Haitian Hollywood star actor, Jimmy Jean-Louis has visited the Cape Coast Castle where he went on an emotional journey of how slaves were transported from Africa to Europe and elsewhere in the years of slave trade. Cape Coast Castle is one of about thirty “slave castles”, or large commercial forts, built on the Gold Coast of West Africa (now Ghana) by European traders. It was originally built by the Swedes for trade in timber and gold, but later used in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Other Ghanaian slave castles include Elmina Castle and Fort Christiansborg. They were used to hold slaves before they were loaded onto ships and sold in the Americas, especially the Caribbean. This “gate of no return” was the last stop before crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
Gaining its independence in 1804, Haiti was the first independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean, the second republic in the Americas, and the only nation in the world established as a result of a successful slave revolt. Its successful revolution by slaves and free people of color lasted nearly a decade; all the first leaders of government were former slaves. Haiti is one of two independent nations in the Americas (along with Canada) to designate French as an official language; the other French-speaking areas are all overseas départements, or collectivités, of France.