The office of the Speaker of the House released a statement on Friday announcing Speaker Nancy Pelosi would lead a delegation of Democrat members of Congress to Ghana next week, as well as to U.S. Army Africa Headquarters in Italy. The trip coincides with the 400th anniversary of the first slaves from Africa arriving on American shores.
High-level discussions are planned with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo and other senior government officials. Pelosi is expected to address the Ghanaian Parliament.
The group will visit “The Door of No Return,” an infamous portal that slaves stepped through to board ships en route to North and South America. By the 18th century, 30,000 slaves stepped through the portal annually, according to historians.
The delegation includes 12 members of the Black Congressional Caucus, to include Majority Whip James Clyburn and Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus Karen Bass.
“400 years ago this year, our ancestors were first brought to this continent in chains,” said Bass. “On this delegation, 12 Members of the Congressional Black Caucus will return to the African continent as Members of the United States Congress. We have come so far but we still have so far to go. Among the history being made this trip, I am very much also looking forward to witnessing the first woman Speaker of the United States House of Representatives address the Ghanaian parliament. I thank Speaker Pelosi for leading this important trip and for joining us in sending a signal of mutual respect and partnership to Ghana and the continent of Africa as a whole.”
“As the founding chair of the International African American Museum, which is being built on Gadsden Wharf in Charleston, South Carolina where approximately 50 percent of enslaved Africans arrived in this country, it is particularly meaningful to me to join the first woman Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and many of my African American colleagues in visiting Ghana’s Door of No Return,” said Clyburn. “I consider this to be a fitting and proper way to commemorate the 400th year since the enslaved people were forced to leave their homeland and sent in bondage to the New World. I seek to pay homage to the sacrifices of our African ancestors and honor the contributions they made to building the United States of America.”
Regarding the visit to Italy, Pelosi said: “As we face evolving global security challenges, our delegation will thank our men and women in uniform and receive briefings from U.S. military leaders at U.S. Army Africa headquarters.”
According to the announcement, Dems on the junket will include …
- Speaker Nancy Pelosi
- House Majority Whip James Clyburn
- Congressman John Lewis, Ways & Means Committee
- Congressman Bobby Rush, Energy & Commerce Committee
- Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Budget Committee, Homeland Security Committee and Judiciary Committee
- Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Appropriations Committee and Budget Committee
- Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Energy & Commerce Committee and Homeland Security Committee
- Congressman Hank Johnson, Judiciary Committee and Transportation & Infrastructure Committee
- Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Agriculture Committee, Education & Labor Committee and House Administration Committee
- Congresswoman Karen Bass, Foreign Affairs Committee and Judiciary Committee
- Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Intelligence Committee and Ways & Means Committee
- Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Education & Labor Committee and Transportation & Infrastructure Committee
- Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, Financial Services Committee and Joint Economic Committee
- Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Budget Committee, Education & Labor Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee