12. Slavery: The Prequel – The Last Scene
The Elmina Castle tour is now over; I have reached the end of “Slavery: The Prequel” and I came out a different man afterwards. Everybody I know that has been to these sites are the people that say “Every Black person should visit Africa,” I am now one of those people. Damn.
I’ve been asked if this experience made me hate white people a few times. Nope. I was surprised by this because I thought I would, which was part of the reason I didn’t want to go. In my mind, I had enough feelings towards the situation and I didn’t want them to possibly intensify to Killmongor levels. I definitely didn’t want to leave there hating white people. That’s not why I went to Ghana. Vacation, not hate. I just want to not be bothered with racism for a little while. However, I was disgusted with Europeans afterwards. No real anger or hatred, just disgust. It’s clear that these people were some of the worst people to ever walk the earth that we all love. It’s very clear that the bad guys won. The things we saw in those castles could only be done by people with no soul and pure evil in their hearts.
I appreciated finally getting this story from the source. They know the truth from start to finish. I learned a lot on this tour. Mainly that I’ve heard a ton of lies and truthiness about Africa and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. I never thought much about how Black people got to the Americas. I’ve only been concerned about what happened to Black people once we got to America. Why? I don’t have a real answer.
But what I do know is that once I got to the other side of those Dungeon walls, I felt like Will Smith in one of the “aliens in a locker scene” in Men In Black. Will Smith’s character, Agent K, opens a random locker door in a train station to see that everything he knows to exist in the universe and life itself is in another small locker in an even bigger world. There is a lot more to my “Blackness” than I previously thought and it was very clear to me once I walked out of both of those dungeons. That’s Blackness I didn’t have before and I want it all.
I’ve had a lot of discussions about Black people in America “getting over slavery,” with people of every race. At the end of these discussions I’ve landed on “absolutely not” every single time. However, after this experience, I feel like I have a weird sense of closure. I’ll never “get over” what happened to Black people. I’ll always keep the feelings I’ve always had. But now with closure. That closure has given me a feeling of freedom I didn’t know I wanted or needed. At Cape Coast Dungeon, I walked through “The door of no return,” back through that same door, then out of the front door. When I got on the other side of that front door, the spell was broken. Did I go through some sort of ritual? Maybe? Maybe me “inhaling the blood of my ancestors” then walking out of the front door free as a bird meant something? Maybe I took an ancestor out of there with me? I know that I’m African and I love it. I love everything about it. I feel more connected to every African around the world. In my mind, we are one big group of people. I wasn’t born in Africa, but I’m African; just like Chinese people who weren’t born in China are still Chinese.