Slave trade a horror that shouldn’t be forgotten – Kamala Harris

FILED - US Vice President Kamala Harris Photo: Michael Brochstein/Zuma Press/dpa
FILED - US Vice President Kamala Harris Photo: Michael Brochstein/Zuma Press/dpa

The visiting United States Vice President, Kamala Harris, has condemned the crime and atrocity of slave trade, which dehumanised and killed many Africans.

In a mournful demeanour, she said: “The horror of the slave trade is one that should not be forgotten but must be taught and learned.”

She made the remarks after a tour of the dungeons of the Cape Coast Castle as part of her three-day working visiting to Ghana.

Harris, accompanied by the Second Gentleman of the US, Douglas Emhoff, first made a detour to the Emintsimadze Palace, the seat of the Oguaamanhen, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, to pay a courtesy call on him before proceeding to the Castle.

A picturesque scene, collaboratively created by the Gulf of Guinea, historic colonial structures, and arrays of Ghana and US flags in and around the white Palace met Harris and her entourage on arrival.

As early as 09:00 hours, major roads and entry points to the Palace and the castle, including Bakano and Robert Mensah Stadium roads, were partially blocked to traffic as part of security measures.

The euphoria, which was somewhat overshadowed by the quietness of the ancient city earlier in the day, due to strict security arrangements, came alive some two hours prior to her arrival.

Addressing the gathering after the tour of the dungeons, she pointed out that the world must be guided by history of the descendants of the slave victims in the Americas and the Caribbean, who survived hostile systems designed to break and dehumanise them.

“All these stories must be told in a way that we take from this place the pain we all feel, the anguish that reeks from this place,” she said.

“And we then carry the knowledge that we may have gained here towards the work that we do in lifting up all people, in recognising the struggles of all people….”

“… Of fighting for, as the walls of this place talk about, justice and freedom for all people, human rights for all people.”

Earlier, at the Emintsimadze Palace, the Oguaamanhen gave a brief history of Cape Coast and how the historic city was used to perpetrate crime against humanity.

He urged the two countries to use the lessons learnt to ‘hold each other’s hand’ for a better future.
Osabarimba Atta told Vice President Harris about a slave museum to be built by the Traditional Council to tell the story of the African Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and urged her to support it as a legacy project.

Harris arrived in Ghana on Sunday, the latest in a series of visits by top US officials, to begin her three-nation tour of Africa, starting from Ghana, then to Tanzania and Zambia.

Her visit is a sequel to a conference hosted by US President Joe Biden with African leaders in Washington.
The visit focuses on economic development, climate change and food security as the US seeks to strengthen partnerships with Africa.

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