Sunday, June 25, 2006

Gorée Island

April, 2005 …My blood ran cold as I stared down the dark stone-floored corridor, and out of the tiny exit at the end that led to the sea. A small sign read: Point of no return.

Through this doorway, on the tiny island of Gorée, located just off the coast of Senegal, West Africa, tens of thousands of people were forced into a life of slavery. Ships from here brought them across the stormy Atlantic to, among other places, Brazil, Cuba, and the Caribbean, and for around 5 percent of the slaves, the United States of America.

For many decades Africans sold other Africans to the European slave traders. Slavery is, of course, no longer tolerated in America or Europe, but, sadly, it is still a problem in some parts of Africa.