is the most blood-stained Island on the Vest African coastline
Spanish Captain points with his knife roaring to the rower.
Ci ci, captain, the black rower answers.
two hours under the hot sun from the Gambian capitol Banjul 20 miles
up the mighty Gambia River I see the horror island coming out of the
mist. With it's fort ruins and with the rusty cannons from the times
of the slave ships to USA.
is the most blood-stained Island on the Vest African coastline: More
than three hundred year ago 2000 slaves per year was shipped out from
James Island on board the horrible slave ships. Many of them died
before they got to USA. James Island was once a strategic trade
centre controlling the trade on the Gambia River: Europeans exchanges
their goods with gold, ivory, ebony and slaves.
Kinte from the famous novel "Roots" by Alex Haley lived in
the little Gambian village Juffure on the bank of this river. He was
ship out to slavery in USA from this Island.
the island is not habited. Like a ghost island it comes closer when
the ship sails up to the old harbour made for the sail ships more
than 500 years ago.
Portuguese occupied the Island in 1456. At that time the island was
six times bigger than today. Gradually the river eats up the island.
The island was first called St. Andrews Island because Andrew was the
first European soldier to be killed here. The island kept this name
for 200 years. The British, the French and the Swedish ruled this
island during its most horrible history.
tide makes it impossible to take the ship to the island today: The
small boats are lowered.
Sharks! one of the passengers cries.
Not sharks, but dolphins, the rower cries back - They followed us up
there crocodiles on the island?
Usually not. They are normally further up the river.
small boats take the tourist ashore: They walk around the island
investigating the ground: The old trees still have messages for the
slaves. The old fort wall and cannons makes you shiver. Imagine the
enormous amount of tragedies taking place here.
pick up small bit of the old history for souvenir: Iron from the
chains, leather from the ropes. Things that should have been on a
local museum are robbed from this island every day now. Like the
river tourists eat up the island more and more each year. Every year
the river digs up more history for the tourists to steal.
like the people of Africa once was stolen for their country - the
history is now gradually stolen every year. The crew on board the
ship don't care: It's tourist business as usual.
is a poor country. They can't afford to take care of this history:
One of the worst tragedies in the history of mankind.