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Goree Island is not a place you want to describe as beautiful given its history with the Atlantic slave trade, and yet when you’re looking at the deep blue waters, clear skies, and vibrant architecture that’s exactly what you think. It’s hard to imagine the horrors that went on there for 300 years at the House of Slaves and even harder to imagine that people have been able to, in the word’s of the curator, forgive, though not forget, the past.
Today DIAS took their 12 exchange students, some Senegalese peers, and faculty to the island to learn more about its history and see the area first hand. They got to explore the House of Slaves, climb to the highest point of the island, see some of the little markets, watch an artist make beautiful artwork out of sand, have lunch and relax on the beach.
There are no words for what has happened in the past. No amount of learning, describing, or seeing could really embody what went on there. One of the most well known slave ports in Western Africa, Goree Island saw upwards of 20 million slaves go through it’s Door of No Return (where the slaves were sent out to the boats) and 6 million of them die whether it be to mistreatment or the unhygienic living conditions these men, women, and children were forced into.
Though the island is small, less than on kilometer long, it is full of rich history that the students were very happy to have gotten to learn more about and see first hand.