Jeannette Salters of Detroit got involved in activism in the early 1970s, and it was that activism that led her to discovering her roots and moving to Ghana, as well as changing her name to Mamelena Diop. Along with Diop, other Detroiters moved to Ghana to reclaim their roots.
Detroit is now mourning the loss of one of their own. Diop and her sister, Nzinga Janna, were both found murdered near their home in Ghana. According to Ghanian online news site, Diop was 75 and her sister was 60 at the time of death. So far, two men have been arrested in connection to the murders.
“I feel terrible about what happened,” said her son, Greg Salters of Detroit. “It’s a tragedy. Words can’t even explain how I feel about my mom being taken away from her home, murdered and put in a shallow grave 300 feet from her home.”
Salters family says she was killed because people wanted the land she acquired from the government in Ghana.
“Some locals decided they wanted to take the land from them,” he said. “My mom went to court over that” and won.
“I guess the locals decided they were going to take matters into their own hands,” he said. “And they decided to abduct and murder them.”
The sisters went missing last Tuesday, and while searching their home, blood was found, as well as the object used to kill them.
“She loved that place,” said Diop’s daughter Cheryl Salters. “She loved Africa. The people were nice.”
The family is trying to raise money through GoFundMe to ship the sisters’ remains back to Detroit.
“My mother was very articulate, very into herbs and holistic medicine, eating natural,” said Cheryl Salters.