Obama statement at Cape Coast

"I think it was particularly important for Malia and Sasha who are growing up in such a blessed way to be reminded history can take very cruel turns. And hopefully one of the things that was imparted to them during this trip is their sense of obligation to fight oppression and cruelty wherever it appears.

And that any group of people who are degrading another group of people have to be fought against with whatever tools we have available to us. So, obviously it's a moving experience, a moving moment. We want to thank those who arranged for the tour, the people of Ghana, for preserving this history. As painful as it is, I think it helps to teach all of us that we have to do what we can to fight against the kinds of evils that sadly still exist in our world, not just on this continent, but in every corner of the globe. And I think as Americans, and as African Americans obviously, there's a special sense that on the one hand this place, was a place of profound sadness on the other hand it is here where the journey of much of the African American experience began and symbolically to be able to come back with my family, with Michelle and our children and see the portal through which the diaspora began but also to be able to come back here in celebration with the people of Ghana for the extraordinary progress we made because of the courage of so many black and white to abolish slavery and ultimately win civil rights for all people I think is a source of hope. It reminds us that as bad as history can be its also possible to overcome."