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Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
This month marks 400 years since the first recorded African slaves arrived in North America to work plantations in English colonies. In the centuries after, European slave traders shipped millions of African men, women and children across the Atlantic Ocean. Many died in horrific conditions on the slave boats, while survivors endured a life of misery and backbreaking farm work.

For some of them, the terrible journey began here, deep inside Ghana. Captured by slavers, they were marched along dirt tracks for 200 kilometers (125 miles) to slave castles perched on the Atlantic Coast, where they boarded ships for North America. They never saw their homeland again.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZM
August 01, 2019
Nana Assenso, 68, chief of Adidwan, a village in Ghana's interior, looks on before visiting the grave...
ADIDWAN, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Nana Assenso, 68, chief of Adidwan, a village in Ghana's interior, looks on before visiting the grave of his uncle Kwame Badu, in Adidwan, Ashanti Region, Ghana, July 21, 2019. His uncle's name Kwame Badu, has been passed on through the family in remembrance of an ancestor with that name who was captured and sold into slavery long, long ago. "Growing up, I was told the story of two of my great-great-grand-uncles Kwame Badu and Kofi Aboagye who were captured and sold into slavery," said Assenso. He followed the family tradition and named his youngest son Kwame Badu. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZO
August 01, 2019
Nana Assenso, 68, chief of Adidwan, a village in Ghana's interior, visits the grave of his late uncle...
ADIDWAN, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Nana Assenso, 68, chief of Adidwan, a village in Ghana's interior, visits the grave of his late uncle Kwame Badu, in Adidwan, Ashanti Region, Ghana, July 21, 2019. His uncle's name Kwame Badu, has been passed on through the family in remembrance of an ancestor with that name who was captured and sold into slavery long, long ago. "Growing up, I was told the story of two of my great-great-grand-uncles Kwame Badu and Kofi Aboagye who were captured and sold into slavery," said Assenso. He followed the family tradition and named his youngest son Kwame Badu. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZH
August 01, 2019
The River Pra which runs parallel to the Assin Praso heritage village, Ghana, July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe...
ASSIN PRASO, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
The River Pra which runs parallel to the Assin Praso heritage village, Ghana, July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZR
August 01, 2019
A woman walks trough the bushes in Prestea, a mining town in southwest Ghana, July 27, 2019. People of...
Prestea, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
A woman walks trough the bushes in Prestea, a mining town in southwest Ghana, July 27, 2019. People of Prestea are Wassa people, they have fought wars against the British and some were captured and made slaves. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZP
August 01, 2019
Nana Assenso, 68, chief of Adidwan, a village in Ghana's interior, speaks on the phone before visiting...
ADIDWAN, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Nana Assenso, 68, chief of Adidwan, a village in Ghana's interior, speaks on the phone before visiting the grave of his uncle Kwame Badu, in Adidwan, Ashanti Region, Ghana, July 21, 2019. His uncle's name Kwame Badu, has been passed on through the family in remembrance of an ancestor with that name who was captured and sold into slavery long, long ago. "Growing up, I was told the story of two of my great-great-grand-uncles Kwame Badu and Kofi Aboagye who were captured and sold into slavery," said Assenso. He followed the family tradition and named his youngest son Kwame Badu. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZJ
August 01, 2019
Congregants dance as they attend a church service at Mampong, a small town in the Ashanti region, Ghana,...
MAMPONG, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Congregants dance as they attend a church service at Mampong, a small town in the Ashanti region, Ghana, July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZI
August 01, 2019
A pastor looks on as he is about to be transported to church in Kumasi, in the Ashanti region, Ghana,...
Kumasi, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
A pastor looks on as he is about to be transported to church in Kumasi, in the Ashanti region, Ghana, July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZG
August 01, 2019
Adum market is seen at nightfall in Kumasi, Ghana, July 22, 2019. This central business district of Kumasi...
Kumasi, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Adum market is seen at nightfall in Kumasi, Ghana, July 22, 2019. This central business district of Kumasi is the hub for trade that supplies the hinterlands and northern parts of Ghana with goods from the south. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZE
August 01, 2019
Artisanal miners take a break in Prestea, a mining town in southwest Ghana, July 25, 2019. People of...
