Goree Island: 'Door Of No Return' for African-Americans

Now a museum, Goree Island is a focal point for African-Americans who wish to explore their African heritage.

Goree Island: 'Door Of No Return' for African-Americans

World Bulletin / News Desk

Two kilometres away from Senegal's capital city Dakar is the Goree island and museum, where tourists see the horror of the slave trade from West Africa to America and Europe.

Only 30 minutes by ferry from the port of Dakar, the Goree Island reaches to the far depts of Africa, at the intersection of the roads and rivers that reach into the depths of Africa and so has a unique strategic position. The Portugese built a stone church in 1450, and all control was handed over to the French in 1677 and their control continued until Senegal was declared an independent state in 1960. Built in 1780 the island known for its “slave houses” lost its role in the slave trade with the abolition of slavery in 1848 and in order for its defence and maritime security began to use the term “kalekol”.

With many Africans being caught in many places of Africa many were put on boats and sent to America as slaves, and known as the “Dark Continent”, African children who were also caught eventually named the island as the Door of No Return with many realising their dreams died.

Goree Island is now protected under the UNESCO World Heritage List and with 28 homes and only one home being restored to its original conditional and serves as part of the museum today.

The “House of Slaves” Museum contains cellars where the slaves were kept until ships took them, and here their eating utensils, hand and ankle shackles and other items of that period are kept for display. Spanning 900 metres by 350 metres, the island also traded in wax, leather, grains and salt.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Aralık 2014, 14:53