To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first documented arrival of Africans in Virginia, a Philadelphia travel agency has organized a once-in-a-lifetime historic trip, retracing the steps of history in Ghana, dating back to 1619, the birthplace of so many Americans of African descent.
Lloyd Murray, founder and president of Palace Travel, says this trip is one of the most unique trips and experiences he has ever led to Africa. The “Historic Return of the African Diaspora” tour will take place August 5 to August 14, 2019. It is billed as an opportunity to draw the world’s attention to this symbolic moment of the long history of African enslavement.
“For the first time traveler to Africa, I would say that this trip will offer them a rich, heartwarming experience that they truly won’t get with any other tour,” Murray said. “For those who have traveled to Ghana before, all I have to say, you’ll experience this country in a way that you’ve never experienced in the past. With the 400-year anniversary, I’ve worked with the tourism office and government officials to give you access to a trip that will get you even more familiar with Ghana’s rich culture and history.”
What makes this trip unique is that it will take travelers along the slave route from capture to storage at Cape Coast Slave dungeon now referred to as Slave Castles. Also included will be atonement ceremonies. There will be wreath-laying and tributes to Pan African pioneers, including Dr. W.E.B. Dubois, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and Marcus Mosiah Garvey. Diaspora participants will meet with chiefs and elders and will be addressed by high-level government officials.
Noted historians and local experts will take visitors on tours of W.E.B. DuBois’ former home and cultural visits to the Ashanti Kingdom where the groups will be especially welcomed by the Ashanti King. One of the more emotional legs of the trip will take travelers to Cape Coast Castle, known for the infamous “The Door of No Return” through which millions passed on the way to slavery. This is where travelers will be guest of the Paramount Chief of Elmina, Nana Kojo Conduah IV. The day will be capped off with the traditional Fihankra Ceremony –where Returnees will participate in a traditional Naming Ceremony and receive their certificates of authentication.
The Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum holds the remains of the first President of Ghana Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.(Courtesy photo)
Cape Coast Castle is one of about forty “slave castles,” or large commercial forts, built on the Gold Coast of West Africa by European traders. (Courtesy photo)
Known as nwentom in Akan, kente cloth is a type of silk and cotton fabric made of interwoven cloth strips made and native to the Akan ethnic group of Ghana. (Courtesy photo)