Off the coast of Freetown, Sierra Leone, lies Bunce Island, home to a slave castle built by European traders to facilitate their trade in human beings from West Africa.  Because of its location and the local African’s specialty in rice-growing, Bunce Island has a closer link to the United States than any other slave castle in West Africa.–supplying the majority of African slaves to Georgia and South Carolina during it’s over one hundred years of operation. During our May trip Isaiah was fortunate enough to tour Bunce Island with Joe Opala, a man who’s research and preservation efforts have focused on the island for several decades, and who the academic community has dubbed ‘The Guru of Bunce Island’.  Though the government of Sierra Leone has designated Bunce Island as an officially-protected site, efforts are underway to raise private funds to preserve the castle and develop it as an educational source for future generations, particularly the many African-Americans whose ancestors were enslaved and processed here on their way to the United States. The Gondobay Manga Foundation is committed to working closely with the government of Sierra Leone, Joe Opala and other organizations which understand how important this site is for American history.


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