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<v Speaker>Support for this program is made possible by British Airways with service to 194 cities <v Speaker>in 82 countries around the world, including daily nonstop flights to London's Gatwick <v Speaker>Airport from Charlotte Douglas Airport. <v Speaker>[music] <v Speaker>Kumasi, Ghana, land of the friendly and a West African community showcasing strong <v Speaker>values. Hello and welcome to Charlotte's newest sister city, the seventh in all <v Speaker>and first on African soil. <v Speaker>Before arriving to Kamasi, most visitors to this country come through the capital city of <v Speaker>Accra, about a four hour drive from here. <v Speaker>And that's four more than 30 people who call North Carolina home began their journey <v Speaker>to expand international connections. <v Speaker>[music]
<v Speaker>It is coastal. <v Speaker>It is urban and it is Ghana's capital city of Accra. <v Speaker>This African nation was the first on the continent to gain independence from the British <v Speaker>nearly 40 years ago. <v Speaker>Government buildings dominate the busy landscape and a community needing infrastructure <v Speaker>and social improvements. <v Speaker>Two years ago, this emerging democracy received more than 60 million dollars <v Speaker>in USAID support, making it number three on the list of African countries <v Speaker>getting American assistance. <v Speaker>The nation is largely Christian. [organ music] <v Speaker>Loyalty to labor and devotion to duty is not hard to find in local fishing villages. <v Speaker>Signs of progress and prosperity are easily seen. <v Speaker>Ghana is quickly becoming one of the continent's fastest growing financial markets.
<v Speaker>On the flip side, one cannot escape the pockets of poverty. <v Speaker>It is an early Sunday morning at a downtown hotel. <v Speaker>Following a 14 hour trip, delegates from the Carolinas voice optimism <v Speaker>about a new relationship in a land with a deep sense of kinship. <v Speaker>I think if there's anything that is an underpinning of everything is to reestablish the <v Speaker>ties with the Africans here, with those who are part of the diaspora, those of <v Speaker>us in Charlotte, North Carolina and other places. <v Speaker>[music] English is what's publicly spoken here. <v Speaker>But an easy understanding comes through the universal language of music, <v Speaker>rhythm of dance and sound of the drum. <v Speaker>And we wonder where we've got the electric slide [laughter] and the uh, and the uh, what <v Speaker>is it? The pokey chicken. <v Speaker>I think we found it right here. This is professional stuff, though, do not try it at home [laugher].
<v Speaker>While the country of 16 million is a land of great culture, there is a deep <v Speaker>respect for those who helped shape present day political conditions. <v Speaker>A downtown mausoleum honors the memory of Kwami Nkrumah, the nation's <v Speaker>first president of the independent state and staunch advocate of African unity. <v Speaker>Accra also the final resting place for N.A.A.C.P founder, William <v Speaker>Edward Dubois, who left the U.S. to spend his final years in Africa. <v Speaker>Among the expressions of affection at the civil rights leaders tomb is a simple <v Speaker>offering from North Carolina's best known poet laureate, Maya Angelou. <v Speaker>Historians say Ghana's original territory dates back to 330 B.C. <v Speaker>and was once home to the legendary town of Timbuktu. <v Speaker>Throughout Africa's urban centers like Accra, <v Speaker>a growing number of blacks from the US seek to open channels of understanding. <v Speaker>The acting U.S. ambassador sees it as clarifying values and perceptions
<v Speaker>between African-Americans and native Africans. <v Speaker>We have been in the United States <v Speaker>for almost two centuries now and there are certain things that are <v Speaker>naturally going to become part of our culture as well. <v Speaker>And so there's a real mix. But I think it's important for us to know from the Africans <v Speaker>what it is that perhaps we can relate to and really accept <v Speaker>as part of our heritage. <v Speaker>Views of lush vegetation and small villages along the way <v Speaker>best described the road to Kumasi. <v Speaker>In all of West Africa, this highway is one of Ghana's busiest thoroughfares. <v Speaker>Just under 400,000 live within the city limits. <v Speaker>And the metro area has a population of more than 1 million. <v Speaker>The nation's second largest community bears strong similarities and distinct <v Speaker>differences with this new North Carolina park.
