Monday, March 14, 2016

Amazing Grace

Death Door
"Until the lion has his historian the hunter will always be a hero"
- Elmina Castle Wall

Between the heat, swollen feet and long hours without food it amazes us how the Ghanaian people even complete their daily tasks. We had the privilege of visiting the Elmina Slave Castle and learned more about the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. 

From 1400-1800 AD, Elmina was the slave castle in which every transatlantic slave was shipped out. It dawned on us that our petty complaints were nothing compared to the tragic history of this nation.

View from top of castle

The amazing views and scenery left you speechless. The pictures we took could not do justice to the beauty all around us. But beneath all of the beauty is the ugliest of stories.  Millions of people were taken or coerced into leaving their homes, their families, and everything they knew for a chance at a "better life in America". This castle housed a minimum of a 1000 Africans at any given time. 80-100 people were placed in small, hard, brick cells for 3 months until they either passed away from famine, disease, torture or were shipped off and would struggle to remain alive until they reached the Americas. On arrival they would spend their remaining life as the property of slave owners. We are so privileged to have the freedom of our life, our body, our thoughts, to do with what we please. We forget to appreciate the small things, but this experience served as a reminder to be humble and grateful for what we have. 
View from Door of No Return
Door of No Return
The Door of No Return was the door the slaves were forced through onto the ships. Not everyone has the privilege to stand in the exact spot where Africans stood for the last time on their homeland. The Holocaust is well covered in school, but we only learn a small piece of the African Slave Trade. While standing at the "Door of No Return" our guide asked us to join him in singing "Amazing Grace". According to our guide, Amazing Grace was written in 1779 by the slave trader John Newton. Newton came to the realization that his actions had horrific consequences, and that slaves were not property but human beings, captured in the verse "once I was blind but now I see".

"In everlasting memory of the anguish of our ancestors. 
May those who die rest in peace. 
May those who return find their roots. 
May humanity never again perpetrate such injustice against humanity. 
We the living vow to uphold this."
 - Elmina Castle Wall


By: Madi Phemister, Alyssa Sand, Paige Bunbury

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