Prestea, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Artisanal miners take a break in Prestea, a mining town in southwest Ghana, July 25, 2019. People of Prestea are Wassa people, they have fought wars against the British and some were captured and made slaves. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZD
August 01, 2019
A boy rides a bicycle along a road in Denyase, Ashanti Region, Ghana, July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Francis...
DENYASE, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
A boy rides a bicycle along a road in Denyase, Ashanti Region, Ghana, July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZC
August 01, 2019
Locals walk on a street in Tarkwa, Ghana, July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY"...
TARKWA, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Locals walk on a street in Tarkwa, Ghana, July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZB
August 01, 2019
Lotto writer inside his kiosk reviews a lottery paper while a customer waits outside with her baby in...
MAMPONG, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Lotto writer inside his kiosk reviews a lottery paper while a customer waits outside with her baby in Mampong, Ashanti Region, Ghana, July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZA
August 01, 2019
Locals walk on a street of Prestea, a mining town in southwest Ghana, July 25, 2019. People of Prestea...
Prestea, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Locals walk on a street of Prestea, a mining town in southwest Ghana, July 25, 2019. People of Prestea are Wassa people, they have fought wars against the British and some were captured and made slaves. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZ9
August 01, 2019
A boy carries a bucket as the Elmina Castle is seen in the background in Elmina, Ghana, July 29, 2019....
Elmina, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
A boy carries a bucket as the Elmina Castle is seen in the background in Elmina, Ghana, July 29, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZ7
August 01, 2019
Enestina Kojo, Hagar Boadu Washington and Babara Oteng chat in Prestea, a mining town in southwest Ghana,...
Prestea, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Enestina Kojo, Hagar Boadu Washington and Babara Oteng chat in Prestea, a mining town in southwest Ghana, July 25, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZ5
August 01, 2019
Traders walk across a footbridge in Adum market at nightfall in Kumasi, Ghana, July 22, 2019. This central...
Kumasi, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Traders walk across a footbridge in Adum market at nightfall in Kumasi, Ghana, July 22, 2019. This central business district of Kumasi is the hub for trade that supplies the hinterlands and northern parts of Ghana with goods from the south. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZ2
August 01, 2019
A general view shows the town of Prestea, a small mining town in the Western Region, in southwest Ghana,...
Prestea, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
A general view shows the town of Prestea, a small mining town in the Western Region, in southwest Ghana, July 26, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZ1
August 01, 2019
British and American flags are among other flags hoisted on fishermen's boats at the Cape Coast Castle...
CAPE COAST, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
British and American flags are among other flags hoisted on fishermen's boats at the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana, July 28, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SZ0
August 01, 2019
Prince Tete, a local leans against a fence of a mass grave at the Assin Praso heritage site, Ghana, July...
ASSIN PRASO, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Prince Tete, a local leans against a fence of a mass grave at the Assin Praso heritage site, Ghana, July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SYZ
August 01, 2019
Tourists gather at the Assin Manso river, Ghana, July 23, 2019. Near the journey's end in Ghana, the...
ASSIN MANSO, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Tourists gather at the Assin Manso river, Ghana, July 23, 2019. Near the journey's end in Ghana, the captives were given a last, ritual bath in the river before being sold. Today, the Assin Manso site is a sacred place of remembrance. In this area of mangrove swamps, an image of slaves chained by the feet promises, "Never again." REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SYW
August 01, 2019
A boy gets a hair cut as his friends wait in Adanse Meduma, Ashanti Region, Ghana, July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Francis...
ADANSE MEDUMA, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
A boy gets a hair cut as his friends wait in Adanse Meduma, Ashanti Region, Ghana, July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SYU
August 01, 2019
Children dressed in traditional style cloth wrappings entertain residents of Kofi Gyan, a village on...
KOFI GYAN, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Children dressed in traditional style cloth wrappings entertain residents of Kofi Gyan, a village on Tarkwa-Bogoso road, with a cultural performance in the middle of the night, in Kofi Gyan, Ghana, July 26, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SYS
August 01, 2019
Kwaku Agyei, 71, a pastor and resident of Obuasi, tells the story of slave trade to young workers in...
