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Door of No Return in Senegal

Updated: May 16, 2023

Senegambia- Goree island, Senegal

"Goree Island, like Ouidah and Elmina, received attention and revitalization in the '80s and tourism growth in the '90s. The focal point in the 3 km island off the coast of Dakar is the Maison des Esclaves (The House of Slaves) African museum and the infamous door of no return displaced along the slave route memorial along the coast of West Africa. The African museum was built in 1962 and curated by Boubacar Joseph Ndiaye before his death in 2009.

My first visit to the Maison de Esclaves, Senegal, was summer of 2004, years before the start of my research. It was a very emotional experience with the interaction and presentation of Boubacar Ndiaye. Several people cried during Ndiaye's passionate narratives of the enslaved Africans' experience. With shackles in hand and dramatic pauses, he led us through the various rooms and explained the enslaved Africans crippling oppression in those dungeon rooms. Finally, we were led to the door of no return to witness the enslaved Africans final moment on Africa's soil. We can conclude that Boubacar Ndiaye's slavery remembrance presentation set the stage for all subsequent presentations along the coast of West Africa.”

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

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