<v Speaker>It is called Ghana's Garden City, and jobs here can be hard to come <v Speaker>by. <v Speaker>Unemployment surges into double digits while in North Carolina's Queen <v Speaker>City, the figure is less than 5 percent. <v Speaker>Many here walk to work with their livelihoods literally on their heads <v Speaker>and babies on their backs. <v Speaker>The picture may improve since the national government is privatizing many state <v Speaker>run enterprises. <v Speaker>They climate here in Ghana now is, yes, condusive. <v Speaker>Kumasi's mayor, Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Oethre, feels the environment is just ripe <v Speaker>for foreign investment. <v Speaker>The people here are determined people. <v Speaker>They are industrials. They can take anything from nowhere and build it <v Speaker>into something. So what you have to do is just start with these people for whatever you <v Speaker>will find them and believe that you'll get somewhere. <v Speaker>Recent commerce figures indicate U.S. <v Speaker>companies on average do more than 200 million dollars with the business in this country <v Speaker>each year.
<v Speaker>Gold and cocoa are the two main products sent abroad. <v Speaker>[sound of hammering] Both regions' economies are fueled in part by the same kind of <v Speaker>trade. Like the Tar Heel State, timber and exports <v Speaker>of wood products are big business here. <v Speaker>So big that Ghana has its own market for handmade furniture. <v Speaker>Textiles are another common interest shared with the Carolinas. <v Speaker>[cars honking] Beeping car horns are common. Wailing police sirens are not. <v Speaker>Peace can be found in the streets. <v Speaker>Kumasi averaged less than two murders a month for all of last year, while Charlotte <v Speaker>recorded eighty seven homicides in 1994. <v Speaker>Still, social conditions here are in need of improvement. <v Speaker>Returning to these surroundings in some ways is a bittersweet hometown homecoming <v Speaker>for Simon Osei Agyemang.
<v Speaker>He is a vise president with NationsBank and chairman of the Charlotte Kumasi's Sister <v Speaker>Cities Task Force. <v Speaker>So sometime, uh - I am very much disturbed to <v Speaker>see that we are not as developed as we should compared <v Speaker>to, uh, Charlotte. <v Speaker>Making it here can be hard. <v Speaker>This is my firstborn. <v Speaker>What's her name? <v Speaker>[muffled speaking] On Kumasi's outskirts <v Speaker>?Janti Ofori? runs a convenient stand supporting two children, a wife, a mother <v Speaker>and a sister. <v Speaker>Sometimes from Monday to Friday. <v Speaker>Every place empty.
