Vice President Harris wiped away tears as she toured the dungeons of Ghana’s Cape Coast slave castle on Tuesday, and said the experience underscored that the history of enslaved people must be taught and remembered.
Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff spent about an hour at the site, and passed through the Door of No Return, known as the final step before those who were kidnapped were forced onto ships to be transported across the Atlantic Ocean.
“The horror of what happened here must always be remembered. It cannot be denied. It must be taught. History must be learned,” she said, straying from her prepared speech to emphasize the issue.
“We must then be guided by what we know also to be the history of those who survived,” she said. “They tell another history — a history of endurance, a history of faith, a history in believing what is possible,” she said.
Harris’ remarks come after an uproar over Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to block a new high school Advanced Placement course on Black history. DeSantis is expected to run for his party’s nomination for the 2024 presidential race.
Harris, the highest-ranking Biden administration official to visit Africa, is also visiting Tanzania and Zambia during her week-long trip. Biden is expected to visit the continent later this year.
Kwesi Blankson guided Harris and Emhoff on their tour. He told reporters that it was a solemn moment.
“I told her about the dungeons and women especially, how they held in the dungeons and how they looked up through the holes to and pray to the sky god for redemption and how some of them sang,” Blankson said, adding that he sang one of the songs for Harris that was about the problems of life.
The vice president said she planned to carry the anguish and pain from Cape Coast Castle with her, and use it to fight for freedom and justice. She noted that the descendants of enslaved people went on to fight for civil rights in the United States and all over the world.
“The descendants of the people who walked through that door were strong people, proud people, people of deep faith people who loved their families, their traditions, their culture,” Harris said. “All of us, regardless of your background, have benefited from their struggle and their fight for freedom and for justice.”
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Elizabeth Eden Harris, known professionally as Cupcakke, is an American rapper from Chicago, Illinois. She is known for her hypersexualised, brazen, and often comical persona
Elizabeth Eden Harris, known professionally as Cupcakke, is an American rapper from Chicago, Illinois. She is known for her hypersexualised, brazen, and often comical persona and music although she has also made songs with themes supporting LGBTQ rights, female empowerment, and autism awareness.
Acclaimed GRAMMY-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello makes her Blue Note Records debut with the June 16 release of The Omnichord Real Book, a visionary
Acclaimed GRAMMY-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello makes her Blue Note Records debut with the June 16 release of The Omnichord Real Book, a visionary and deeply jazz-influenced album that marks the start of a new chapter in her trailblazing career. Following her 2018 covers album Ventriloquism, Meshell returns with an album of new original material that taps into a broad spectrum of her musical roots. The Omnichord Real Book was produced by Josh Johnson and features a wide range of guest artists including Jason Moran, Ambrose Akinmusire, Joel Ross, Jeff Parker, Brandee Younger, Julius Rodriguez, Mark Guiliana, Cory Henry, Joan As Police Woman, Thandiswa, and others.
The Omnichord Real Book is introduced today by the expansive lead single “Virgo,” the mind-altering 8-minute centerpiece of the album which features Meshell on vocals, key bass, and keyboards, Younger on harp, Rodriguez on Farfisa organ, Chris Bruce on guitar, Jebin Bruni on keyboards, drums by Abe Rounds, Deantoni Parks, and Andrya Ambro, and additional vocals by Kenita Miller and Marsha DeBoe. The Omnichord Real Book is available for pre-order now on Blue Note Store exclusive color vinyl, black vinyl, CD, and digital.
“It’s a little bit of all of me, my travels, my life,” says Meshell. “My first record I made at 22, and it’s over 30 years from then, so I have a lot of stored information to share.” Reflecting on the impact that the forced stillness of the pandemic lockdown had on her, she says “I must admit it was a beautiful time for me. I got to really sit and reacquaint myself with music. Music is a gift.”
“This album is about the way we see old things in new ways,” Meshell explains. “Everything moved so quickly when my parents died. Changed my view of everything and myself in the blink of an eye. As I sifted through the remains of their life together, I found my first Real Book, the one my father gave me. I took their records, the ones I grew up hearing, learning, remembering. My mother gifted me with her ache, I carry the melancholy that defined her experience and, in turn, my experience of this thing called life calls me to disappear into my imagination and to hear the music.”
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