My friend Eric and I traveled from Accra down the Cape Coast back to Abidjan. We were able to visit the two main slave castles along the way. The first and largest is called the Cape Coast Castle and the second is called Elmina. Both are interesting and very powerful experiences.
The Cape Coast castle allows you to see the rooms slaves were held, execution chambers, and the quarters where in this case the British lived. The rooms slaves were held were dark with little air and the slaves stayed there for up to three months, standing, chained together, in what was a horrific and miserable existence beyond all comprehension. They were forced to go to the bathroom on themselves and each other, and food was only the bare minimum placed in their hands once a day. They had no idea why they were there, what was going to happen, and were ripped from their families and villages in distant parts of West Africa. It was truly a nightmare.
Yet, it is also a critical part of American history. Indeed, it is an incredible dilemma for America and has been since the founding of our country. If you could eliminate the slave trade you would, but then the American experience would be entirely different without the African people that have made America before America was America. Undoubtedly, America's origins are African and this is something we should be proud of.
John Doces. Je vous écris de la Côte-d'Ivoire en Afrique.