July 15th, 2009
01:06 PM ET
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Omondi Jarambo

    Hi,Anderson,l thank you for a good job.Please keep it up

    Dar es salaam, Tanzania

    July 16, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  2. susan patterson

    i like the tour and everything but why do you guys show the crappy areas of ghana?
    why don't you go to the city and show the pretty places because showing the crappy places is not a very good way to talk about africa!
    im very worried about this problem!!

    July 16, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  3. Deefrancio

    Anderson, That was a brilliant report about the slave trade in Africa.

    But I want to second the comments Manny made in her mail above. I have a lot of Black and white folks who ask so many ignorant questions about the great continent Africa. All of them are highly educated people here in America but their level of ignorance about Africa is amazing. One may ask why? And all the answers come to the level of reportage of the western media about the continent. Been it an expedition trip, philanthropic, HIV/AIDS support/awareness trip etc. My problem here is that as much as horrifying this stories and seen maybe there are egually importnat seen the crew may have experienced. Atleast the crew slept in five star hotel in the city, drove on modern roads in latex salon cars, saw all these tall buildings, and all other modern infrastructure just like we here. Although the purpose of these trips may not be on showcasing these seen but at least snap shots and captions of some of these infrastructures in you report gives our black and white brothers here a balance view about the continent Africa That Africa is not only about jungles, poverty, HIV/AIDS, wars and hunger.
    And to be very honest with you CNN over years has been very culpable in this view. Maybe you have a reason and all Africans I believe will like to know why?

    July 16, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  4. Amaka

    What a horrible event that took place at the cape castle.This is plain wickedness of first degree.Again why do we discriminate against each other when GOD made us Black,White etc and we are all equal /thesame before our creator.Those pepetrators need to seek forgiveness from these countries they have hurt separating mothers,fathers,uncles,aunts etc from loved ones.its really demeaning and horrible.INJUSTIFIABLE

    July 16, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  5. beks

    we the people of ghana are happy for that exclusive with obama in the cape coast castle we hope cnn will open a tv station in ghana so we could closer to you and america thank you

    July 16, 2009 at 8:45 am |
  6. Jennifer K

    Thanks for taking us on a tour of Cape Coast Castle. Is there anytime to share more of your and your staff's thoughts on the experience? Was it a first visit for everyone? Analogous to other experiences?

    You asked President Obama about whether the slave experience still resonates with Americans, but what was it like for you - someone with a lot of experience in seeing difficult situations that people manage to live through - compared to some of the other visitors? Any discussion bout from staff or other visitors on whether or not such locations should remain "tourist" destinations? (I happen to believe preserving the ugly past is as important as the moments of pride.)

    July 16, 2009 at 7:28 am |
  7. Joseph McReynolds, Atlanta

    The Interview with President Obama at the Cape Coast slave fort was very intriguing. However, I kept looking for the "Door of No Return" which had deeply affected me when we visited there recently. If you'll review the video, you will see that you missed it! You kept showing the "Door of Return" which is actually the main entrance & exit. (It is clearly labeled.)
    The "Door of NO Return" is actually a small portal at the bottom of dark, dank stairs under a very low ceiling. It is the most gripping, horrifying symbol of cruelty that I have ever seen.
    Since you plan a summary program this week-end, I thought you would want to show footage of this compelling door. It would really be worth the extra effort.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:47 am |
  8. Lori from IL

    Anderson -

    Thank you for taking us on this "tour" - it was a little disturbing to watch and think about what happened in Cape Coast Castle– but your narration was fantastic, professional and heartfelt at the same time.... Thanks for sharing this with your viewers and showing us what the Obama's saw on their tour... love the background stories.

    July 15, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  9. Annie Kate

    Seeing a real castle that trafficked in the human trade of slavery was sobering. As you walked down into the darkness I thought about all those frightened men, women, and children who made an enforced march into the dark and gloom of the place – imagine being able to hear the ocean but not being able to go outside to look at it or to just look around at a sunny day. The inhumanness with which these people were met and the unspeakable acts against them should never be forgot by white or black and its message should be used to bring us together and not tear us apart.

    July 15, 2009 at 8:57 pm |
  10. riza

    i so agree with tammy houma. . .when do we act with social justice? when will people realize that all human beings are equal in every way. .

    July 15, 2009 at 8:15 pm |
  11. Eugenia - San Francisco, Ca

    Going to California
    Ramble On
    Levee Breaks

    July 15, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  12. Angie D.

    If this interest you–watch the movie "Amazing Grace"

    July 15, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  13. Christina, Windber, PA

    It's hard to watch this video and listen to your report and not get a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. It boggles the mind to think people could treat others so horribly. It's hard to imagine how those who survived managed to survive under some horrible conditions and probably filled with terror.

