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Steve Harvey at Cape Coast Castle

Barrack Obama and hollywood celebrities who shed tears at Cape Coast Castle


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2019 was declared the Year of Return by the Government of Ghana at the beginning of the year as part of activities to mark the legacy of the first set of slaves that were shipped from West Africa to America exactly 400 years ago.

The project has so far been a success with so many African-American celebrities and public figures returning to the continent of their motherland, precisely Ghana to take part in the celebration.  One common place all these visiting celebrities visit upon arriving in Ghana is the iconic and ever popular Cape Coast castle, which played an all-important role in the trans-Atlantic Slave trade.

Some of the celebrities shed tears at the castle after being taken on a tour and being told how the activity was carried out and how brutal their forefathers were treated. With the recent news of Steve Harvey shedding tears upon visiting the Cape Coast castle, we go back to memory lane to recollect some of the top celebrities and public figures who cried after visiting the Cape Coast Castle.

Barrack Obama

One of the first things the former US President did when he won election in 2008 was to visit Ghana and make a historic trip to the Cape Coast Castle. His visit which took place in 2009 caught the world’s attention as it was one of the few and rare moments in history where a sitting US President looked visibly emotional and on the verge of shedding tears in public.

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia Obama, Marian Robinson and a friend tour Cape Coast Castle in Ghana on July 11, 2009.    (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia Obama, Marian Robinson and a friend tour Cape Coast Castle in Ghana on July 11, 2009.
(Official White House photo by Pete Souza)


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Steve Harvey

For Steve Harvey, the task of holding back his tears upon visiting the castle was way too much for him as the iconic television host ended up shedding tears and looking visibly shaking by what he had seen and heard from the castle tour guides. Pictures of him shedding tears ended up on the front pages of most international magazines and online news portals including the Daily Mail and TMZ.

Steve Harvey at Cape Coast Castle

Steve Harvey at Cape Coast Castle

Gillian White

The famous actress and wife of actor Jai White is another Hollywood celebrity who has shed tears at the Cape Coast castle. The actress together with his partner, Jai White and children visited Ghana in January 2019 to take part in the Year of Return program. As expected, Gillian and her family traveled to Cape Coast in the central region of Ghana to visit the castle. Gillian couldn’t hold back her tears as she toured the castle that was used to keep slaves captive before being shipped to Europe.

Gillian White

Gillian White

Anthony Anderson

American sitcom king, Anthony Anderson, is all the time in his jovial mood and hardly would one see him with a grim face or even imagine it, but when the famous comedian visited the Cape Coast castle upon his arrival in Ghana, he lost his usual jovial and happy looking appearance. For once, Anthony Anderson looked emotional, sad and in utter shock as he was told the harrowing experience his forefathers were subjected to by their European slave masters. While he did well to hold his tears back, one could easily see the lively actor and comedian was emotional.

Other popular actors including Boris Kodjoe, Netherland international, Memphis Dapay and actor Jai White have all visited the castle in recent years but barely managed to hold back their tears. One thing is for sure, you cannot visit Cape Coast castle and not get emotional especially for blacks living in other parts of the world other than Africa.


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Akesse Sanza | Jetsanza.com

Akesse Moise Sanza is a Travel & Tourism Consultant, Travel Blogger, Anti-Human Trafficking & Safe Migration Advocate and a Traveler.

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