[Editor’s note: This is part one of a three-part series on the past and present return of Africans in the Diaspora to the Motherland which will shed light on the current effort to distribute, free of charge, 30,000 acres of land to Africans in the Diaspora; the history of the “Back to Africa” movement; and a roundtable discussion by Black professionals on the topic “Building a Self-Sufficient Community in Ghana, West Africa.”]
According to Minister Abdul Akbar Muhammad, International Representative of the Nation of Islam based in Ghana, West Africa and St. Louis, Mo., “Historically, there has always been talk about our returning to Africa.” The thing that has always been absent in the discussion “is keeping our feet on both continents,” similar to how Jewish Americans claim kinship with Israel, “strongly supporting Israel,” while holding dual citizenship, and traveling “back and forth” to a land they have claimed as their own.
The 2020 Group, a Philadelphia-based investment group, and Fihankra International, a Ghana-based NGO, have not only proposed the former, but are actually making the return to Africa a reality. Thirty thousand acres of prime land have been made available in the Eastern region of Ghana as part of Africa’s atonement for its “less significant” (than European) involvement in the Trans Atlantic slave trade. So far, hundreds of 10,000-square-foot plots of that land have been parceled to Africans in the Diaspora free of charge, land enough to build a substantial summer or retirement home. The only requirement is to begin building within three years and pay the annual real estate tax of $395.
“The objective is to make this sight a model community,” stated Ali Salahuddin, a 2020 managing partner, during the first leg of a national “Back to Africa Tour” that included such cities as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, New York and Washington D.C.
“What our initial goal includes is creating a 300-acre, 500-single family dwelling community complete with an international boarding school, a medical facility, a senior citizens home, a sports complex, a state of the art broadcasting facility, and an organic farm, that can be replicated,” he continued during an exclusive interview with The Final Call from his hotel room in Los Angeles.
Fresh from the Houston leg of the tour that was hosted by the Southwestern Regional Representative of the Nation of Islam, Min. Robert Muhammad of Muhammad’s Mosque No. 45, Mr. Salahuddin said he was “excited” by the “energy” generated by the standing room only audience.
Confirming that excitement, Min. Robert added that the event was a “continuation” of a similarly successful presentation made at the annual Nation of Islam Saviours’ Day Convention held in Chicago this past February.
“Once I discovered they wanted to come to Houston, I made my contacts their contacts,” Min. Robert said. “Seventy-six years after the appearance of Master Fard Muhammad, we find ourselves in a situation that has been predicted that we have to have some of this earth to call our own.”
Min. Robert, who is a PhD. candidate in urban planning, may have unknowingly taken that comment from the headline of the first edition of Muhammad Speaks newspaper published by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in 1961. He added that, “We need to do for self or suffer the consequences.”
Those consequences include, “White folk have let us go, except for the few that are in corporate America,” which the Honorable. Minister Louis Farrakhan stated in a recent appearance on the popular radio show Open Line on WKRS-FM 98.7 in New York.
“(Katrina) unmasked the naked racism and ineptitude of government; and the non-caring attitude of government toward the suffering of Black people,” Min. Farrakhan continued, warning that Blacks, as the most suffering in America, must be prepared to save themselves.
From entrepreneur and Pan-Africanist Paul Cuffe in the late 1700s, the establishing of Blacks in Liberia; Marcus Garvey and his “Back to Africa” movement; the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s call for a separate land for Blacks, “saving self,” by establishing an African Diaspora colony as a goal is being viewed as a source of leverage, inspiration, and pride for the civil rights and Black nationalist movements.
Mr. Salahuddin sees this “movement” not only as historical but also as “prophetic.” Making reference to the Biblical lost sheep returning to the land of their forefathers, he gave a modern day version of the prophecy: “Serving for 400 years, a cruel European master that God would eventually judge, and then coming out of America with great substance, including our technical skills, and returning to our fathers’ African house in peace.”
(For further information concerning the land acquisition, please call (215) 247-1545 or visit the 2020 Group at, www.2020group.net.)