    I remember watching movies when I was little about how slaves were treated by their owners. It was hard to watch and I found it hard to stay until the end. No one should have to bear that torment; they were treated like animals and that's just not right.

    By the way, what was the rest of the castle used for? Was it common knowledge what went on in the dungeons?

    Thanks for the great report and taking it upon yourself to go down there and show us a little of what it's like. I can't have been pleasant, although not as bad as it was for those poor people back then.

    July 15, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  14. Ratna, New York, NY


    I saw this place in a documentary shown in my Afro-Caribbean study class. Your version is very impressive. The women and children were raped as well.

    July 15, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  15. Alice (Hsiao Chin)

    By the way.....may God and Buddha...and Confucius bless you too!!^___^

    July 15, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  16. Neina

    I was born in Accra Ghana, but lived in Kumasi for the first two years of my life. I have been back home before and would love to go back again. I must first say, that I love your show. You are honest and you are one genuine person. I felt a little homesick when I saw you and the president in country. I hope that you have enjoyed your visit there and I hope that this is an experience you will never forget. The people of Ghana are beautiful in so many ways. Great souls have come and gone. A lot of history has been made in Africa as one. There are so many things that people don't know about Africa except for what they see on TV. I was happy to see that a little bit of history had been told about what had really happened during the slave trade. I have to say that I am proud to be part of this history and culture. Africa has great wonders and rich history that would never be completly told. You would never know that africans are suffering because through all trials and tribulations all african can come together and work through their lives with a smile that you would never forget. The people of africa are proud to be who they are. They are proud of their past, they are proud of their present, and they are proud of their future. They are proud to be one happy family. I am prould myself to be a Ghanaian. Thank you so much Mr. Cooper for going to my country and taking the time to explore all that Ghana has to offer. I also want to thank President Obama, his beautiful wife, First Lady Michelle and also, their children who have been blessed to be able to go with their parents to a land of which their roots have been dug deep, but will not be forgotten. Thank you.

    July 15, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  17. Donna Wood, Lil' Tennessee

    Your Cape Coast Castle tour was absolutely amazing! Let's do it again! Only, maybe without the spider bite next time, you think?

    Donna Wood
    Lexington, Tennessee

    July 15, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  18. Karen

    Anderson! 🙂

    When I tuned in to CNN – AC360 @ 5:00 a.m. (much better for me) I was able to listen to Obama and you talk about what went on at the Castle – with no problem . . . Not the case the second time on the blog video 😦 – too sad. – I had to exit out of that quick.

    . . . I was never a big Jackson fan – I do like a few of his songs – and – of course – I watched the Thriller video on MTV! But his character had flaws.

    Have a good one.

    Thank you.

    Karen 🙂

    July 15, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  19. MANNY

    Hi Anderson, I applaud you for the good job you do… you are such a professional reporter. My question is to you , and my concern is to our news media as a whole. Why is there so much demonization of Africa by our media?. Why is it that we never had a chance to see the better part of Africa?…. The beautiful cities, sky scrapers, office buildings like the types we have here, modern road networks, better looking people, nice housing facilities, hotels, parks, collages and a lot more. Not to say I am desputing any of what is shown.
    All the media carries about that great continent, is evil…wars, hunger stricken looking people, struggling communities, death bodies and flies, bad and dusty farm roads, jungles, aids and sicknesses.
    Be sincere to yourself… Is that all you know about Africa. The pictures you posted here online…. Is that your image of Ghana, is that all you have seen.
    You talked about slavery still existing in Ghana, when the President of United States visited an ancient slave trade dungeon in Ghana in comparison. I believe are a very intelligent man Anderson
    As a matter of fact Anderson, people are beginning to ask questions.. quarrying what they see on TV with reference to what they see when they make a trip to Africa.
    If this is not ignorant in the path of the media…then who are we targeting with this propaganda?

    July 15, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  20. Gail Duncan

    Sad CNN can be bias but i love AC and your honest reporting.

    July 15, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  21. Michelle Johnson, Lomita, CA

    My ancestors are from Africa, Europe, and the U.S. (American Indians). If I visited the Cape Coast, it would not affect me at all–what happened there is long past and irrelevant to what is happening today. Race, ethnicity, and geneaology are unimportant, and I have no interest in tracing mine. It has nothing to do with my identity as an individual. Segmenting into groups and regarding people in terms of ethnicity are backward notions that belong with the ignorant, confining concepts of previous centuries. We should look at one another in terms of character only.

    July 15, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  22. Sharon,Daniel Island, South Carolina

    Thank You! I am africian american , but due to financial limitations I will never be able to make this journey to see this for myself

    July 15, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  23. Paul

    This is a very cruel and grewsom past - but I don't think that this generation of white American's need have to be subject to the insults and reverse discrimination from other race's and countries (including non-white American's) in the world that this past generation of white men (from Europe somewhere, British, Irish, Dutch, Spain, etc.) did to increase their wealth and standing in the "new world" including America.

