My first time in Ghana was my first day living in Ghana!
YEP crazy right! We live in Ghana now! Stay tuned for that story, but right now I need to tell you something very important. The HACSA (Heritage and Cultural Society of Africa) summit was nothing like I expected. When I say Auntie came through, she came through! She invited everyone to take a tour of the slave castles in Ghana. I knew what the slave castles were but I didn’t at the same time. I had no idea what visiting the slave castles would be like or what to expect.
I visited the Cape Coast, El Mina, and Christiansburg Slave Castles.
We get out of the car and we are late, of course, walking into the castle looking for Auntie and the rest of the group to take a tour.
So, I’m walking through the castle, that’s fairly open, and all of a sudden I see the door labeled “slave dungeon” and I didn’t even enter the room because I felt this fear come over me like never before. I didn’t know what was going on with me. I’m a grown woman out here all the way in Ghana crying and I could not figure out what to do with myself. So we found Auntie Johanna and she embraces me and tells me “You need to take the tour”. So, I’m like ok, “get it together Shaun“, follow Auntie and take the tour. Now, I know you want me to tell you what happened on the tour and what I saw and how hot it was, and who built it.
Nope! Aint gon do it! Ok here’s one picture.
However, I will tell you this after I finished crying in every castle I got mad at the Danish then the Portugese, then the British, all Caucasians, Africans, and the Church! Yep, I was in my feelings for a few days.
Ok back to the summit before I get mad all over again. The summit included touring the slave castles, a plethora of information discussed via panels, and a very well organized slave tour on a bus with a professor that has studied hidden gems in the city of Osu telling the stories of our ancestors and the tribes that were in the midst of the slave trading. Oh, and I cannot forget to tell you about us having a conversation with the King of Akosombo! Yes, a real live King yall! This particular tribe overthrew the Castle of Christiansburg and still have the keys to prove it! As a mom of 3 boys, I was so thankful that they got to meet and talk to a King. It’s important that they know there are Black Kingdoms.
I know what you’re thinking Shaun, this is a lot! Yes it is indeed. Although, I missed the panel discussions because I got very sick, and literally slept for 2 days to heal. I’m still not sure what was wrong, but I must tell you that the HACSA Summit 2019, that I did see, gave me a whole new outlook on life, where I need to go, and what I need to do.
As I walked through the castle crying, I was initially feeling this overwhelming fear, then, as I walked back into the door of no return, I felt as if I was wrapped in a blanket and comforted by my ancestors. The comfort I felt gave me a new confidence in myself. I walked out of the dungeons of the castles and made sure that I whispered to my ancestors telling them: “I hear you and I will do my best to share your story and live your wildest dreams! This little ole Georgia peach is ready to get her hands dirty, put on her big girl panties and do as much as she can to make her ancestors proud.”
I encourage you all, especially people of the African Diaspora, to come to Ghana and see all that Ghana has to offer for yourself.