Saturday, November 14, 2009

James Island

This weekend we visited James Island and Juffure village. We followed the path of the slave trade in The Gambia. We started at the Museum, then went on a Roots heritage trail. The Gambia was where Kunte Kinteh was born, he was a slave in Virginia and his ancestor Alex Haley wrote the book Roots. We walked along the Roots heritage trail which was the path the captured slave took, on their way to James Island. The above picture is where Kunte Kinteh lived.

We took a motor boat over to James Island, which was the final departure site for slaves.

The island was 3x the size, but erosion has taken it's toll. At James Island slaves were kept, sorted, then ships were boarded.
This was definitely a heavy day. To physically be where they had suffered, was heart breaking. The guides constantly told us to free our minds.

England abolished slavery in 1807, but that did not mean it stopped. Fort Bullon was built to fight ships taking slaves, and there are cannons along the river bank. James Island still operated through the 1830's. Slaves were told if they could escape and swim across the river and touch the freedom poll at the other side, they would be freed. Many tried, but most drowned. This picture shows how far they had to swim.

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