In the 21st century it is difficult to imagine that something like an African slave trade in Negroes existed. Yet, this is a fact if history and at least a 150 forts dot the African West coast. These forts were the conduits of the slave trade and slaves in millions went through their dungeons, before being shipped across the Atlantic to America.
The lynch-pin of the slave trade and the most important fort was at Cape Coast in Ghana. The fort is 90 miles from Accra, the capital of Ghana and is a protected monument and a heritage site. Tourists visitthis fort that overlooks the Atlantic ocean.
The fort was extremely active from 1665-1807. It continued as slave fort right to the middle of the nineteenth century. Originally built by the Swedes for timber trade, the structure was taken over by the English for the slave trade. It is an irony of history that the English and other European powers who brought in Christianity also introduced slavery and enslaved the black man. The Cape coast fort has a chapel as well, where the fort administrators prayed while the slaves were kept
Cape Castle had 6 dungeons, which are preserved even today. On 1911, president Obama and his wife Michele visited Ghana and this fort. He also saw the dungeons. There were 4 dungeons for men which housed 300 men each. The dungeons were dark with just a small window. 2 dungeons were used to keep women. They were smaller and housed about 150 women each. Sometimes the younger women were taken out of the dungeons for sexual pleasures of the traders and the soldiers. It was one hell of an existence.
The slaves were kept in the fort for 4-6 weeks till they were put on board a slave ship for a one way voyage across the Atlantic. However it must be mentioned that the tribal chiefs of the tribes had a big hand in the slave trade. They actively helped the slave traders.
The government of Ghana recognized the importance of the slave trade in Africa and in 1998 declared 01 August as Emancipation Day. Visiting this slave fort as tourist is an uplifting moment.never to be forgotten.