July 10th, 2009
11:45 PM ET

Photo Gallery: The Cape Coast Castle in Ghana

Program Note: President Obama makes his first official trip to Ghana today. He is the first African-American President to visit the African continent. Anderson sits down with President in Ghana to talk about the significance of his trip and the President's own African history. Tune in tonight for more from Anderson next week for the interview. AC360°, 10 p.m. ET.

Charlie Moore
AC360° Senior Broadcast Producer

These pictures were taken at the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana, which was used in the trans-Atlantic slave as the final departure point for slaves bound for the western hemisphere. Thousands of slaves were held in the dungeons of the castle before being transferred to boats. More on the slave trade next week during our special, "President Obama's African Journey."

The courtyard of the Cape Coast Castle.

The "door of no return." Slaves would exit this door and board ships bound for the western hemisphere.

The castle was fortified from attack.

Fishing boats just outside castle on the coast of Ghana.

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Filed under: Africa • Anderson Cooper • Charlie Moore • Ghana • Global 360°
soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Seneca Godamunne, Jacksonville, FL

    Please give us some background information (on TV) about Cape Coast Castle – who built it, for what purposes, and when etc.
    My wife and I spent a few days recently in Amsterdam, Holland and while walking about that lovely city, we walked across a big bridge over the Amstel river named the "Blue Bridge" (Blauwbrug). This bridge built in 1884 was decorated with large columns that have sculpted copies of slave ships half way up. Those columns are surmounted by sculpted copies of the Habsburg imperial crown. We were told that the slaves ships were honored here (on these columns) because of the enormous wealth they brought to Amsterdam! What part did Holland play in this terrible trade (another holocaust)? And what is the connection of those activities to the Habsburg crown?

    July 13, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  2. may

    Hello Anderson, To start with, PLEASE get this right, AFRICA is a CONTINENT not a COUNTRY as some people who live outside Africa refer to it.
    It is demeaning and uninformed for western journalists to continually tag a continent of over 50 countries, thousands of languages and millions of people as just one place.Please inform your colleagues @ CNN.
    Secondly, would like to thank you for the job you are doing for CNN, keep on forging ahead!!
    I'm May, a NIgerian and an avid viewer of CNN.

    July 13, 2009 at 8:13 am |
  3. kate

    Jeanette, please get the facts right. The castle was built,owned and run by the british and not the people of Ghana.

    July 13, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  4. Jeannette

    Just amazing and moving pictures ...

    July 12, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  5. Aida Gonzalez-Jarrin, Queens NY

    Anderson, Charlie, thank you for the pix. The president's visit to this castle has a most important message to the world. We should never forget tyranny. We should safeguard our freedoms at all costs. Your coverage, as usual, is outstanding. Thanks you.

    July 12, 2009 at 9:54 pm |
  6. Joe Fattal

    Obama should have stayed a little longer, and he and his family should have retrace back the slaves route to the US on his Air Force One. His still playing the race card, even abroad.

    July 12, 2009 at 9:49 pm |
  7. addo,md

    Bravo! AC Ghana is a peaceful country with diversified culture and hope AC you will show part of it to Americans.

    July 12, 2009 at 9:32 pm |
  8. nanak

    @Anderson...as many have already mentioned, we would greatly appreciate it if you could reiterate that Obama went to Ghana in Africa, not just "Africa". That said, I would like to correct Jennifer Lawson, that Africa does not have 100 countries, but 54 countries. But the more critical point I would like to raise is that this is not Obama's first trip to Africa. He was in Egypt not too long ago, and that is part of Africa. So either you guys say "his first trip to Africa, south of the Sahara", or you say "his second trip to Africa". Clearly, we need not perpetuate the stereotypes of Africa not including parts of North Africa. Many North Africans are equally proud that Obama came to Ghana.

