dissertation on the works of the legendary West Indian writer V.S. Naipaul. She also has certificates in journalism, community news production & reporting, proofreading and editing 101 from New York University-SCPS, People’s Production House and Teacher’s College, Columbia University. While at people’s Production House, Florence was radio reporter and co-host of Global Movements Urban Struggles-GMUS on WBAI Radio. GMUS was a show that tackled various issues facing various communities in New York City and around the United States. Having lived through many challenging experiences and seeing people going through them everyday, Florence is passionate about telling stories that matter. She is fulfilling her childhood dream of telling ordinary people’s stories that change lives and help to inspire others. I hope you have a great time here on OBNN and find something to take with you even if it is just a good laugh! Please, do not forget to leave me a comment, share the link to the site, and sign up with your email address at the right side of the home page to receive notifications of new posts. Also check out my personal blog at https://florencemafomemeh.wordpress.com/ where you can also see the “more you should know about me” blog post of November 2, 2013.