Earlier in 2019 we decided we would end the year by visiting Ghana, not realizing it was “The Year of Return”. A year of events planned by the Ghana Tourism Association and Ghanians to welcome EVERYONE in the Black diaspora! A year of highlighting Blackness, Africans, Ghana, food, art, and HISTORY. As you continue to read this, keep in mind, you can visit Ghana and experience those things anytime.
We started off with plates of Jollof or beef stew, walked above the Kakum National Forest, and ventured through the central region. The Cape Coast welcomed us with a melodic Atlantic coast breeze, heaps of fresh food, and of course the Cape Coast Castle/Gold Coast Castle. Nothing can prepare you to visit the site with the “Door of No Return”. To physically see how our ancestors were packed in dark holes with little oxygen and the hand dug wells along the walls to urinate is not what we learned in school or could ever imagine. The tour guide further explained the raping of our sisters, the diseases brought from the colonizers, and more. It’s OUR history.
Of course there is more. We toured the Kwame Nkrumah Muselouem and Musuem. The site where President Nkrumah (1st Ghanian President post independence) made his first speech in preparation for Ghana to become independent from Great Britain. To know he attended a HBCU in the states and went back home to liberate his brothers and sisters is profound. From there, Independence Square is not far and the Makola Market (binge shoppers, be prepared for bargains, deals, and one of the largest outdoor markets you will ever see).
There is much more to Ghana; more regions, waterfalls, cocoa farms, the Ashanti, Accra, New Accra, fresh FOOD everywhere, and most importantly, “OUR HISTORY”.
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey