Visiting the Slave Castle in Cape Coast, Ghana

M G SinghStarred Page By M G Singh, 27th Aug 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3lfa-w58/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Africa>Ghana>Accra & Around

The slave trade started from Africa and the slaves were kept herded in forts like the one on the west coast of Africa .

The Slave Trade

In the 21st century it is difficult to imagine that something like an African slave trade in Negroes existed. Yet, this is a fact if history and at least a 150 forts dot the African West coast. These forts were the conduits of the slave trade and slaves in millions went through their dungeons, before being shipped across the Atlantic to America.

Cape Coast

The lynch-pin of the slave trade and the most important fort was at Cape Coast in Ghana. The fort is 90 miles from Accra, the capital of Ghana and is a protected monument and a heritage site. Tourists visit this fort that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.

History of the Fort

The fort was extremely active from 1665-1807. It continued as slave fort right to the middle of the nineteenth century. Originally built by the Swedes for timber trade, the structure was taken over by the English for the slave trade. It is an irony of history that the English and other European powers that brought in Christianity also introduced slavery and enslaved the black man. The Cape coast fort has a chapel as well, where the fort administrators prayed while the slaves were kept herded in dungeons below the ramparts.

Description of the Fort

Cape Castle had 6 dungeons, which are preserved even today. On 2011, president Obama and his wife Michele visited Ghana and this fort. He also saw the dungeons. There were 4 dungeons for men which housed 300 men each. The dungeons were dark with just a small window. 2 dungeons were used to keep women. They were smaller and housed about 150 women each. Sometimes the younger women were taken out of the dungeons for sexual pleasures of the traders and the soldiers. It was one hell of an existence.
The slaves were kept in the fort for 4-6 weeks till they were put on board a slave ship for a one way voyage across the Atlantic. However it must be mentioned that the tribal chiefs of the tribes had a big hand in the slave trade. They actively helped the slave traders.
Another aspect brought out by the guide to the fort was the fact that the church actively supported the slave trade and white priests read out sermons to the black slaves who were kept chained every day.

Last Word

The government of Ghana recognized the importance of the slave trade in Africa and in 1998 declared 01 August as Emancipation Day. Visiting this slave fort as tourist is an uplifting moment. never to be forgotten. I visited this fort and the dungeon in Feb 2013 and it was an awe inspiring sight. My heart went out to the thousands of blacks who were kept imprisoned by the white traders in these dungeons. They need to be preserved for posterity to show the world, the place of origin of the nefarious slave trade.

Tags

Cape Coast, Ghana, Negro Slaves, Slave Castle, White Traders

Meet the author

author avatar M G Singh
A man who spent his early years in Air Force. An avid writer with over 6000 articles and 60 short stories published.Two novels on the anvil for publication.

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Comments

author avatar M G Singh
27th Aug 2013 (#)

Thank you Jhonny for speedy edit and the star

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author avatar M G Singh
27th Aug 2013 (#)

Thank you Carol

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author avatar Christine Crowley
27th Aug 2013 (#)

Wonderful article - I'd like to visit Ghana some day.

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author avatar M G Singh
27th Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks Christine

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author avatar M G Singh
27th Aug 2013 (#)

You must. Its a nice place.

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author avatar sukkran
27th Aug 2013 (#)

slavery is a blemish in our human history. an informative page about this topic from you. thanks madan.

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author avatar M G Singh
28th Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks Sukkran

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
27th Aug 2013 (#)

I agree with sukkran...thank you Madan....

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author avatar M G Singh
28th Aug 2013 (#)

Carolina, nice!

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author avatar Ptrikha
28th Aug 2013 (#)

A shameful chapter in Human history, I would say.

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author avatar M G Singh
28th Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks ptrikha

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
28th Aug 2013 (#)

And to think apartheid was justified till two decades ago! We still have vestiges of mental blocks in terms of religious beliefs etc. Thanks Madan for an illuminating post - siva

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author avatar M G Singh
28th Aug 2013 (#)

Nice comment Siva

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author avatar Randhir Bechoo
28th Aug 2013 (#)

Interesting article.

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author avatar M G Singh
28th Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks Randhir

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author avatar Trillionaire
28th Aug 2013 (#)

Great!

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author avatar Cassandra Black
11th Sep 2013 (#)

Thank you for the article. My big sis and I are planning a trip.

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author avatar Lee Hansen
13th Aug 2014 (#)

My sisters and I went there some years ago. It reminded me just how inhumane slaves were treated. It is an experience that I will never forget.

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author avatar M G Singh
15th Aug 2014 (#)

Thank you Lee for commenting

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