Ghana’s Cape Coast

Today’s Ghanaian journey started early: Breakfast at 7:30, and then we set off for a four-hour bus ride to Cape Coast. Today’s activities consisted of two historic and sensitive tours: Elmina Castle and Cape Coast Castle are located on the shores of the Gulf of Guinea, infamously known for their enslavement trading.

Our first tour was of Elmina Castle, built in 1482 by the Portuguese, the oldest enslavement dungeon on the coast. The second Cape Coast Castle was built by the British in 1664. Each tour was emotional as we learned about the separate dungeons for males and females. Each was devastating, seeing the narrow doorway titled “the door of no return” where the enslaved Africans were taken away from their motherland to the Americas. And each baffling knowing that right above hundreds of enslaved Africans were Christian churches. In Cape Coast alone, around 3 to 4 million Africans walked through those entrance gates, were sold off to traders, and never returned home.

This heartbreaking, contemplative day has led to an ending of devotional discussion around the dinner table, sharing a family meal of grilled fish, rice, salad, fufu, and bananas. We discussed how the history of the Middle Passage and Transatlantic Slave Trade is still mythological to some despite the evidence we witnessed and the fluidity and hybridity of African spirituality in relation to Christianity. This trip so far has been enriching and eye opening in its cultural exploration and historical significance. Thank you for your support!

–Praveen Pulukuri
April 26, 2024