eyes wide open

We woke up at 4:30 and all we knew was we were driving to a castle and going to a National Park to see animals. Well, that was putting it very simple. Today was eye opening and powerful. In so many ways…I will talk about the castle here

First the Castle: The name of it is Elmina Castle aka St. George’s Castle. It it on the Gold Coast on the Gulf of Guinea. The Castle was built in 1482 and taken over by the Portagese in 1500. The Portagese started using the castle for slave trade. In 1637 the Dutch moved in and stepped it up. They would have 1,000 slaves there at a time 400 women and 600 men. 2/3rds died of starvation and 1/3rd were sent overseas,

entrance to female slave “quarters”

sold as slaves. Much of the castle was still original and I was able to touch the same bars in the cells that the slaves were locked in. We walked the same walk from the cell through small rooms and doorways to the ship. There were origninal cannons there as well as an original “ball” that the slaves were chained to when they were cained. The femals slaves were continually raped, and the biggest perpatrature was the Dutch Govenor and the Dutch soldiers. It was such a sick feeling, indescribable, but Jill and I both agreed we did not have the right to cry. What people went through here…it was horrific, we had to sit with it for the few hours we were their. And what got me the most was the fact that missionaires lived there. From the REFORMED church! There was a church in the castle. There was a small dark room that the male slaves would go to if they tried to escape. The Dutch saw it as a punishment and would not feed them. The slaves always died in that room. When they died of starvation, it was not though of as murder so then those horrible people could sleep better at night knowing they did not kill someone. Those were my ansestors. Mine. I hate being linked to that. It is sickening. In 1872 the British came in an took over ending the slave trade from E
lmina castle. 3 million slaves went to that castle to die or to be sold as an “expert”. There is plaque put on the wall that says

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One thought on “eyes wide open

  1. Pingback: Being Dutch | Along for the Ride

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