Stevie Wonder is moving to Ghana to protect his grandchildren from injustice

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Stevie Wonder is one of my favorite childhood musicians. Most of the musicians that I grew up listening to have all passed away except Stevie and Patty. I always joke that we need to put the two in a protective bubble so that nothing happens. I have even prepared myself for the day the news breaks that one of them has passed away. What I didn’t expect to read was that I would be losing Stevie, not to death but to racism and white supremacy.

Stevie was recently interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. He talked about his fear for his grandchildren. He wants to protect them from the racial injustice and prejudice that have always been prevalent in American society and have escalated in the last decade or so. Stevie told Oprah that he will be moving to Ghana soon because he doesn’t want his grandchildren to grow up begging to be seen as human and be loved by society. Below is more on the interview via ET Online:

“I wanna see this nation smile again, and I want to see it before I leave to travel to move to Ghana,” Wonder, 67, told Winfrey in a recent interview. “Because I’m going to do that.”

According to the celebrated musician, he plans to move in an effort to protect his grandchildren from the racial injustice and prejudice that he feels is pervasive in American society.

“I don’t want to see my children’s children’s children have to say, ‘Oh, please like me. Please respect me. Please know that I am important. Please value me,’” Wonder shared. “What kind of [life would that be]?”

Wonder — who has won 25 GRAMMY awards and has been nominated 74 times — has reportedly been considering a move to Ghana for more than 25 years.

Back in 1994, Wonder said at a gathering for the International Association of African American Music that he wanted to relocate to the West African country because he felt there’s “more of a sense of community there,” according to CNN.

[From ET Online]

It makes me sad that even someone like Stevie Wonder doesn’t feel safe in the U.S. I don’t blame him for wanting to move to a country where people look like him and his grandchildren. In Ghana Stevie’s family won’t have to face the trauma of racism and dehumanization that Black people particularly face daily in the United States. Stevie leaving the U.S. is a major loss. Stevie has had a huge influence on our culture the last four to five decades. But honestly, I feel Stevie’s sadness. I too have been feeling that same weary in the bones sadness and sometimes rage that nothing will ever change in our nation no matter who is in office. I’m not going to lie, I too, especially since January 6th, have been researching places that I can migrate to. I would love to go somewhere in Africa but it is too hot for me on the continent so I am looking at places where you can easily get to Africa, Asia and America. It is unfortunate that the U.S. is such a hostile place for Black people that those of us who can are opting to leave.

When I was in my twenties I had so much hope that my generation would be able to create a better country that was grounded in equity. That we would be able to shift the U.S. away from the difficult times our parents and grandparents had to live in. Instead, we are witnessing our country slide back into a much darker period. The government must have stricter protocols toward law enforcement and modern lynching. Black Americans are terrorized in the US and face injustice daily. I don’t think that will ever change. I personally refuse to stay and fight and shed my blood like my ancestors did for this land without reward. I wish Stevie the best, and I hope he finds happiness, joy and community in Ghana with his family. I also hope the move will bring Stevie peace in his last years.

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28 Responses to “Stevie Wonder is moving to Ghana to protect his grandchildren from injustice”

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  1. Gah says:

    Come to the DR!!

    We are living in the Dominican Republic now and I met a school mom who is from Congo and loves to travel but was very disillusioned by racism in France towards her footballer brother (he was beat by police). so she moved her family (she has two boys who are delightful) to Guadalupe where her husband is from looking for a home away from racism. They finally settled here in Las Terrenas a rapidly growing melting pot beach town.

    There is racism in the DR but it’s more classist or anti Haitian. Still not great but all races are safe from bodily harm and systemic oppression. Gorgeous beaches, some annoyances and the capitol is very first world. Also the economy is booming.

    • Lemons says:

      I lived in Guadeloupe and honestly, it is one of the one places where I felt like I was just like everyone else. I speak French, but not Creole, so I couldn’t always pretend to be Antillaise, but being Black and being among people that look like you as the norm is so great for your psyche.

