- Title: GHANA: U.S. President Barack Obama sees Africa's dark past at slavery monument
- Date: 12th July 2009
- Summary: CAPE COAST, GHANA (JULY 11, 2009) (REUTERS) U.S PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S HELICOPTER OVERHEAD VARIOUS OF OBAMA WAVING TO THE CROWD (5 SHOTS) SNIPER ON CAPE COAST CASTLE TWO OBAMA SUPPORTERS WITH A BIG POSTER (SOUNDBITE) (English) CAPE COAST RESIDENT, AHOUNOH, SAYING: "We want more money, more jobs, more investment and more business, Mr Obama." CROWDS
- Embargoed: 27th July 2009 13:00
- Location: Ghana
- Country: Ghana
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA40FBJPPJGU0UOOL2J3HPUUSMH
- Story Text: Thousands of people turned up in Cape Coast, one of Ghana's former slavery forts, to see U.S. president Barack Obama.
After outlining his bright hopes for Africa's future, U.S. President Barack Obama got a glimpse on Saturday (July 11) into one of the darkest chapters of its past -- the transatlantic slave trade.
Obama, the U.S.'s first black president, took his family for a poignant tour of Cape Coast Castle, a seaside fortress used by slave traders starting in the 17th century and which is now a monument to millions of Africans cast into slavery.
He likened his tour of the slave castle to his visit last month to the site of the former Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald in Germany, saying "it reminds us of the capacity of human beings to commit great evil."
But Obama also suggested that from an African American perspective, seeing Cape Coast was bittersweet.
Obama, who received a hero's welcome in Accra, flew by helicopter to the site after addressing Ghana's parliament, where he urged Africans to work to rid the impoverished continent of war, corruption and disease and build a more prosperous future.
But the visit to Cape Coast was a look back at a darker era of African history for Obama, the son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas.
His wife Michelle, who accompanied him on the tour along with their two daughters, is the descendant of Africans shipped to America as slaves.
While drummers kept up a steady beat outside, Obama and his family toured a dungeon where slaves were kept before being shipped out through a "Door of No Return."
Outside the fortress, thousands of people, some wearing Obama t-shirts and others in native robes, pushed against police barricades to catch a glimpse of Obama's departure. When he stepped out and waved, the crowd cheered wildly.
However, on a more practical tone, some Ghanaians in Cape Coast hoped his visit will bring new riches to the country.
"We want more money, more jobs, more investment, and more business, Mr Obama," said Ahounoh, a Cape Coast resident.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None