<v Speaker>I have maybe 40,000 or 30,000 or 45,000 <v Speaker>The thousands of Ghana Cedis he speaks of translates to more than just <v Speaker>150 dollars a week, putting his wages well over the national average, <v Speaker>where the per capita income here is roughly 3,000 U.S. <v Speaker>dollars a year. <v Speaker>We are just so excited that our young people are looking <v Speaker>forward to our pairing and our twinning and our being <v Speaker>together as one. <v Speaker>Answering the call of a continent often brings reply's of commitment. <v Speaker>This is the continent that is opening up to America I think at this point. <v Speaker>Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot. So this one has a special relationship, obviously, <v Speaker>because this is our first African sister city and it's the first sister <v Speaker>city, I think, in which our African-American citizens really feel like they're going <v Speaker>home. We've gone home to a lot of Germans and to a lot of French and to a lot of other <v Speaker>people. But this is coming home for a large part percentage of our population who
<v Speaker>are having their first experience with what probably is their homeland. <v Speaker>A courtship of cities involves finding the right matches. <v Speaker>What we need to do is to find those people who are interested in being involved with <v Speaker>Kumasi and match them up with people in Kumasi that have the same interest and then <v Speaker>let them do what it is they want to do to keep things rolling. <v Speaker>[music] <v Speaker>Native dancing set the mood. [music] <v Speaker>And drumming sounded the beat. <v Speaker>The day of the deal had a tone all its own. <v Speaker>The signing event, a diplomatic studded occasion. <v Speaker>Dignitaries from the U.S. and German embassies, the Peace Corps and <v Speaker>Ashanti Kingdom all taking the stage and <v Speaker>what Kumasi leaders call a twinning agreement with the city of Charlotte. <v Speaker>Father of all human beings, we
<v Speaker>thank you for such a great opportunity given to us this day. <v Speaker>The opportunity as a long term arrangement, transcending language <v Speaker>and geography. <v Speaker>Be therefore resolved that in the spirit of international unity <v Speaker>the cities of - both cities commit themselves to a long and enduring friendship <v Speaker>as evidence in education, business, culture, <v Speaker>medicine, athletics and other activities where the human spirit <v Speaker>of good faith and cooperation shall exist. <v Speaker>The formalities took a matter of moments with a quick stroke of the pen <v Speaker>and simple handshake sealing the agreement. <v Speaker>[music] <v Speaker>I can tell you ?inaudible? I think every sister city that we have
<v Speaker>a relationship with and the largest delegation to ever attended <v Speaker>a sister city event is the group that came with us today. <v Speaker>[applause] <v Speaker>And we too have the same kind of exciting about the potential of this relationship. <v Speaker>Kumasi's chief executive calls it a relationship to build upon. <v Speaker>I believe that today will mark a time where this relationship <v Speaker>will bring unto our people something beyond ?torches?, something <v Speaker>beyond education, something beyond people's diversities, <v Speaker>something concrete <v Speaker>Which will bring relief and complete comfort to all our people <v Speaker>on this ?world, I say? you are welcome. <v Speaker>Thank you. [applause] <v Speaker>Regal images of Africa's coastal castles are as stunning as a vacation <v Speaker>postcard.
<v Speaker>I'm just delighted that we are able to reestablish that connection <v Speaker>with our forefathers. <v Speaker>Sounds of the surf <v Speaker>normally calm the emotions. <v Speaker>But against the backdrop of past European royalty, the churning waters <v Speaker>agitate feelings of anxiety. <v Speaker>We know something about the past and we - the present and we can <v Speaker>work toward the future. <v Speaker>Before the signs of black people for sale arrived in the new world came the <v Speaker>hindering symbols of shame. <v Speaker>Precious metals were not the only commodities of value bartered and sold <v Speaker>along Africa's Gold Coast. <v Speaker>It's really the story of mankind's inhumanity to mankind. <v Speaker>So I think it has a message for everyone. <v Speaker>He was a just man. He was a good man. <v Speaker>He was an honorable man. <v Speaker>Wounds are still tender for man's inhumanity that started in the 17th century. <v Speaker>Still, hundreds of years later, haunting reminders of the <v Speaker>slave trade influenced modern day heritage.
<v Speaker>I'm glad to be here because once again, it just brings back a lot of that missing past <v Speaker>that uh, up to this point that you really didn't didn't know a whole lot about or could <v Speaker>really appreciate. You have to be here to appreciate what happened. <v Speaker>It is witnessed here and the way humans were caged like untamed animals ss <v Speaker>they existed through the shackles of confinement, corralled in cells <v Speaker>of segregation. <v Speaker>So the female salves were held here. May we please <v Speaker>enter the female dungeon and have a feel of the place. <v Speaker>And shoved through tight wall openings onto waiting ships at a place commonly <v Speaker>referred to as the point of no return. <v Speaker>Makes you think for how far - how hard we've had to fare, where we've come from and how <v Speaker>appreciative we should be with what we have now and keep fighting, keep struggling <v Speaker>to go forward. <v Speaker>A snapshot provides a documented moment for the Baker family on a day <v Speaker>when many in this group carry heavy hearts.
