Home » Harris in Africa looks to painful past, innovative future

Harris in Africa looks to painful past, innovative future

by The Grio

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday stood before a monument commemorating Ghana’s independence from colonialism and envisioned a grand future between the U.S. and Africa, propelled by innovation on the continent. But she’s also insisting on exploring past wounds, heading to a seaside fort where enslaved Africans were loaded onto ships bound for the Americas.

“We have an intertwined history, some of which is painful and some of which is prideful,” she told a crowd of gathered at the Black Stone Gate, the monument bearing the words: “Freedom and Justice” and 1957, the year the country became independent. “And all of which we must acknowledge, teach and never forget.”

The events on her second full day in Ghana is part of a weeklong trip that will include visits to Tanzania and Zambia. Harris is the most high-profile member of President Joe Biden’s administration to visit Africa as the U.S. escalates its outreach to the continent.

As the nation’s first Black and South Asian vice president, Harris is a powerful symbol in Ghana, and thousands waited hours at the Independence Square for a chance to see her. After the speech, Harris was to tour the Cape Coast Castle and speak there, too.

“Because of this history, this continent of course has a special significance for me personally, as the first Black vice president of the United States,” she said to huge cheers from the crowd. “And this is a history, like many of us, that I learned as a young child.”

Tracy Sika Brobbey said “it’s a special moment” to see the first woman vice president. Margaret Mintah, who waited alongside her, said Harris “gives us some kind of hope, that we can believe that anything is possible.”

“It’s like a blessing,” she added.

Harris pledged a new era of partnership with Africa, envisioning “a future that is propelled by African…

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