Benin : BENIN ASKS FORGIVENESS IN SLAVE TRADE...

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Aqil

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Feb 3, 2001
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By Amy Wold

Reconcilliation between slave-trading Africans and the descendants of slaves is the first step to healing old wounds and opening economic development, the U. S. Ambassador from the African country of Benin told an audience Friday at Southern University.

Benin Ambassador Cyrille Oguin made Baton Rouge the first stop on a tour of several cities in the United States to formally apologize for his country's role in the slave trade that brought Africans to the Americas. "The president of Benin, the people of Benin have asked me to come here and apologize for the government, for the Benin people and for Africa for what we all know happened," Oguin said. "Where our parents were involved in this awful, this terrible, trade."

Oguin said asking for forgiveness - and receiving it - is the first step in reconnecting with "brothers and sisters" who were hurt by slavery. "Today, no one wants to take responsibility," Oguin said. "It's so easy to say white man did it to us, but we share in the responsibility."

The area now known as Benin on the West African coast was a hub of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The profits were an incentive for African communities to raid each other to kidnap people and sell them to Europeans as slaves.

Oguin said Benin President Mattieu Ke're'kou has made reconciliation a priority. "He knows the damage on our side that came from slaver," Oguin said. "He knows how this robbed our own society at home, how it turned us against each other."


www.noineworleans.org/slavery.html
 

Omowale Jabali

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Reconciliation and Unification is a must. Our Ancestors are crying out to us at this time. I find this of particular importance considering the present plight of my extended family throughout New Orleans especially
 

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