    • Oya says:

      I’m good on the DR after seeing what happened to those born in the DR but were dark skinned and Haitian descent several years ago. I am someone who could passed for Haitian as well so that won’t work. With that being said I don’t like tropical climes or being that close to the ocean. I am more into milder temps, mountains and lakes, bays and rivers. I also still want diversity or access to it. So I am looking into the Balkans as anti-blackness haven’t taken root there and it is a hop, skip, and a jump to Africa, Asia and western Europe.

      • Woohoosah says:

        Oya-

        I’d love to discuss that with you somehow! I’m trying to figure out a place to relocate my family and have had very positive experiences with people from the Balkans (and some negative).

    • Missskitttin says:

      I am Dominican but rarely go back if at all. The Haitian situation completely disgusts me and even people that I actually know and call themselves christian have no qualms about saying in public that Haitians should be expelled from the country even if they had been born in the DR. It has become so classist and elitist that I can’t even have a good convo anymore with my high school classmates from yonder.
      It has also lost its identity turning into a sort of America so much so that many Dominicans post on social media in English.
      And you can’t forget the fact that the DR is very, very colorist. Colorism is a huuuuuge deal there. Oh, and the crime omg!

  2. AnnaKist says:

    Oh, wow! Has Stevie Wonder discovered the elixir of youth?
    This story is very sad. Here is a good man, a man who bothers no one, a man who has given us so much happiness through his music, and he believes that nothing much has changed for the black community, to the point where he feels the only safety for his grandchildren is to leave their home country. It’s times like tis that I’m ashamed to be of the same species as the reprehensibles and the deplorables.

  3. Snazzy says:

    There’s a lot of poverty in Ghana but it’s also a pretty great place. I’ve only been to Dakkar but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Do we know why he chose Ghana in particular? Does he have Ghanaian ancestry?

    • Bex says:

      The Cape Coast (Including Ghana) is home to the slave castles where enslaved people were sent on ships to wherever there final destination was. Ghana in particular has a special place in pan-African history because of this, but also because it was a meeting place for many US Civil Rights leaders, and it was the first African country to gain independence. People like Malcolm X and Maya Angelous visited and/or lectured there. W.E.B. Dubois retired there. I traveled to Ghana with an all-black travel group a few years ago and it was a life-changing experience.

    • Missskitttin says:

      There is a huge diaspora happening right now. Accra is booming with culture and initiatives. The expat community has to be huge! I follow a couple of youtube channels from Europeans and Americans who have moved to Accra for the same reason.

  4. runaway says:

    I feel your weariness Oya. My uncle is in the process of doing the same thing with his young family. And we’re Canadian, it’s no better here and he wants his 10 year old black son to grow up in a place where his blackness is not a reason to hate or fear him. I get it completely. I thank God every day that I had girls because the worry would put me in an early grave.
    I worry everyday about my younger brother who is almost 30, he’s a good sweet man, great with his nieces, but he’s been stopped by police more times than u can count because he “fits the description ” it’s so terrifying, he stopped telling me and my mom every time it happens.

    • Oya says:

      To me that is also part of the issue that ONLY Black men are the focus. Unfortunately in America, Black women are being murdered at almost the same rate as the men but no one talks about it. It is exhausting. It is like our pain and terror is not even important even in our own communities. So yeah

  5. Noki says:

    People are very funny all around. As someone who lives in East Africa ,i have seen SOME African Americans who live in the country(diplomats,expats,ngos,through marriage etc) treat Africans as less than and feel more educated or exposed and possibly treat them the same way they get treated in the West and this scenario makes it actually sadder to stomach.

    • Snazzy says:

      I’ve seen that too, actually, when I was posted in Nairobi. It was a strange thing to see. It’s that whole “expat superiority” nonsense. Drove me nuts.

