By Danielle Wallace
Published July 27, 2019
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will lead a U.S. congressional delegation to Ghana and the U.S. Army Africa headquarters in Italy next week to mark the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans landing in America.
Pelosi, D-Calif., will make the trip with 12 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., a member of “the Squad” of progressive Democrats who have clashed with the speaker in recent weeks over border funding, impeachment and other issues.
Pelosi next Wednesday will become the first U.S. speaker to address the Parliament of Ghana, according to her office. The delegation will also meet with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, Speaker Mike Oquaye and other senior government officials.
The delegation will also visit the Cape Coast and Elmina Castles and the “Door of No Return,” to observe the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans landing in America, Pelosi's office said. Elmina Castle was the first European slave-trading post erected in sub-Saharan Africa, PBS reported.
Slaves stepped through the castle’s infamous portal called the “Door of No Return” to board ships to make the dangerous journey across the Atlantic known as the Middle Passage to ports in North and South America. By the 18th century, some 30,000 slaves stepped through the portal per year.
Also in the U.S. delegation: Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga.; Bobby Rush, D-Ill.; Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas; Barbara Lee, D-Calif.; Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y.; Hank Johnson, D-Ga.; Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio; Karen Bass, D-Calif.; Terri Sewell, D-Ala.; Frederica Wilson, D-Fla.; and Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio.