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As the nation prepares for the 400th anniversary in 2019 of the first documented arrival of slaves in Virginia, a Philadelphia travel agency has organized an historic trip, retracing the steps of history in Ghana, the birthplace of so many Americans of African descent.
Lloyd Murray, founder and president of Palace Travel, says this once-in-a-lifetime trip is above and beyond the typical trips he plans for those who visit Africa. The “Historic Return of the African Diaspora” tour will take place August 5 to August 14, 2019. It is billed as an opportunity to draw the world’s attention this symbolic moment of the long history of African enslavement.
“We have been taking travelers to Africa for nearly 30 years,” Murray said. “This trip is going to be very special. Look, it’s not every day that a 400-year anniversary comes around! This is a trip where you will get a chance to know more about your ancestry – where you came from and the importance of Ghana’s rich culture and history.”
What makes this trip unique is that it will take travelers along the slave route from capture to storage at Cape Coast Slave dungeon now referred to as Slave Castles. Also included will be atonement ceremonies. There will be wreath-laying and tributes to Pan African pioneers, including Dr. W.E.B. Dubois, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and Marcus Mosiah Garvey. Diaspora participants will meet with chiefs and elders and will be addressed by the president of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo.
Noted historians and local experts will take visitors on tours of W.E.B. DuBois’ former home and cultural visits to the Ashanti Kingdom where the groups will be specially welcomed by the Ashanti King. One of the more emotional legs of the trip will take travelers to Cape Coast Castle, known for the infamous “The Door of No Return” through which millions passed on the way to slavery. This is where travelers will be guest of the Paramount Chief of Elmina, Nana Kojo Conduah IV. The day will be capped off with the traditional Fihankra Ceremony –where Returnees will participate in a traditional Naming Ceremony and receive their certificates of authentication.
“So many people nowadays are doing their ancestry research,” said Murray whose agency has organized trips to Africa for corporations, churches and educational institutions. “What we’re hoping to accomplish with this trip is to help connect some of the dots of their past to help people realize the roots of our history over 400 years.”
For more information about the trip, go to PalaceTravel.com (https://www.palacetravel.com/african-tours/return-african-diaspora-ghana/). Travel agents interested in receiving a commission for booking passengers on this trip, should contact the agency at firstname.lastname@example.org