Refugees & Conflict Resolution In Ghana

A project sponsored by the American Public University System
unimaginable pain and suffering
The most horrifying and shocking experience I had working on this project was a visit to the Cape Coast Castle located on the coast of southern Ghana, an important center of the slave trade from the 17th-19th centuries. This is one of many places in West Africa where millions of Africans were forced into slavery and shipped to the European colonies. The pain and suffering experienced in this place is unimaginable and impossible to describe. I had not originally planned to focus on Cape Coast Castle in this project, but my experience there was so powerful and moving, I felt it must be included. The events that occurred here and many other places in Africa during the colonialist period helped create political, economic and social instability in Africa resulting in wars and conflict that to this day force so many innocent people to flee in order to protect themselves and their families. The horrors that occurred at this and many other locations along the Gold Coast cannot be overstated. This recording is from the Cape Coast Castle visitors' tour on July 26, 2009. The tour was a deeply saddening and disturbing experience I will never forget.
This sign hangs on the wall in the castle to commemorate those who suffered and in the hopes that atrocities like this will never happen again anywhere on earth.
View from Cape Coast Castle looking west
View from Cape Coast Castle looking south
Male Slave Dungeon
Excerpts from my tour of Cape Coast Castle
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Cell where condemned prisoners were left to die.
Stairs leading to a Catholic church at the top of the castle where services were held amidst the ceaseless cries of the imprisoned slaves.
Explaining how scratch marks were left on the walls by condemned prisoners trying to escape
Click here to watch a short video of a dungeon inside Cape Coast Castle.
View looking out the "Door of No Return"
Millions of slaves were transported through the "Door of No Return" headed by ship to the New World never to see their homes again.
Slaves were bought and sold in this room.
This is a British Army officers' bedroom where female slaves were raped.
This altar was created in one of the castle's dungeons after the British abolished slavery in 1807 (although the practice of slavery continued until the late 19th century).