At slave castle‒dungeons, the surrounds of centuries- old concretized ne-
cropolises pique the visitor’s imagination. If one actively listens at these
sites of memory of the transatlantic slave trade, one will hear the lamen-
tations growled by the sea. Alongside the structures, fishermen attend to
their business, and women in the nearby markets prepare smoked fish and
sell household supplies and the like. Everyday life seemingly has gone on.
The slave castle‒dungeons in Ghana’s Central Region, despite their more
recently erected gift shops and artisans’ rooms, remain wretched time cap-
sules. They have become places of diasporan mourning whose overpow-
ering presences mock the relative underdevelopment of the towns over
which they hover. In recalling what the death journeys from these sites
entailed and that fateful moment at which each ship dis appeared into the
coalescence of sky and sea, one shudders at how the violent disregard for
human life could have ever happened.
On a practical level, it is clear that monetary greed was the princi-
pal factor that compelled the slave trade: a sordid system that plucked at
least thirty million Africans and nonchalantly dispersed them through-
out the New World. In 1781, the crew of the British- owned Zong slave ship
encountered navigational issues en route to the New World from the Gold
Coast (Ghana), resulting in panic about the possibility that they would not
arrive in the Amer i cas with viable, living commodities. In response to an
introduction
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