So far being in Ghana has been so amazing and eye opening for me. From mastering haggling with market merchants and crossing busy streets with no traffic lights. To spending a weekend at a homestay with a family whose children act like normal six to sixteen year old growing kids when mom’s not home but instantly become capable, polite, non-back talking little workers the moment mom pulls in the driveway. With all this, the experience I’m most effected by was our visit to the Cape Cost’s Slave Castle. Being one of two African American students on this trip I knew I would be a little more sensitive to our visit to the Slave Castle than others but I didn’t expect to feel some of the emotions I’m feeling now. Walking into the Castle I felt very anxious and uncomfortable. Even now I’m having a hard time continuing my blog because my emotions are overwhelmingly strong. Just the thought of standing in the same dark, cold, putrid dungeons that thousands of Africans were thrown into is emotionally draining. I believe the moment that really left me consumed with sorrow was the moment I walked through the Door of No Return. I found myself trying to imagine what these people, my ancestors, were feeling as they were torn away from their homes, lives and families and led through that door to a fate worse than the Castle dungeons. I began feeling nauseous, scared, sadness, anger, and then relief. Relief that it was over, relief that unlike the people I share the same kinky hair and dark skin color with, I could turn around and walk back through that Door of No Return and return; return back to my nice little tour of the Castle; a piece of history that forever changed the way Africans and African Americans view themselves and the world around them.
By Nicole Smith