    @Asantehema: I totally agree with Noah. It is very important not only to understand the roots of oppression, but the covert and subtle forms in which it is expressed in society today. Don't delineate your African experience from that of African Americans, if you live in the USA. I always tell my African friends that if you are eating at McDonalds and someone comes to rob the place and a black person is suspected, you and I will be in the lineup. No one would say: "Nah, don't put her in the lineup, she's from Ghana." In America, Black is Black, and Black has a meaning. We should continue to understand that for as much as we strive for racial equality, a color-blind ideology runs the risk of erasing the realities of structural inequalities. As you know, there are many Ghanaians in America you would rather not associate with because "they are not the kinds of Ghanaians you hung out with back home." Same for African Americans - and human beings in general, there is a really wide spectrum of their kind.

    @Anderson... spider bite! Sorry oh, sorry! 🙂

    July 12, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  9. Jerelyne Williams

    To Asantehema & others of likemindedness:
    The scope of your knowledge of the impact of 300 or more years of oppression quite is quite limited. Before shifting blame, try looking at the continuing evolving history of oppression of Blacks. Your readings and schooling have limited your capacity to look further than what goes out as the truth, but in reality is only a fraction of what is true. I will leave you with this ancient fable to reflect on truths and falsehoods: "Truth and Falsehood went for a swim. Falsehood emerged from the water first, dressed in Truth's clothes, and departed. Truth refused to wear the clothing Falsehood left behind, preferring to go naked instead." In the study of American history, and the sacred documents binding the nation in continental union, you will find that much was ignored, shifted to future generations, and never quite made way toward delivering America's promise to all its sons and daughters. Very few have an awareness of the limitations placed on freedoms and limitations to Blacks despite the promises made. Some of what came out of rebuilding the nation following civil strife resulted in blacks having to navigate the tension between formal equality and informal inequality. And so it was that Lincoln failed in the full deliverance of Washington's promise. To get a glimpse of the failure of the deliverance, perhaps a reading of Blackmon's book, ANOTHER KIND OF SLAVERY, and other evolving research can provide some insight into "naked truth' as explained in the fable.

    July 12, 2009 at 4:59 pm |

    Jeanette, which school did you attend? Oh I forgot, American Schools do not teach History neither do they encourage reading anything outside matters concerning the meaningless American pop culture......

    The Slave Castles along the Coast of the Atlantic Ocean in West Africa were mostly built by the PORTUGUESE and later taken over by the BRITISH IMPERIALISTS and COLONIALIST to perpetuate their slave trade.

    Most of the Slaves were shipped to AMERICA (Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, the Orleans, .....), now the UNITED STATES and the WEST INDIES to work on Tobacco, Cotton and Sugar Cane Plantations under cruel and inhumane conditions.

    All the Slaves were owned and traded locally, and used to labor in the cotton fields by White Americans (the WASPS), and the British who were also the colonial masters in this country before George Washington routed them out if I may add, and they profited immensely by the trade and the labor of the slaves.

    That is why your White Ancestors and America is blamed for that unfathomable cruelty. ....... And now you want everybody to just forget because you are ignorant of the history and the Slave Tade in America?

    July 12, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  11. KRYS

    Get agrip people ,In Nazzi Germany there were many slaves taken from many European countries to Germany to work,My Mother was one ane Her entire Family were in work camps they endured abuse,rape ,humilitation and daily beatings.My Father spend five years in Buchenwald taken from Poland at seventeen.He had to work in the ovens area ,You tell Me if that was not slavery?He survived the comp by doing what he was told to do at gun point for five years,let Me tell You he survived bearly phisically but mentally HE never recovered I heard him cry many nights when I was a child.I know that they broke His spirit.Us the kids(3) and Mother survived Him for many years but all of us kids and grandkids witness the strugle of Hers trying to forget and You know she never did.On her dead bed last Nvember She was still afraid of them the nazzis coming to teke Her away.And she was only twelve when She was takin to Germany and passed away at the age of 83 still afraid.

    July 12, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
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