<v Speaker>Very heart wrenching to be here and to see the conditions that <v Speaker>our people lived in. <v Speaker>See how other folks kill and capture and to not - to <v Speaker>give them the opportunity to live the life as they were used to <v Speaker>living. <v Speaker>This castle along Africa's Gold Coast was the final holding and departure <v Speaker>point for hundreds of thousands of slaves headed to the new world. <v Speaker>Through the tours, tears and tales comes closure and a sense <v Speaker>of understanding from a painful past. <v Speaker>[shouting] <v Speaker>Closure comes in the Swahili word of togetherness. <v Speaker>Before - before! <v Speaker>Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics. <v Speaker>Closure comes in calling to mind the efforts of fallen historical figures. <v Speaker>[singing] Closure also comes as melodies of freedom ring behind the walls
<v Speaker>and into the tunnels that for too long knew captivity. <v Speaker>[singing] <v Speaker>The Negro national anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing, adds a new <v Speaker>dimension to an afternoon of reflection. <v Speaker>[music] Several miles down the beats from Elmina Castle <v Speaker>more answers arrive on this stage during a day of soul searching. <v Speaker>Danger approaches from the sea. <v Speaker>Danger approaches from the see. Here at Cape Coast Castle the story is <v Speaker>pretty much the same. <v Speaker>Candles brighten the dungeon, helping visitors sort through emotions. <v Speaker>[muffled speaking] The flickering
<v Speaker>flames also pay tribute to departed ancestors. <v Speaker>It's hard to stand on the very coast and look out over the water <v Speaker>where so many African Americans <v Speaker>originated and know that our people, our forefathers were <v Speaker>sold at this very location and not feel a lot of emotion. <v Speaker>And uh, hopefully we gather strength from that and, uh, know <v Speaker>that, uh, despite, uh, that history, we've survived and <v Speaker>prospered and, uh, uh, the struggle continues. <v Speaker>People have been fighting a lot, you know, to help us out. <v Speaker>Words of appreciation from a grateful African president. <v Speaker>Ghana's commander in chief, Jerry Rawlings, entertaining Congressman Mel Watt <v Speaker>and members of the congressional staff. <v Speaker>Your visit to United States was extremely important.
<v Speaker>Stately surroundings at times the norm for this American group. <v Speaker>His name is Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, best known in <v Speaker>these parts as the Asantehene, ruler of the Ashanti Kingdom. <v Speaker>Affectionately, he is addressed as Nana. <v Speaker>The visit to his home coincided with this leader's silver jubilee. <v Speaker>On the very same day that the 20 year agreement was signed, North Carolina <v Speaker>got its own Ashanti leader. <v Speaker>And our forefathers originated here in Ghana. <v Speaker>The congressman bears a new title and a slight name change in Kumasi <v Speaker>being honored as ?Nana Quey Ku Watt? I'm still pinching myself
<v Speaker>and my jaw's all <v Speaker>aching because I've smiled too much. <v Speaker>One day later, kings and chiefs alike <v Speaker>from across the continent showing support for stability on the throne. <v Speaker>More than 100,000 paying tribute to the Asantehene and <v Speaker>his royal family during this 25th anniversary celebration. <v Speaker>Open a fashion magazine or browse through a book of patterns. <v Speaker>And these days, it's hard to escape Africa's colors of culture. <v Speaker>It is one of the world's hottest fabrics, and the kente cloth is fast becoming <v Speaker>a major export helping Ghana's economy. <v Speaker>Demand for the woven goods means more jobs here. <v Speaker>For decades on this continent, kente has been in vogue.