    We are not that same America, many many new immigrants came over after all that enslaving leaving their familes and starting a new generation of American's who never got to know their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins because these immigrants were able to come over a start a new life filled with 'promise'. The suffering was distriubted amoungst many and all this is adding insult to injury. Let's just keep tearing ourselves down... until there is nothing left. We all need to live together in peace and love... and we have come a long way to start doing just that .. but let's drag ourselves back - so that nothing we do is ever good enough. Start looking forward and start talking and acting good to each other – whatever the color or culture.

    July 15, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  24. squal

    Good reporting.

    I can't even imagine. That's why it's important to give thanks to our ancestors everyday for all that they endured so that we might live. :/

    July 15, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  25. Manuela, Berlin

    Very good history lesson.

    I learned about the slave trade in school, but I haven't known that these places, like the Cape Coast Castle, still exist until I read an article about Sao Tome some years ago.

    Thank you for taking us on this tour.

    July 15, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  26. Ayicho, Toronto, CA

    Thank you for this piece, wish you had enough time to show more!

    July 15, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  27. Joan Henley

    As a white American I too was overwhelmed with emotion when I visited the Slave House on Goree Island off the coast of Dakar, Senegal, when I visited in 1986, another must-see historical site. I can only imagine how African-Americans must feel when they visit these sites. American history classes need to inform our students more about this part of African and African-American history: a story, not only of unbelievable suffering but a testimony to the incredible human strength to survive and endure with great dignity and whose spirit has been passed on to the generations that have followed.

    Thank you to CNN for this important coverage and to President Obama and his family for visiting Ghana and the Cape Coast Castle.

    July 15, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  28. Mawli Koblah(17)

    In the days of Elmina Castle, Cape Coast Castle and The Door of No Return, we, the african comunity, were force to enter ships going to the U.S... In present day one can not even get an appointment for a visa to enter the country...
    A young group of Ghananian citizens applied far ahead of time to get visas for an upcoming religious campout in Oshkosh,WI. After paying for and filling out all the nessesary forms, they were then told to go to a private internet café and pay $1000 for an appointment!! In addition other outrageous advice was given including taking an appointment date on April 6th, 2010 despite the campout ending on August 11, 2009.
    The lack of the fredom to enter and exit is slavery.

    ~Concerned American Citizen

    July 15, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  29. Tai

    Hey Anderson,
    Love your show and great job on the one one with Pres Obama from Ghana. However, I was a little disappointed you did not ask him to expand on his decision to pick Ghana. His decision to snub the regional power house like Nigeria, South Africa and others may come back to hurt him politicaly. These people (Africans) have pride and don't forget or forgive easily. If he wants to solve the continental problems then he needs to engage these superpowers early and not burn bridges. His brief explaination in Italy that it is a budding Democratic Goverment is not enough. He visited Egypt and Saudi Arabia an oppressive regimes who are not even democratic goverments except for their mid-east strategic value to us. My point here is lets not give the extremist in those regions reason to unify. I suggest another planned visit like Pres Clinton did will be good.

    July 15, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  30. Tammy, Houma, LA

    The piece left me with more questions than answers. This spring I was digging into family records and found the will of my sixth great grandfather, a plantation owner from Colonial Virginia. It was surreal reading his bequeathing of slaves to his family members. They were nothing more than property to be disposed of at his death. While I don't know how his slaves were treated, I do know he left them with his siblings (sort of like leaving the family silverware). It was rather mortifying and nauseating to read the mindset of the time that these people were not considered to be equal human beings. Watching the piece on the Cape Coast Castle, it is easy to see how that mentality in America was shared by those in Africa who sold these men and women into slavery, imprisoned them, and sent them away (if they survived long enough to be sent off). It's boggling how even until now people can be seen as less than human due to race, ethnicity, religion, or the multitude of other things that make us think we're better than others and able to treat them like garbage. We saw it in the treatment of people at the Dome and Convention Center after Katrina and the court cases that ruled against victims after it was all said and done. We see it today in our own nation and other countries throughout the world. When does it end? When do we act with social justice instead of hatred and superiority? It's not that the piece was good. It's that the piece was necessary. And the stories need to be told and retold until we actually all get it.

    July 15, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  31. Isabel S • Brazil •

    Reporting very Well done!
    I was impressed with the quality of content. Amazing!

    Pity that the time was not higher! The subject deserved more time! Thanks!

    July 15, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  32. Mike in NYC

    CNN has pounded this story for so long, it's getting boring.

    July 15, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  33. Dee F

    I really appreciated this view into the past. A past that should be preserved so we never forget!

    July 15, 2009 at 1:37 pm |