13. “These scars are the only real proof they couldn’t kill Gods.”
That night we stayed in Elmina. On the way to our hotel we passed through a mini procession, which was the second of which we made our way through that day. I don’t know what the occasion was, but it looked fun. I wanted to go where they were going but I was super tired. Luckily for me, I was with people who lived like I live. The hotel we’re staying at is at the top of a very steep hill and it was amazing! The Golden Hill Hotel.
A collection of fourplex bungalows with large patios around the property. My room was on the edge of the property, it overlooked Elmina at night. I could hear parties and music playing in the distance; the water was dimly lit by the moon. It was beautiful. There was a restaurant and a pool that also overlooked all of Elmina. The hotel is outdoors so the soundtrack of nature was sounding off at full blast. Mostly the frogs. They were super loud and seemed like they all auditioned to be a Budweiser frog at some point and none of them got the part because they were way too loud and off beat. There was a warm ocean breeze going. I got to know a few of the women I came with a little bit better while I put my feet in the pool and enjoyed a kebab and fries from the restaurant; it was delicious. That whole scene was a nice cap to a long emotional day.
When I woke up the next morning, I discovered that I underestimated the view of this place and my room; by a lot. In my head, I opened the curtains to my balcony door and James Earl Jones voice said “This… is AFRICA!!” Horns of glory and victory played as my jaw dropped and eyes widened. I had a very clear view of the ocean, Elmina Dungeon, the salt pans, Ahomka Fie fort and the rest of Elmina from a birds eye view. I instantly wanted to stay another day or two. I sat on the balcony bench and I made sure to take it all in as much as possible. As I stared at the Dungeon and the Fort, I could only imagine what Africans were thinking as they watched different Europeans nations fight over the right to kidnap them and force them into their own particular human trafficking ring. One of the things I learned from the dungeon that stood out the most in my head was how Europeans would hold church services at these places. Black people could hear them singing the gospel above them; singing songs of praise and salvation. Europeans could hear them screaming and crying below during services. They were unaffected. These same people had the nerve to refer to Africans people as savages. I’ll never forget that.
Hearing about this, I could not help but wonder “If they were praying to Jesus above us, why didn’t he want to help the people they were hurting below them? Did he not hear us down there? Were the soulless individuals above us blocking his view? What did we do to deserve this? Does he even care?” From where I stand, it looks like he let the bad guys win and write the history books in their favor. Maybe some people get to petition the lord with prayer. Others? Nope.
Before I got to Ghana, I saw this castle as a symbol of European dominance and victory. But after “inhaling the blood of my ancestors” and being properly educated on the matter by Africans born on the continent; looking out at this castle / dungeon, I see a monument to the strength of Black people. We have survived or overcome everything that has been thrown at us by anybody, anywhere we go or have been kidnapped and taken to on this earth. We may have been down, but never have we been totally out. I came to Ghana fearing that “Slavery: The Prequel”, would leave me feeling sad, but the exact opposite happened. I found closure I did not know I needed or wanted and it felt good.
Pusha-T, the great African American poet, once said “These scars are the only real proof they couldn’t kill Gods.” I felt that in my heart when I first heard him say that. This feeling was validated while I sat there enjoying the view. I was looking directly at the truth in King Push’s proposition.