Melania Trump visits former slave outpost in Ghana

Melania Trump spent her second day in Ghana touring a former slave outpost and learning about some of the co...

Posted: Oct 4, 2018 4:52 AM
Updated: Oct 4, 2018 4:52 AM

Melania Trump spent her second day in Ghana touring a former slave outpost and learning about some of the country's tragic past, as part of her first solo trip abroad as first lady.

After receiving ceremonial permission to enter the area, Trump made the brief motorcade drive to Cape Coast Castle, a massive compound on the beach that was built in the mid-1600s. Originally a timber and gold trading outpost, the structure morphed into a "slave castle," one of about 40 or so similar outposts used by foreigners to trade and purchase slaves, taking them from West Africa and into lives of unwilling servitude.

"This is a very special place," said Trump, after spending almost an hour taking a tour with the museum's director, Kwesi Essel-Blankson. "I will never forget the incredible experience and the stories that I heard."

Trump, who had changed from her heels into flat-soled shoes in order to walk the vast Castle grounds, climbed the stairs of the various levels of the fort, and spent several minutes below ground to see the dungeon, where the slaves were held in tight, dark and dank cells before being traded.

On the wall near the dungeon entrance was a marble plaque that Trump stopped to read: "This plaque was unveiled by President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama of the United States of America on the occasion of their visit to the Cape Coast Castle on the 11th day of July 2009."

The first lady told the press her own visit to Cape Coast Castle was a memorable experience.

"The dungeons ... what happened so many years ago. It's really a tragedy," she said.

Trump also walked through the fabled "Door of No Return," an archway over a small tunnel that led from the main square of the interior castle down to the beach, where large waves crashed upon the shore. This was where the slaves would depart the castle and board slave ships. Trump laid a wreath of white flowers in memory.

At the end of her castle visit, Trump signed the guest book, telling the press she wrote, "thank you for your warm welcome. With love, Melania Trump."

Ceremonial permission

Before Trump could explore the area, including a visit to Cape Coast Castle, she had to ask the local chief for permission.

While a ceremonial ritual of expected protocol more than an official governmental procedure, the first lady was respectful of the tradition, and agreed to join the chieftain of the regional Fante tribe and his court at Emintsimadze Palace, a white-washed, open-air compound. A large banner with Trump's picture and the words "Awkwaaba (Welcome) to Cape Coast H.E Melania Trump" hung from a balcony on one of the buildings. The palace is also home to "Obama Hall," dubbed such after a visit from then-President Barack Obama in 2009.

As Trump entered the chief's permission ceremony, which last approximately 15 minutes, she was greeted by a seven-year-old girl in native dress who handed her a bouquet of flowers.

Trump, wearing an olive-green shirt and brown pants, with her ubiquitous five-inch high heels, asked the girl her name and said she was "beautiful," bending down to give her a hug. The first lady was led to a stage area by another group of young girls dressed in brightly colored kente cloth outfits, blowing traditional horns wrapped in ribbons.

Seated in a chair next to Chief Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, who was on his ornate throne, Trump spoke softly, smiling as she told the tribal leader: "Thank you very much for your warm welcome. I'm very honored to be here in your beautiful country. I'm very happy to be here."

As the ceremony proceeded, the chief offered Trump a large tray full of kente cloths, handmade sandals and a handmade necklace and bracelet, which she stood to accept. He then granted her permission to visit Cape Coast Castle.

On Wednesday, Trump departs Ghana, continuing her solo tour of Africa -- next stops include Malawi, Kenya and Egypt.

West Lafayette
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 64°
Kokomo
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 63°
Rensselaer
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 63°
Fowler
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 63°
Williamsport
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 58°
Crawfordsville
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 60°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
60° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 60°
Delphi
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 61°
Monticello
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 61°
Logansport
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 57°
Very Warm, Then Rainfall Potential, Followed by Much Cooler Weather
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 113337

Reported Deaths: 3530
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20936761
Lake10334319
Elkhart6438109
St. Joseph6226103
Allen6060200
Hamilton4761109
Vanderburgh349430
Hendricks2681122
Monroe251236
Tippecanoe231213
Johnson2279123
Clark215756
Porter209046
Cass19339
Delaware189561
Vigo178524
Madison161075
LaPorte138239
Floyd132161
Howard129063
Warrick122336
Kosciusko120617
Bartholomew115357
Marshall99424
Dubois95918
Boone95646
Hancock91443
Grant89733
Noble89432
Henry78125
Wayne74714
Jackson7429
Morgan70638
Shelby66629
Daviess65428
Dearborn63928
LaGrange63211
Clinton59513
Harrison56424
Putnam53810
Lawrence50628
Montgomery50521
Knox5039
Gibson4894
White48214
DeKalb46311
Decatur45739
Miami4303
Greene41935
Fayette41813
Jasper3862
Steuben3747
Scott35910
Sullivan33112
Jennings31212
Posey3090
Franklin30325
Clay2985
Orange28624
Ripley2828
Carroll27113
Wabash2628
Washington2611
Whitley2556
Starke2537
Adams2523
Wells2503
Jefferson2443
Fulton2352
Huntington2223
Spencer2223
Tipton22022
Perry21513
Randolph2097
Jay1750
Newton17211
Owen1671
Martin1640
Rush1534
Pike1411
Vermillion1260
Fountain1202
Pulaski1151
Blackford1133
Brown1033
Crawford1030
Parke961
Benton880
Ohio777
Union770
Switzerland690
Warren391
Unassigned0225

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events