Tracing the Dark History of Slavery: A Journey to Cape Coast Slave Castle and Assin Manso Slave River

Tracing the Dark History of Slavery: A Journey to Cape Coast Slave Castle and Assin Manso Slave River

During our tour of Ghana, we visited the Cape Coast Slave Castle and Assin Manso Slave River.

Located in the coastal city of Cape Coast in Ghana, the Cape Coast Slave Dungeons, is one of the most infamous slave trade locations in the world. The imposing white-washed structures, which lies on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, was a key stop in the transatlantic slave trade; Africans who had been captured were kept here before being ferried across the Atlantic.

When you step into the Cape Coast Slave Castle, you can feel the weight of history bearing down on you. The dark, damp, and claustrophobic chambers where hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children were imprisoned before being shipped off as slaves is a reminder of the darkest period in human history. It is difficult to put into words how it feels to be at a place where humans were once regarded as commodities.

Images of the Cape Coast Slave Castle

Walking through the cramped and narrow tunnels where the slaves were kept is a haunting experience. The stories of the people who were held captive here seem to echo through the halls. Our guide was knowledgeable and offered a glimpse into the horrors that occurred in this place. There is a mixture of sadness, anger, and a great sense of loss as one walks through the road that once led captives to the coast. 

In Assin Manso, there is a river where slaves had their ‘last bath’ before being taken to the dungeons; this is called the "Assin Manso Slave River". After the bath, the slaves were then auctioned off and were branded with hot irons and forced to walk for kilometres to the coast before being bundled into ships through the ‘door of no return’ for the dangerous trip across the ocean.


Images of the Assin Manso Slave River

Assin Manso is now a place of reflection and remembering. The "Slave River" is now a sacred location where visitors can pay their respects to those who lost their lives in the slave trade. The ‘Last Bath’ and ‘Door of No Return’ have been made into a memorial, and the town serves as a constant reminder that we must never forget the awful events of the past in order to build a better future. 

The "Door of No Return," the final gateway through which slaves went before being put onto ships, has been renamed the "Door of Return" to await the descendants of those who were taken unjustly.  

Visiting the Cape Coast Slave Castle and Assin Manso Slave River brings home the magnitude of the transatlantic slave trade and the lives lost. Despite the painful emotions that accompany visiting these sites, it is a journey that everyone should take at least once in their lives. Understanding the impact of slavery on our world today requires tracing its terrible history. Given that we continue to grapple with issues of race and inequality in our world today, we must learn from history and advocate for a more just and equitable future. Everyone must keep fighting against all forms of injustice and discrimination. 

Read about our entire Ghana Trip here


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