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Slave Castles


The shadows of the slowly decaying slave castles loomed over the Fellows in both the physical and spiritual realms. The first castle we visited was Fort Prinzenstein in Keta. The majority of this castle had been destroyed in a storm, leaving jagged structures of brick and wood that lead down from the fort to the waterline. In the words of 2018 Fellow Juasline, it seemed almost as if the land was reclaiming a piece of its history by returning the stronghold that enslaved thousands of Ghanaians back to the soil. Upon walking through the remnants of the fortress, one couldn’t help but imagine their ancestors in those conditions and reflect on their roots.

The second slave castle was 5 hours away in Cape Coast. The castle itself contained a museum on the history of slavery, as well as cavernous underground dungeons that continued to radiate the darkness and despair that had been trapped within their walls for hundreds of years. Despite the tests of time, the Cape Coast Castle was well preserved: its white walls and orderly rows of cannons overlooked a breathtaking view of crashing waves. The beauty surrounding the castle clashed with the harsh reality of the atrocities committed there. In homage to the struggles of our ancestors, our cohort gathered on the sand of Cape Coast and held a libation to remember those who passed. The calming atmosphere of the sea in conjunction with the weighty relics of the past pulled everyone together. The lessons of the past shape the leaders of the future and the slave castles on the coast of Ghana had much to convey to the Nyah Project Fellows.

~Ryan Rowe

Nyah Project