- The Year of Return in Ghana has seen many from the diaspora visit the country to connect with their roots and the African continent
- The historic slave castles and sites were where their ancestors were kept before being transported outside
- YEN.com.gh amplifies another West African historic slave fort, Kunta Kinte, that serves as reminder to the horrific slave trade
Situated at the mouth of the Gambian river, Kunta Kinte Island, is home to one of many historic slave castles in West Africa which serves as a reminder of the centuries-long excruciating transatlantic slave trade.
According to www.reuters.com, waves overlapping the shores of the former slave site threaten to wash away history and possibly memories.
The Kunta Kinte fortress is threatened by erosion and steps have to be taken to preserve the island for the younger generations.
From Ghana’s Cape Coast castle to Nigeria’s port Badagry on the Gulf of Guinea, the sites served as a place where slaves spent their last days in Africa before they are transported outside the shores of the continent.
Like Ghana, many from the diaspora have thronged the Island to mark 400 years since the first record of African slaves arriving in North America.
''Tourists can walk along the cannon-studded ramparts of slave fortresses or pass through the points of ‘No Return’, where slaves were marched in chains to waiting ships,'' www.reuters.com said in an article.
In a village in Ivory Coast, near a slave site on the banks of the Bodo river, a tall stone slab wrapped in chains now stands as a memorial to the slaves who were compelled to take a last bath in the Bodo’s muddy waters before they were shipped outside.
According to www.reuters.com, the memorial was erected with the participation of UNESCO, which has granted world heritage status to Kunta Kinte island and several other West African sites due to the important testimony they provide of the slave trade.
In a related story, some 250 African-Americans gathered at the Cape Coast Castle, Ghana, to mark the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship of enslaved Africans to English North America in 1619.
While this was ongoing, tens and thousands of African-Americans had assembled at the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton, Virginia, to also mark the same activity.
Here at the Cape Coast Castle, one of nearly 40 slave castles built in the Gold Coast, now Ghana, more than 70 families discovered their family tree during the African Ancestry DNA disclosure which is possibly the largest ever in the continent.
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