The place Venture calls Guinea is now the country of Ghana in West Africa. Descendants of Venture Smith visited Ghana in 2015 to learn about their family’s history. Professor and poet Kwadwo Opoku-Agyemang from the University of Cape Coast spoke to the group. He talked about Ghana’s history of slavery. It’s a history, he said, that he feared his country had yet to heal from.
Source: “On Slavery’s Doorstep in Ghana,” The New York Times, January 30, 2015.
When Portuguese traders arrived on the west coast of Africa in the late 15th century, they found a well-established market for slaves in the Asante kingdom. But European demand for slaves in the 18th century caused a huge expansion of the slave trade. Slavery became more violent, and more enslaved people died in slave ships and by being forced to do hard labor under horrible conditions. Venture was caught up in this cross-Atlantic trade in humans.
Source: Bayo Holsey, Routes of Remembrance: Refashioning the Slave Trade in Ghana
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