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Door of No Return in Ghana

Updated: May 24, 2023

Gold Coast- Elmina, Ghana

“In the 80s, former president Jerry Rawlings of Ghana revolutionized the world's perception of Ghana's image and relevancy by entering the tourism industry. He converted Ghana's fifty castles and forts that dot the Ghanaian coastal landscape into heritage sites. Upon arrival at Elmina, a fishing and salt production village, we passed the small fishing village with countless boats and canoes adorned with beautiful festive colors and flags. The locals were friendly, and some were selling small native crafts in front of the castle.

Several tours were going on simultaneously. Our certified guide arrived and took our group inside the courtyard. He started with a brief history of the castle and its purpose over the centuries. We entered the various sectional storage rooms, where he explained in unfortunate detail the plight and experiences of the enslaved Africans. The door of no return is always the focal feature in these tours. The door signifies the last "double consciousness" of the Africans. As they pass the door and enter the ship, they must live a new life as a being other and beyond themselves and try to remember who they are to be able to recreate their essence in the new world.”

(Excerpt from Anyanwu 2023 doctoral dissertation “All the Salsa in Between…”)

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