House of Slaves (Gorée)

The House of Slaves and its Door of No Return is a museum and memorial to the Atlantic slave trade on Gorée Island, 3 km off the coast of the city of Dakar, Senegal. Its museum, which was opened in 1962 and curated until Boubacar Joseph Ndiaye's death in 2009, is said to memorialise the final exit point of the slaves from Africa. While historians differ on how many African slaves were actually held in this building, as well as the relative importance of Gorée Island as a point on the Atlantic Slave Trade, visitors from Africa, Europe, and the Americas continue to make it an important place to remember the human toll of African slavery.MemorialThe House of Slaves was reconstructed and opened as a museum in 1962 largely through the work of Boubacar Joseph Ndiaye . Ndiaye was an advocate of both the memorial and proclamation that slaves were held in the building in great numbers and from here transported directly to the Americas. Eventually becoming curator of the Museum, Ndiaye claimed that more than a million slaves passed through the doors of the house. This belief has made the house both a tourist attraction and the site for state visits by world leaders to Senegal.Academic controversySince the 1980s, academics have downplayed the role that Gorée played in the Atlantic Slave Trade while others have exalted it, arguing that it is unlikely that many slaves actually walked through the door, and that Gorée itself was marginal to the Atlantic slave trade. Ndiaye and other Senegalese have always maintained that the site is more than a memorial and is an actual historic site in the transport of Africans to British, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Portuguese colonies of the Americas, and thus undercounted by Anglophone researchers.

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Dakar
Dakar
67350

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