Exploring Slave Dungeons At Cape Coast Castle

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Tourists exploring a slave dungeon at the Cape Coast castle

The mere mention of slavery brings bad memories, as it harboured unimaginable evil act, as thousands of Africans were captured under inhuman circumstances in overcrowded dungeons and transported across the Atlantic to the New World. Even though slavery is long abolished, the African still bears the psychological scars, as he fights to regain his lost identity and respect among mankind on the surface of the earth today.

The slave trade in Ghana mainly took place at coastal towns, but I wish to write about Cape Coast, my country of birth, which was the center of the British slave trade for almost 150 years. Cape Coast is located in the central region of Ghana. It was the capital of Gold Coast between 1700 until 1877 when the capital was shifted to Accra. Ghana replaced Gold Coast when the country achieved its independence in 1957.

Echoes of sad music in the air can be heard from Cape Coast, attracting thousands of tourists including African-Americans and other Africans in the Diaspora to visit the place, where their ancestors were packed like a sardine into ships for slavery. There is a proverb in Ghana which says “Man don’t cry.” I’m beginning to question this proverb if it has any elements of truth because many Africans in the Diaspora who visit Cape Coast castle can’t hold back their tears.

The psychological effect and emotions over Cape Coast Castle, which still has the remnants of the slave trade, are unbearable. President Obama, wife, Michelle and children can’t forget the experience of touring the preserved sites. One can’t escape the cold waves which go through the spine. Even though many Africans in the Diaspora haven’t been to Ghana to trace their roots or visit Cape Coast, others had. The Pan African Historical Festival, simply called PANAFEST is a cultural event which has brought thousands of African-Americans to visit Cape Coast.

Visiting Cape Coast Castle to understand the pain and suffering endured by the millions of slaves is an important step for African-Americans and other Africans in the Diaspora to be closer to Africa. It is sad to note that many hate to be referred to as Africans, even though history about their origin isn’t a fabricated story. It seems that’s the way to help forget this bitter experience, but there is nothing satisfying than visiting the continent of your origin to discover the reality aspects of a sad journey.

Forts and castles built by Europeans between 1482 and 1786, serving as slave depots are still visible in Ghana. Apart from the Cape Coast Castle, are also Elmina and Christiansburg Castles.  Ghana invites you. Be part of other tourists to visit Cape Coast, to see the male dungeon, female dungeon, remnants and the reality of cruelty of slavery, committed by White Slave Masters.

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Kwame Nkrumah: The Father Of African Nationalism

“Our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa.”- Dr Kwame Nkrumah .

The first African statesman to achieve world recognition was Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972), who became president of the new Republic of Ghana in 1960. He campaigned ceaselessly for African solidarity and for the liberation of southern Africa from white settler rule. His greatest achievement was to win the right of black peoples in Africa to have a vote and to determine their own destiny.

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He turned a dream of liberation into a political reality. He was the leader of Ghana who urged Africa to shed the colonial yoke and who inspired black people everywhere to seek their freedom.

This revised edition of Birmingham’s fine and accessible biography chronicles the public accomplishments of this extraordinary leader, who faced some of the century’s most challenging political struggles over colonial transition. African nationalism, and pan-Africanism. It also relates some of the personal trials of a complex individual.

As a student in America in the late 1930s, Nkrumah, shy, disorganized, but ambitious and persistent, earned four degrees in ten years. For political training he then went to England. Nkrumah found writing difficult throughout his lifetime, but once back in his African homeland, with its oral heritage, Nkrumah blossomed as a charming conversationalist, a speechmaker, and eventually a visionary and inspiring leader.

Nkrumah’s crusades were controversial, however, and in the 1960s he gradually lost his heroic stature both among his own people and among his fellow leaders. He lived his last years in exile.

This remarkable life story, which touches on many of the issues facing modern Africa, will open a window of understanding for the general leader as well as for graduate and undergraduate classes.

In this new edition, Birmingham also examines Nkrumah’s exile and provides insight into the image of Nkrumah that has emerged in the light of research recently published.

The Author

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David Birmingham lived in Switzerland from 1947 to 1954 as a child and returned there in the 1990s as a visiting historian. From 1980 to 2001 he held the chair of Modern History in the University of Kent at Canterbury in England. He is the author of many books, including Portugal and Africa.

http://www.amazon.com/David-Birmingham/e/B001ITXLX0/