Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

Did you know?

1. No African country names begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

2. Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent.

3. The Republic of the Congo is one of the most urbanized countries in Africa.

Ghana Slave Castles

The three largest slave castles in Ghana were Cape Coast Slave Castle, Christiansborg and Elmina Castle. 

Between 1482 and 1786 in Ghana, European-style coastal forts and slave castles were built to house millions of newly captured African slaves, gold, wood, and textiles arriving in North America to work plantations in English colonies. 

Cape Coast Slave Castle in Ghana
Cape Coast Slave Castle in Ghana

Because of the Atlantic slave trade and the profound effect on the history of West Africa numerous forts were built perched on Ghana's Atlantic Coast. 

Ghana was called the Gold Coast at the time of the slave trade, the importation of slaves into the United States was outlawed in 1807. 

The Castles and Forts of Ghana shaped not only Ghana’s history but that of the world over four centuries as the focus of first the gold trade and then the slave trade.

Many rulers of West African empires, such as the Ashanti kingdom, whose descendants still live in this part of modern-day Ghana, also profited, selling captured slaves in exchange for guns, jewelry, cloth, alcohol and other manufactured goods. 

Slave forts on the Atlantic like the Cape Coast and Elmina castles were the last place captured African slaves would ever see in their homeland. 

From castles such as the three largest, Cape Coast Castle, Christiansborg and Elmina Castle where European authorities lived in comfort right above the dungeons that held the slaves, the captured Africans walked through the Door of No Return onto the ships that would take them to America.

Around 40 slave castles were built in Ghana, the three largest slave castles were Cape Coast Castle, Christiansborg and Elmina Castle.

Cape Coast Castle Elmina Castle Christiansborg
Built by Sweden in 1653 Built by the Portuguese in 1482 Built by the Danish in 1659
Castle dungeon a place of death 30,000 slaves passed through each year Roman Catholic chapel built onsite

Ghana has been inhabited for at least several thousand years. The castles and forts were built and occupied at different times by slave traders from Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Germany and Britain. Elmina Castle, built in 1482, is one of the oldest European buildings outside Europe, and the historic town of Elmina is believed to be the location of the first point of contact between Europeans and sub-Saharan Africans.

"Slavery is not something from the past, it still has tragic consequences today. We need to continue talking about the heritage and acknowledgment of the important contributions of enslaved people to our modern world. In parallel, racism and discrimination, which are still poisoning our world today, need to be eradicated." Gabriela Ramos UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences

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Chic African Culture and The African Gourmet=

Africa is surrounded by water but is not an island, here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent. Continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many people who study geography define islands and continents as two different things.

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