The varied colors of slave heritage in West Africa: White American stakeholders

Victor B. Teye, Dallen Timothy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Although White Europeans have played notable roles in shaping the contemporary political and social economy of Africa, it is Africans in the diaspora who actively trace their heritage to Africa. As a result, African Americans in particular have become the primary market for Africa's expanding heritage tourism sector. This article argues that several slave heritage sites in Africa embody the heritage of the African countries, various European countries, and Africans in the diaspora. The development of slave heritage tourism sites in Africa therefore involves the concept of contested heritage with emotional and painful undercurrents. The article examines the development of the slave heritage at Elmina Castle in Ghana by American and some international agencies and concludes that White American visitors to the site noted distinct sets of experiences that reflect deep emotional reactions to the past, present, and future. The study reflects some of the prospects and challenges facing the development of the proposed UNESCO Slave Route Project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalSpace and Culture
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004


  • Africa
  • Elmina
  • Ghana
  • Heritage tourism
  • Slave route
  • Slavery
  • White Americans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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