Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Elmina (C/R), July 30, GNA – Ms Nancy
Patricia Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives and members of the
Congressional Black Caucus, on Tuesday made historic visits to the Elmina and
Cape Coast Castles, as part of activities to mark the 400th Anniversary of the
First Enslaved Africans Landing in America.
At the Elmina Castle where a durbar was
organised to welcome them, Speaker Pelosi, assisted by members of the
Congregation Delegation, laid a wreath at the entrance of the Male Slave
The 14-member Delegation, led by Speaker
Pelosi performed a symbolic hand washing with samples of water fetched from
Assin Manso River.
The symbolic cleansing was so emotional as
some members of the Congress men and women sobbed and seen wiping their tears
with white handkerchiefs.
The Assin Manso River was the final place
where all the captives were bathed before being marched in chains and shackles
to the Elmina Castle for the journey to America and Caribbean.
A minute silence was observed in memory of
the captives who died while being shipped to Americas.
Congress Member Karen Bass, who doubles as
the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, explained the purpose of their
visit to the Castle.
“We want to see what happened to our
ancestors as they embarked on the treacherous journey to endure 250 years of
enslavement in the Americas,” Congresswoman Bass said.
She said the visit was also meant to
commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first slaves who landed in the
Americas, which would be followed with a similar commemorative ceremony at the
House of Representation in the US.
The delegation was conducted round the
Castle by tour guides to learn the history of the Castle and trans-Atlantic
Nana Kojo Conduah VI, the Paramount Chief of
Elmina, earlier in his welcome address, said though the slave trade was painful
experience and an unfortunate event, Africans have contributed immensely
towards the building of a powerful American nation.
Therefore, the African Americans, in a
reciprocal manner, should support Africa’s development efforts and leave an
indelible foot prints with their efforts.
The Paramount Chief urged the African
American Congress men and women to support Akufo-Addo Government’s
industrialization agenda and the Free Senior High School Policy.
Speaker Pelosi presented a
beautifully-designed ceramic bowl as symbolic invitation to Nana Kojo Conduah
VI, to visit the US House of Representation upon a request by the Edina
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