Opera News

Opera News App

The African American Who Moved to Ghana 'to Built a Successful life after Police Arrestrd Him

Isccagh
By Isccagh | self meida writer
Published 11 days ago - 1251 views

The African American who moved to Ghana 'to

Academic Obadele Kambon lives with his family in Ghana's capital

Having vowed to quit the US after being the victim of what he believed was a racially motivated arrest by police officers, African American Obadele Kambon relocated to Ghana in 2008 - and has never looked back.

Dr Kambon has now built a successful life in the place that was once at the heart of the slave trade, and enjoys the freedom which, he says, was denied to him in the US, his birthplace.

He says he no longer looks over his shoulder, worrying that police will pull him over or, worse still, kill his son. This was the fate that befell 12-year-old Tamir Rice who was shot dead in a park in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2014 while playing with a pellet gun that police said they thought was real.

The young boy's death sparked protests in Cleveland, and became a focal point for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Dr Kambon says the turning point in his life came in 2007. He was arrested and put on trial in Chicago - where he lived - after being accused by police officers of having a loaded firearm under his car seat. In fact, he had an unloaded licensed gun, used earlier to secure a campsite, in his car boot.

Dr Kambon recalls that he was shocked by the charges and as he sat in the court, he vowed: "Never again will I allow myself to be in a jurisdiction where corrupt white police officers and a judge will take me away from my family, wife and kids just on a whim."

A slave castle along Ghana's coastline is now a major tourist attraction

Dr Kambon - who was a young academic teaching at schools and universities in the Chicago area - was eventually cleared of the charge. He then saved up about $30,000 (£24,000) and relocated to Ghana's capital, Accra, the following year.

He was joined by his wife Kala, and the couple now have three children - Ama, Kwaku and Akosua.

Dr Kambon started his doctoral studies in linguistics at the University of Ghana in 2009 and now teaches at its Institute of African Studies.

Since moving to Ghana, he has noticed that he no longer feels he is a victim of racial profiling or racial abuse.

He points out that his friend felt likewise when he relocated, and quipped: "Wow, this is what it must feel like to be a white person in America, just to be able to live without worrying that something is going to happen to you."


Dr Kambon concedes that not everything is "hunky dory" in Ghana.

"You practise African spirituality and everyone thinks you are a Rasta, the Abraham religion that the whites introduced is dominant and there is not even a concept that Africans can have their own religion," he says.

He was also shocked to discover that in a complex where he lived with four other families children did not speak any African language.

"There was a point where the children had an Ewe mother and if you greet them in Ewe they'll tell you, 'Oh I don't speak Twi'.

"They cannot even identify their own mother language," he adds.

In contrast, Dr Kambon is fluent in two West African languages - Akan and Yoruba - and is proficient in a third, Wolof. He also has some level of competency in Swahili, East Africa's main language, and in Kikongo, spoken in parts of southern and central Africa.

In 2018, he successfully led a campaign to force the University of Ghana to remove a statue of India's independence leader Mahatma Gand itmage caption

Obadele Kambon led a campaign to remove Mahatma Gandhi's statue from a university campus

Standing at the empty plinth, he gave the Black Power salute, and called for the recognition of African heroes rather than a man who had once referred to black South Africans by a highly offensive racist slur - and had said that Indians were "infinitely superior" to black people.

"If we show that we have no respect for ourselves and look down on our own heroes and praise others who had no respect for us, then there is an issue," Dr Kambon tells the BBC.

Although slavery was practised long before 1619, this year is widely regarded as the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arriving in the US.

The Elmina and Cape Coast slave castles along Ghana's coastline served as a major hub for the trans-Atlantic trade where millions were captured and loaded onto ships, never to return home.

media caption

Ghanaian artist Kwame Akoto-Bamfo creates sculptures of slaves to immerse people in their experience.

Presentational grey line

Timeline of slavery in the US:

1619 - Some of the first African slaves are purchased in Virginia by English colonists, though slaves had been used by European colonists long before

1788 - The US constitution is ratified; under it, slaves are considered by law to be three-fifths of a person

1808 - President Thomas Jefferson officially ends the African slave trade, but domestic slave trade, particularly in the southern states, begins to grow

1822 - Freed African Americans found Liberia in West Africa as a new home for freed slaves

1860 - Abraham Lincoln becomes president; the southern states secede and the Civil War begins the following year

1862 - President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation frees all slaves in the seceded states

1865 - The South loses the war; the 13th Amendment to the Constitution formally abolishes slavery

1868 - The 14th Amendment grants freed African Americans citizenship

1870 - The 15th Amendment gives African American men the right to vote; the South begins passing segregation laws

Content created and supplied by: Isccagh (via Opera News )

Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.com and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform

YOU MAY LIKE

Like Father Like Son: Meet The Only Father And Son To Have Ruled Ghana.

2 minutes ago

0 🔥

Like Father Like Son: Meet The Only Father And Son To Have Ruled Ghana.

NDC is the best Political party for all despite the challenges it face

10 minutes ago

2 🔥

NDC is the best Political party for all despite the challenges it face

How Sufficient And Effective Do You Think The COVID-19 Vaccine Ghana Received Would Be?

10 minutes ago

2 🔥

How Sufficient And Effective Do You Think The COVID-19 Vaccine Ghana Received Would Be?

You are the reason we lost the 2020 election- Asewase NDC executives to Sammy Gyamfi

12 minutes ago

189 🔥

You are the reason we lost the 2020 election- Asewase NDC executives to Sammy Gyamfi

Hot Instagram Model, Purfcie Conna Blow Minds With Huge Back-side (Photos)

15 minutes ago

47 🔥

Hot Instagram Model, Purfcie Conna Blow Minds With Huge Back-side (Photos)

Hot pictures of Benedicta Gafah celebrating Ghana in a colourful wear causes massive stir online

17 minutes ago

4 🔥

Hot pictures of Benedicta Gafah celebrating Ghana in a colourful wear causes massive stir online

Ever Wondered Why 6th March, 1957 Was A Wednesday But We Say Ama Ghana? - Find Out Why

45 minutes ago

25 🔥

Ever Wondered Why 6th March, 1957 Was A Wednesday But We Say Ama Ghana? - Find Out Why

John Mahama Sends A Message To Ghana On Independence Day

58 minutes ago

421 🔥

John Mahama Sends A Message To Ghana On Independence Day

God Bless Our Homeland Ghana - This is How Ghanaians are Celebrating the 64th Independence Day

1 hours ago

44 🔥

God Bless Our Homeland Ghana - This is How Ghanaians are Celebrating the 64th Independence Day

Pius Hadzide Will No Longer Be At The Information Ministry, To be Reassigned - Insider Report

1 hours ago

640 🔥

Pius Hadzide Will No Longer Be At The Information Ministry, To be Reassigned - Insider Report

COMMENTS