3 Ancestral Black History Sites Worth Returning To

cape coast castle in ghana
Briona Lamback
February 9, 2024

Along the coast of West Africa are former dungeons where enslavers once held our people captive. Today, many of us have returned to these sites through doors the enslavers said we'd never see again.

Cape Coast, Ghana

The Danes built Cape Coast Castle in Ghana in 1653. For centuries, British enslavers used it to hold captured  Africans who passed through its Door of No Return before being shipped to the Americas.  Thousands of their descendants now honor them by visiting what has been renamed the Door of Return.

Gorée Island, Senegal 

Just off the shores of Dakar is Gorée Island, one of the largest slave-trading centers in West Africa between the 15th and 19th centuries. Today, it's a museum and a memorial site worth returning to.

The Door of No Return Memorial Arch, Benin

On a beach in Ouidah, along the coast of Benin, stands a memorial arch to commemorate the millions of enslaved people transported through Benin’s ports.

We can always return to ourselves without traveling, just by studying our history and reconnecting with ancestral ways. 

We're the architects of our narratives and our futures. We must reach back for whatever ancestral knowledge is necessary to build a thriving world for our people.

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