On Day of Remembrance, UN says history of slave trade can help combat social injustice

 

Shackles used to bind slaves. Photo by Mark Garten via UN
Shackles used to bind slaves. Photo by Mark Garten via UN

23 August 2017 – Remembering the universal demand for freedom that led to the 1791 insurrection by slaves in what is now Haiti, the head of the United Nations cultural and educational agency today marked the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition by underscoring the importance of teaching this history to young people.

“We are counting on the teaching of this history to place tomorrow’s citizens on the path to peace and dignity,” said Irina Bokova, in a message to mark the Day, which is observed annually on 23 August.

Ms. Bokova is the Director-General of UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which has played a leading role within the UN system in fostering understanding and recognition of the slave trade.

“Everyone must know the scale of the crime of the slave trade, the millions of lives broken and the impact on the fate of continents up to this very day. Everyone must be fully informed of the struggle that led to its abolition, so that together we can build societies that are fairer, and thus freer,” the senior UN official said.

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In emotional service, Jesuits and Georgetown repent for slave trading

“We express our solemn contrition for our participation in slavery, and the benefit our institution received. We cannot hide from this truth, bury this truth, ignore this truth. Slavery remains the original evil in our republic, an evil that our university was complicit in.” – President, Georgetown University, John DeGioia
(CNN) There is wide gulf, Frederick Douglass wrote in 1845, between Christianity proper and the “slaveholding religion of this land.” One is “good, pure and holy,” the other corrupt and wicked, the “climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds.”

“We have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries and cradle-plunderers for church members,” Douglass wrote in “Life of an American Slave.”

For Douglass, as for other African-Americans, the sin of slavery was intolerable; the complicity of Christians unforgivable.

On both counts, the Jesuit order, one of the Catholic Church’s most powerful group of priests, (Pope Francis is a member) was guilty. In the United States and elsewhere, the Society of Jesus owned and sold slaves.

 

Read more at: CNN

UN Permanent Memorial to honour slavery victims for unveiling Wednesday

UN Permanent Memorial banner

UN Permanent MemorialThe United Nations Permanent Memorial to Honour Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is scheduled to be unveiled on United Nations ground in New York on March 25, 2015.

With the theme ‘Acknowledging the Tragedy; Considering the Legacy; Lest we forget’, the monument is being erected in an effort to acknowledge the tragedy of slavery, racial prejudice and the lingering consequences of the centuries-long enslavement of and trade in Africans supplied to the colonies of the Americas and beyond. It is expected be a striking feature of the United Nations Visitors Plaza outside the General Assembly Hall.

The Permanent Memorial is a reminder of the legacy of the slave trade. It will provide future generations with an understanding of the history and consequences of slavery and will serve as an educational tool to raise awareness about the current dangers of racism, prejudice and the lingering consequences that continue to impact the descendants of the victims today. It acknowledges one of the most horrific tragedies of modern history. It is a reminder of the heroic actions of the slaves, abolitionists and unsung heroes who acted in the face of grave danger and adversity. (more…)