The Door of No Return

The Door of No Return

By Richard Brown
Commonweal

I recently visited Elmina Castle with a group of fellow board members from the Theological Book Network, a nonprofit that facilitates the donation of scholarly books to libraries in the developing world, including Ghana. After we toured the castle church, our guide led us to the infamous “Door of No Return,” where black women and men and children had marched, chained and single file, onto awaiting slave ships. We lingered for a few excruciating minutes, then finished the tour before wandering in stunned silence toward the beach. The irony was not lost on us: all of these morally horrific activities were carried out within a fortress named for a martyr of the church who has been revered over the centuries by Christians and Muslims alike.

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