<v Speaker>It is mainly produced in Kumasi's bedroom community of Bonwire. <v Speaker>Locally, the pieces are sold in the villages and worn by tribal <v Speaker>elders. <v Speaker>Even Ghana's president, Jerry Rawlings, was draped in the colors during the celebration <v Speaker>of the Asantehene's 25th anniversary. <v Speaker>Kente in America is so unique. No, I think it is moving in U.S <v Speaker>everywhere from state to state, and it's moving from generation <v Speaker>to generation. It has happened to this village and the country, you say, and it creates <v Speaker>more tourism. <v Speaker>The pitch is an aggressive one. No visitor is ever left alone. <v Speaker>Cloths are traded right on the street and even <v Speaker>outside of tour buses. <v Speaker>Set and play. <v Speaker>The jobs are done by individuals. <v Speaker>It is not provided by the government. <v Speaker>We buy their foreign materials and we know - matarialize and make the kente. <v Speaker>The popularity of this fabric puts the profit at risk with imitations
<v Speaker>being made and marketed off the African continent. <v Speaker>It is a similar battle of competition that's been fought in the Carolina textile <v Speaker>belt, and tribal leaders are hoping for international <v Speaker>help. <v Speaker>A United Nations development program is trying to make an export production to ?establish <v Speaker>Bonwire as an export production village.? <v Speaker>So if that export production village is able to establish then <v Speaker>people in North Carolina and North Dakota and everywhere may have permission <v Speaker>because they business for ?our? <v Speaker>Community and American to. <v Speaker>I also want to present him to what we call a key to the city. <v Speaker>Following the presentations, [drumming] <v Speaker>and after the dances, the real work of a new relationship begins. <v Speaker>We've seen that you - are free loving people. <v Speaker>And to like, to always be with you in touch, to be in unity
<v Speaker>amongst ourselves and then to help each other and everything that you do. <v Speaker>That help may arrive in erasing traditional stereotypes <v Speaker>associated with this continent. <v Speaker>Starvation in Somalia, war in Rwanda, ebola <v Speaker>in Zaire are the initial images coming to mind when many people think <v Speaker>about Africa. <v Speaker>Make no mistake, technical assistance and friendly advice are needed here, <v Speaker>but those suggesting change and self sufficiency say it's best to go <v Speaker>slow. <v Speaker>There are areas where we can say, look, this is how we do something. <v Speaker>This has worked for us. Let's try it and see if it will work. <v Speaker>We don't have to go in and say, 'you have to do it this way.' But they need to know <v Speaker>that there are other ways and we have to show them those other ways. <v Speaker>But one thing I like is the enthusiasm that people <v Speaker>of Charlotte are to share what they have with you know the city of Kumasi.
<v Speaker>Fred Effilfie is a public service administrator in Kumasi's local government. <v Speaker>Kumasi is a city which is developing, still developing and Charlotte is <v Speaker>ahead of Kumasi. Walk or drive through the streets of downtown Kumasi and <v Speaker>it's easy to see that folks here already know something about North Carolina's largest <v Speaker>metropolitan area. The doors of dialogue were open more than a year ago, <v Speaker>and the bonds of friendship are expected to last long after the delegates go home. <v Speaker>We can't let this visit be the end. <v Speaker>This is only the beginning. This is only the introduction of one city to <v Speaker>another. <v Speaker>It takes two to tango. Like we say here, the left washes the right <v Speaker>hand and the right washes the left hand. <v Speaker>So I think there's something here, something good here you can take back home, just like <v Speaker>there's something good we can take from you. <v Speaker>For Kumasi the partnership may bring improved roads, better utility <v Speaker>systems, and more direct social services. <v Speaker>[music] For the Charlotte visitors benefits may come
<v Speaker>in greater ethnic awareness and potentially lucrative business relationships. <v Speaker>Current stock offerings from the Social Security Bank are advertised at less <v Speaker>than a buck a share, and last year, people on the country's <v Speaker>investment market reaped an average return between 40 and <v Speaker>70 percent. <v Speaker>There's some real attainable kinds of goals. We have business people in Ghana who need <v Speaker>thirty thousand dollars to make something happen and people in North Carolina who may <v Speaker>have $30,000 that they want to invest in Ghana. <v Speaker>So it would be easier now to make these kinds of things work out. <v Speaker>Some came to focus on this nation's upcoming generation, its <v Speaker>children, because those are the future people of a community and to <v Speaker>see that they're eager to learn is really what will bring their development up. <v Speaker>So, uh, to make a difference <v Speaker>I felt that it might be good to kind of look and consider adopting one <v Speaker>of the schools. <v Speaker>It is the second group from North Carolina on this continent in less than a year.