Obuasi, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Kwaku Agyei, 71, a pastor and resident of Obuasi, tells the story of slave trade to young workers in his neighbourhood, in Obuasi, Ghana, July 25, 2019. "They captured us because they realised we were very strong," the Agyei said. "They sent our ancestors to work on sugar plantations. The slave trade made us realise that the white man was cruel." But many rulers of West African empires, such as the Ashanti kingdom, whose descendants still live in this part of modern-day Ghana, also profited, selling captured slaves in exchange for guns, cloth, alcohol and other Western manufactured goods. "Our elders exchanged their children for 'nice things' like matchboxes," Agyei said. But once again, his pride in his heritage shows through. "I can say our ancestors were the ones who developed America," he says. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SYR
August 01, 2019
Woman cooks palm nuts to make oil on the road that connects Obuasi to Cape Coast, Ghana, July 26, 2019....
Obuasi, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Woman cooks palm nuts to make oil on the road that connects Obuasi to Cape Coast, Ghana, July 26, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SYP
August 01, 2019
Saviour Asante, 30, a hair dresser in Obuasi, shows her gold tooth as she smiles, in Obuasi, Ghana, July...
Obuasi, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Saviour Asante, 30, a hair dresser in Obuasi, shows her gold tooth as she smiles, in Obuasi, Ghana, July 25, 2019. Asante had given little thought to slave history growing up. That changed with a visit to Cape Coast castle. "I cried the whole day," she said. "It was a very painful experience to hear these stories." REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SYM
August 01, 2019
Abdul Sumud Shaibu, 50, shows a photograph of his grandfather on his mobile phone, in Obuasi, Ghana,...
Obuasi, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Abdul Sumud Shaibu, 50, shows a photograph of his grandfather on his mobile phone, in Obuasi, Ghana, July 25, 2019."My ancestors were giants," he said. "They were well-built and strong. Look at the height of my grandfather in this picture." They did battle with slave raiders, he says. In those fights, sometimes they lost. And sometimes they were captured into slavery. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SYK
August 01, 2019
Obituaries and political posters are seen mounted along a road in Denyase, Ashanti Region, Ghana, July...
DENYASE, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Obituaries and political posters are seen mounted along a road in Denyase, Ashanti Region, Ghana, July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SYJ
August 01, 2019
Clothes left behind by performers reenacting what female slaves went through during their detention at...
Elmina, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Clothes left behind by performers reenacting what female slaves went through during their detention at the Elmina Castle, lie on the floor at the castle in Ghana, July 29, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SYH
August 01, 2019
A man walks past a torn-down colonial building in Mampong, Ashanti Region, Ghana, July 20, 2019. REUTERS/Francis...
MAMPONG, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
A man walks past a torn-down colonial building in Mampong, Ashanti Region, Ghana, July 20, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SYF
August 01, 2019
Boys take extra lessons after school hours in Obuasi, Ghana, July 25, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko...
Obuasi, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Boys take extra lessons after school hours in Obuasi, Ghana, July 25, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SYC
August 01, 2019
Crowds sit for late night church service in Obuasi, Ghana, July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko ...
Obuasi, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
Crowds sit for late night church service in Obuasi, Ghana, July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SYA
August 01, 2019
A view shows the gold-mining town of Obuasi, Ghana, July 25, 2019. The Gold Coast, present day Ghana,...
Obuasi, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
A view shows the gold-mining town of Obuasi, Ghana, July 25, 2019. The Gold Coast, present day Ghana, was named after the vast amount of gold found in Obuasi and Ashanti region. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
AFRICA-SLAVERY/JOURNEY
RTX71SY7
August 01, 2019
A boy walks out of his home in Mampong, a small town in the Ashanti region, Ghana, July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe...
MAMPONG, Ghana
The Wider Image: Retracing a slave route in Ghana, 400 years on
A boy walks out of his home in Mampong, a small town in the Ashanti region, Ghana, July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko SEARCH "SLAVERY JOURNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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