In light of the recent discussions focusing on Slavery in the Sudan. I decided to reprint an article I wrote for the now defunct AFRICAN PROFILES magazine in 2001: IT IT AFRICAN AMERICAN's RESPONSIBILITY TO HELP BRING AN END TO SLAVERY IN THE SUDAN An avid reader, I continuously encounter titles like "Can Africa survive in the New Millennium?" when picking up magazines and newspapers. Can Africa survive in the new millennium? Apparently many people don't think so. Most African nations continue to be impoverished, and in perpetual debt to Europe and America. Corrupt leaders like Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema continue to mismanage the resources of their countries, and commit atrocious human rights violations against their citizens. Most alarmingly, the 26.5 million people in Africa infected with HIV threatens to wipe out many nations. Clearly AIDs is a top priority for Africa, as is working to decrease the amount of debt owed to Europe and the United States. However, as the descendents of African Slaves, no issue should concern African Americans more than reports of slavery in the Sudan. Slavery, and institution that supposedly ended on the shores of Cuba in the 1890s, is apparently very much alive in the estimated 200,000 children brought across borders in West and Central Africa every year to work on cocoa plantations in the Sudan. As the great-great grandchildren of slaves, African Americans know first hand the economic and psychological damage that slavery inflicts on its victims. One Hundred and Thirty Six years after slavery ended in the United States, African Americans are still feeling the effects of the "peculiar institution" (demonstrated in the ghettoization, poverty, and lack of education that most African Americans continue to suffer). With all this being said, the apathy of African Americans towards slavery in the Sudan is stunning. Many African American journalist across the nation's leading newspapers surprisingly have better things to write about. In the streets, the subject is rarely discussed, and many question whether the reports are genuine. Until Al Sharpton's recent journey to the Sudan, no major African American political figure has paid significant attention to the issue. In a nation that has an increasing amount of black faces occupying Mayor's offices, Congressional seats, Senate chairs. and the Secretary of State, this simply should not be. In the past few months slavery in the Sudan has received some media attention, due largely to brabe Sudanese refugees who have shared their stories. The UN has urged countries in West and Central Africa to play a role in helping to end slavery on the continent. Several major companies have threatened to boycott Sudanese cocoa, unless slavery is brought to an end. These are all positive developments; however, the reality is that international concern over African issues (particularly human rights issues), have historically been short lived. While slavery has gotten some media attention, this concern will undoubtedly decrease as new issues emerge. Also it must be pointed out that what ultimately ended slavery in the US was not political protest, but a change in the economy (from agricultural to industrial). As foreign industries and governments begin to realize that ending slavery in the Sudan will take a great amount of financial investment & time, they will lose interest. Indeed, there have already been reports about how "difficult" it is to track slavery in the Sudan, and articles on the subject have begun to dwindle. With this realization, the responsibility of ending slavery in the Sudan (and other parts of Africa) falls on African Americans. No political or economic boycott against the Sudan will be sustained long enough to wipe out slavery, unless African Americans make this issue theirs. We have to continuously supply our voices to this issue. No other group cares enough about slavery to take the necessary time to see it come to an end. No other group should care more about slavery than African Americans. African Americans owe it to themselves and their ancestors to see that no one else, particularly no other Africans, are ever held in bondage.