<v Speaker>During 1994, Gov. <v Speaker>Jim Hunt headed a group of Tar Heel business and government leaders to South Africa. <v Speaker>Meanwhile, in Ghana, both mayors Vinroot and Oethre hope <v Speaker>the willingness to work expands from two cities to two nations. <v Speaker>I hope to see our children coming here in the summertime and playing and their children <v Speaker>coming to Charlotte. That's how we're going to learn at that age to grow up in a world <v Speaker>which has changed dramatically, which is much closer and smaller than any of us ever <v Speaker>envision. <v Speaker>I see a growth and warmth in friendship which will bring our people <v Speaker>closer together. I see that relationship built beyond cities. <v Speaker>I see it grow into a nationwide thing. <v Speaker>Just over 30 years ago, Charlotte signed its first sister cities agreement with <v Speaker>Arequipa, Peru as a means of promoting goodwill. <v Speaker>More than three decades later, that same spirit of cooperation prevails <v Speaker>as many native North Carolinians reestablish ties with the
Mother Land, Sister City
Producing Organization
WTVI (Television station : Charlotte, N.C.)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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[This program] showcases kinship, renewal, and responsibility toward the continent of Africa. Nearly 40 African Americans from Charlotte visited Ghana as part of an official Sister Cities delegation. Closure came from tours of the slave castles, and spirits were lifted after exposure to African [Royalty] ..."--excerpt from 1995 Peabody Awards entry form. Uses interviews with Charlotte representatives and Ghana residents, as well as footage from official functions. Highlights include tours of Elmina Castle and Cape Coast Castle, both slave-trade sites; induction of Rep. Watt as an Ashanti leader for Charlotte. Host:] Steve Crump; [with:] Ahmad Daniels, Sister Cities Task Force; Jacquelyn Briggs, Acting US Ambassador to Ghana; Lt. Col. Emmanuel Octhre, mayor of Kumasi; Simon Osei Agyemang, Sister Cities Task Force; [Jeante Eufore]; Vivian Williams, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools; Richard Vinroot, mayor of Charlotte; Peggy Wesp, Exec. Dir., Charlotte Sister Cities; Lelicia Adusei, City of Kumasi; Jim Polk, Charlotte business consultant; Michael Todd, Charlotte attorney; Marjorie Thompson Worthy, Charlotte delegate; Don Baker, Sister Cities Task Force; Mel Watt, (D) 12th District, North Carolina; [Jerry Rawlings, Pres. of Ghana; Otun Fouo Ofukare II, Ruler of Ashanti Kingdom]; Evelyn Herron, Congressman Watt's mother; Nana Kumi Boakwe Yadon, community elder; Kwabenah Tawiah, mayor of Bonwire; J. Loving Ndziba, Kumasi Assemblyman; Audrey Madans, Charlotte delegate; Fred Effilfie, City of Kumasi; Justice Akuffo Henaku, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly; Rasheedah Hasan, Davidson College student.
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Producing Organization: WTVI (Television station : Charlotte, N.C.)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
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Duration: 0:26:45
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Chicago: “Mother Land, Sister City,” 1995-09-15, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 27, 2022,
MLA: “Mother Land, Sister City.” 1995-09-15. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 27, 2022. <>.
APA: Mother Land, Sister City. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from