Melania Trump At Slave Castle In Ghana

Halfway across the Atlantic Ocean, the plane carrying Tani Sanchez and her daughter Tani Sylvester on a heritage tour to Ghana crossed paths with a powerful storm. A sharp drop in elevation hurled flight attendants to the floor. Passengers started screaming and crying. “‘Oh my God, I brought my mom! What did I do?’” Sylvester, 40, recalled thinking as the plane shook. “It was the scariest thing that has ever happened in my life.” After a few minutes, the pilot pulled the aircraft to safety above the dark clouds. Looking back, Sylvester sees the moment of terror as a nudge from the past, an invocation of the suffering of millions of Africans who were crammed into the lightless hulls of ships and sent in the opposite direction during the centuries-long transatlantic slave trade. “I think my ancestors were telling me, this wasn’t an easy trip for us,” she said. “They sailed over that same Atlantic Ocean. It was traumatising and scary for months, and I experienced five minutes of trauma and I was freaking out.” The two Tanis are among a growing number of African Americans exploring their ancestral roots in Ghana, which has encouraged people with Ghanaian heritage to return in honour of the 400th anniversary of the first recorded arrival of African slaves to English settlements in what would one day become America. They had set off the previous day from Los Angeles, where Sylvester works for a digital-streaming service. But their family’s journey began nearly two centuries…

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