For those whose picture of the African continent is blurred
at best, the coast of Ghana is one of the many places where for over two hundred years, humans were
conquered and forced thru the “door of no return” to waiting ships and across
oceans to be ‘purchased’ and enslaved by waiting whites.
One such horrific place is a ‘dungeon’ – referred to as a “castle”
by the conquerors – that is over 350 years old and located 20 minutes from
where we’re staying. The town that existed long before they were invaded by Europeans
is now named “Cape Castle”.
Today we went on a
‘tour’ of this heinous place and (re)learned more specifically about the depth of
the cruelty and evilness of white men – and the nameless courageous resistors
who were murdered before they even got to the door of no return.
The gruesome building looms in the distance, towering tall,
white and threatening over the city below, springing from solid rock – and certainly
built by enslaved people, so skillfully, it still stands today three stories
high and easily thirty times as wide.
The commander and his family were housed on the top floor,
the kitchens, ballrooms and offices underneath, with the courtyard on the ground floor
surrounded by rooms that housed soldiers and a large church which sits directly on
top of the dungeon which held the men and boys.
Underneath the ground-level floor are several dungeon rooms
where people were trapped until the boats came. There were no toilets and water
flowed constantly during the rainy season but only on the floors thru a little
ditch as the floors were slanted toward the ocean.
These rooms had a small window 20 or 30 feet above the floor
where soldiers could spy on the people, who were fed just enough every couple days to maybe keep
them alive. Hundreds of people were stuffed into these holding cells so
tightly, they could neither sit nor lay down.
For deterrents and punishment of anyone who still had the strength to rebel, there were chains bolted into
the cement of the courtyard where women who tried to fight rape were stuck,
starved and beaten until they died.
There were also tiny rooms without windows but with very low
ceilings and even lower doors where fighters and troublemakers were thrown and
locked up until they starved to death as well.
I don’t know how the Ghanaian people can accept our u.sofa.
presence in their country, let alone be as kind and warm and welcoming as we’ve
experienced everywhere, every day.
Later when I was sharing our experience with another guest
at the cabana, I called our outing “sad”. My 7 year old grandson jumped up and
declared he wasn’t sad, he was MAD. He said it made him so angry to know what