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  • Brian D. Hinson

Ile Goree and the Slave Trade



Off the coast of west African nation Senegal is a tiny island that was a center of the Atlantic slave trade in the 16th and 17th centuries. Despite its cruel past, today it’s idyllic and peaceful and bursting with color.


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It’s a quick trip out of Dakar by ferry, and you leave the bustle of the big city for a tranquil island of reflection. The flowers, the shores, and the old colonial architecture are stunning. Some of the history is rotting away. So be it.


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But everyone comes for the slave house, an oddly pink building where people were shipped off to other ports as property. The Door of No Return gives one pause. From here, for someone captured for the slave trade, there was no hope of the old life. Here, all were damned to live for nothing but labor for their owner, if they survived the journey.


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But this history, this slave house, should remain. The darkest moments of human history should never be forgotten.

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