Me.Guterres said the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade “haunts us to this day.”
A cartoon representation of African slaves used to illustrate the story
A cartoon representation of African slaves was used to illustrate the story.
UN secretary general Anthony Guterres has urged Africans to fight slavery’s legacy of racism through education, noting that the history of slavery is one of suffering and barbarity that shows humanity at its worst.
Mr Guterres said this at an event on Monday in New York to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade globally marked on March 25.
It is marked to honor the lives of those who died as a result of slavery or experienced the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade, and it is also an occasion. n to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice.
According to him, honoring the millions of Africans sold into slavery helps to restore dignity to people.
Me.Guterres said the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade “haunts us to this day,” noting that “we can draw a straight line from the era of colonial exploitation to the social and economic inequalities of today.”
The UN chief said the scars of slavery were still visible in persistent disparities in wealth, income, health, education, and opportunity.
“And we can recognize the racist tropes popularised to rationalize the inhumanity of the slave trade in the white supremacist hate that is resurgent today. The long shadow of slavery still looms over the lives of people of African descent who carry with them the trans-generational trauma and who continue to confront marginalization, exclusion, and bigotry,” the UN chief explained.
He added, “It is incumbent on us to fight slavery’s legacy of racism. The most powerful weapon (in) our arsenal is education – the theme of this year’s commemoration. Governments everywhere should introduce lessons into school curricula on the causes, manifestations, and far-reaching consequences of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.”
Mr. Guterres said the United Nations Remember Slavery Programme and UNESCO’s Slave Route Project could help member states to teach slavery in schools.
“We must learn and teach the history of Africa and the African diaspora, whose people have enriched societies wherever they went and excelled in every field of human endeavor. And we must learn and teach the histories of righteous resistance, resilience, and defiance,” he said.
The UN chief said the evil enterprise of enslavement lasted over 400 years, adding that it was the largest legally sanctioned forced migration in human history.
“Millions of African children, women, and men were kidnapped and trafficked across the Atlantic, ripped from their families and homelands – their communities torn apart, their bodies commodified, their humanity denied,” stated Mr. Guterres. “The history of racialized chattel slavery is a history of suffering, crime, violence, and exploitation.
The UN chief noted that “it is a history of colossal injustice.” He pointed out that as the slave trade “underwrote the wealth and prosperity of the colonizers, it devastated the African continent, thwarting its development for centuries.”
It is a history of cruelty and barbarity. From the slavers, ship captains, and plantation owners to the banks, insurers, and corporations that financed it – slavery shows humanity at its worst,” he added. “But it is also a history of awe-inspiring courage that shows human beings at their best – starting with enslaved people who rose against impossible odds and extending to the abolitionists who spoke out against this atrocious crime.”
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