A historical treasure waiting to be unearthed

Visiting the museum grants tourists the permission to take a glimpse of the bleak past and learn more about Badagry as well.

But for you who still know the value of history, you who have not forgotten that a people without their history are like a tree without its root, Badagry Black Heritage Museum is a  place to be.

Located in the ancient town of Badagry, Lagos, Badagry Black Heritage Museum is housed in the former district officer’s office that was built in the year 1863.

Founded in part by the Nigerian Cultural Commission, the museum harbours and preserves artifacts and records from the slave route that was once Badagry.

Yes, Badagry which is a coastal town lying between the city of Lagos and Benin Republic was a key port in the export of slaves to the Americas, which were mainly to Salvador, Bahia in Brazil.

As a matter of historical fact, Badagry exported no fewer than 550,000 African slaves to America during the period of the American Independence in 1787.

It was also such a big departure point for slaves headed for French Saint-Domingue, today's Haiti, that the main god of Haiti's official religion of Vodun is called Ogun-Badagri.

Hence the hundreds of artifacts and historical relics that chronicles more than three centuries of slave exportation through the border city.

Meanwhile, upon a visitation to the museum, you will come across nine galleries with historical sobering reminders of this barbaric industry like trade documents, dated shackles, sketches, photos, sculptures and other salvaged records that documented the city’s dark past.

Unarguably, the Badagry Black Heritage Museum has been reputed for performing an incredibly important function: it reminds every visitor a difficult segment of our past.

And also a living testament to the resilience of the region.

There are other museums in Nigeria no doubt, but what stands out this particular museum is the fact that the entire town of Badagry in which the museum is situated in a living museum itself.

From the 1502 open market where slaves were auctioned off to makeshift Barracoon cells, which were used to keep slaves to the final exit routes used in the 17th and 18th centuries to transfer slaves to the Point of No Return at the tip of the peninsula, every centre that was used by the slave masters to perpetuate their dark act lies in wait for visitors to see.

Badagry is a site to visit. The Badagry Black Heritage Museum is a place to see.

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