Russell Shorto: “On Slavery’s Doorstep in Ghana”

Former JAI director Russell Shorto wrote a travel story about Ghana and slavery in this weekend’s edition of the New York Times. “And there I stood, feet in surf, suddenly stunned, looking up and down the scallop of palm-fringed beach, thinking: ‘The Gold Coast. The Gold Coast.’ It was like a first visit to the White House. Or someplace more elemental: the Acropolis, or Jerusalem’s Old City. Only this, of course, was the opposite of a holy place. The Gold Coast was named for the resource that attracted first Africans and then Europeans, but eventually it became synonymous with another resource, for which the stretch of beach to the east — the Slave Coast — would be named. I looked down. My feet were embedded in sand that had soaked up historic misery.” Read the rest of the story here