      • Missskitttin says:

        It is cultural I believe. It is the way Americans are raised since birth believing in their and their exceptionalism.

    • BABSORIG says:

      I’m from Africa too. I have met people from the Caribbean that td me to my face that they hated us Africans because we were the reason they were enslaved, i kid you not. That because our greedy chiefs sold their own people to slave traders, i and other African are to blame for slavery. Then there was this AA guy that my daughter dated for a while that used to tell her how Africans are NOT brothers and/or sisters, theyre just Africans. This right here in North America. So its not just an expat thing.
      Its sad though when people don’t feel safe because of the color of their skin, so unfair. Im sad for Stevie and for all others that feel they have to move to other places in order for them to be safe. So so sad. I wish Stevie his family and everyone else all the best, life can be cruel sometimes.

      • Bonsai Mountain says:

        And Africans have told us to our faces that being Caribbean means we are the descendants of slaves and not really human beings.

      • Snazzy says:

        OMG I’m sorry I had no idea. Thank you for explaining this very important element to me ❤️ not being sarcastic – I am always happy to learn)

  6. ohsolively says:

    That’s nice lol. But lbr he will end up doing exactly what most Westerners (black or white) do i.e live in their big safe compounds with house help, stick to all the tourist routes and rich areas and live like a king since he has the coins for it. Hell even my brother as an ex-pat is doing that right now over there.

    People glamourise “returning to the motherland” way too much but would never actually do it (especially the celebs) The few that do only really want to stay in their safe little western bubbles and act superior to the locals.

    • Missskitttin says:

      Of course, but here, even with the compound, and the hired help and the money, him and his family would get trated badly when they go outside of the compound.

  7. one of the Marys says:

    In the last five years or so, and I’m sorry to be so vague, I read an article about an American mother who was visiting an African country with an eye to relocating her family. There was an official govt program to appeal to African Americans, there was govt assistance to deal with banking and bureauacry, she estimated she could buy a house and her money would go a lot further. It was fascinating and sobering. It didn’t touch on any nuances or how citizens felt about it

  8. MissF says:

    There may be less racial injustice for people of African heritage in Ghana but to say there’s no injustice is rather blind. The poverty there for some people is utterly terrible, and the gap between the rich and the poor is much starker than in any Western country.

  9. nah says:

    I’m pleasantly surprised to see the nuanced takes in the comments.

    The diaspora has always looked down on us. Also, the Motherland you glamorize so much has other problems besides systemic racism, like unequal distribution of wealth ex-pats won’t go thru.

    Stay and make your country a better place. You can’t run away from racism or systemic oppression (unless you’re rich, and even then…) it is everywhere. As a wealthy Black man he should be using his money to protect those of us in need, not have a vacay on Ghana.

    btw, I have a friend who has traveled all over the world and has finally settled on Brazil. He has it is the best place for Black people and I believe him. I had a lovely time there. They have their own Trump currently in government tho…

  10. JaneBee87 says:

    I’m glad that he feels that this is a positive option for his family, but as others have said, it’s not like Ghana is free of discrimination – if you’re Black and LGBTQI it’s not going to offer quite the same haven.

  11. Blairski says:

    Sigh. This is so sad. We need to be better.

  12. Nunu says:

    I remember I met a wife of an expat i worked with a few years ago who came to visit her husband and she was shocked that Tanzania (home of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Serengeti) had cafes, fancy restaurants, or even Uber. It seriously made me wonder how the western and European media potrays my continent in general.

    • Missskitttin says:

      Very badly. Here in the US we very rarely see anything on TV about other countries except if you actively search it yourself. America wants Americans to believe that every other country is less developed than us…

  13. Monica says:

    Oya, I hear you, and can’t blame you a bit for wanting to leave this hostile environment. As a late-middle-aged white woman I’m pretty much left alone, but live every day with the sadness and anger at how BIPOC are treated in this stupid country. I wish you and Stevie peace and fulfillment. What a loss.