Vice President Harris wiped away tears as she toured the dungeons of Ghana’s Cape Coast slave fortress on Tuesday, and stated the expertise underscored that the historical past of enslaved individuals should be taught and remembered.
Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff spent about an hour on the web site, and handed via the Door of No Return, referred to as the ultimate step earlier than those that had been kidnapped had been compelled onto ships to be transported throughout the Atlantic Ocean.
“The horror of what occurred right here should at all times be remembered. It can’t be denied. It should be taught. Historical past should be realized,” she stated, straying from her ready speech to emphasise the problem.
“We should then be guided by what we all know additionally to be the historical past of those that survived,” she stated. “They inform one other historical past — a historical past of endurance, a historical past of religion, a historical past in believing what is feasible,” she stated.
Harris’ remarks come after an uproar over Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ determination to dam a new highschool Superior Placement course on Black historical past. DeSantis is anticipated to run for his celebration’s nomination for the 2024 presidential race.
Niphah Dennis/AFP by way of Getty Pictures
Harris, the highest-ranking Biden administration official to go to Africa, can also be visiting Tanzania and Zambia throughout her week-long journey. Biden is anticipated to go to the continent later this yr.
Kwesi Blankson guided Harris and Emhoff on their tour. He instructed reporters that it was a solemn second.
“I instructed her concerning the dungeons and ladies particularly, how they held within the dungeons and the way they seemed up via the holes to and pray to the sky god for redemption and the way a few of them sang,” Blankson stated, including that he sang one of many songs for Harris that was concerning the issues of life.
The vice chairman stated she deliberate to hold the anguish and ache from Cape Coast Citadel along with her, and use it to struggle for freedom and justice. She famous that the descendants of enslaved individuals went on to struggle for civil rights in america and everywhere in the world.
“The descendants of the individuals who walked via that door had been robust individuals, proud individuals, individuals of deep religion individuals who beloved their households, their traditions, their tradition,” Harris stated. “All of us, no matter your background, have benefited from their battle and their struggle for freedom and for justice.”