[Blackstudies-l] United Nations unveils slavery memorial
lima at geneseo.edu
Thu Mar 26 08:46:43 EDT 2015
lisaparavisini posted: " The United Nations on Wednesday remembered the
millions of victims of the largest forced migration in history with the
unveiling of a slavery memorial on its visitors plaza before global
ambassadors and Jamaica Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, Ja" Respond
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<http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/> United Nations
unveils slavery memorial
*The United Nations on Wednesday remembered the millions of victims of the
largest forced migration in history with the unveiling of a slavery
memorial on its visitors plaza before global ambassadors and Jamaica Prime
Minister Portia Simpson Miller, Jacqueline Charles reports for The
Bellingham Herald. Here's an excerpt, with the link to the full report
Designed by Haitian-American architect Rodney Leon, The Ark of Return
memorializes the estimated 15 million African men, women, and children who
died during the transatlantic slave trade and the millions of others forced
into plantation slavery in the Americas. Leon beat out 310 architects and
designers for the chance to design the permanent structure at the U.N.'s
New York headquarters.
Leon said the triangle-shaped marble structure was inspired by the theme,
"acknowledge the tragedy, consider the tragedy, lest we forget." He and his
team drew inspiration from the maps of the triangular slave trade, which
are etched in the structure; the ships that ferried Africans to Europe and
the Americas, and the experiences people underwent through the "door of no
return" - a door at a castle on Goree Island in Senegal where many slaves
were kept before they were shipped to the Americas.
"We felt it was very important for us to counteract that experience and pay
homage to their legacy," Leon said.
The U.N. has declared 2015-2024 as the International Decade for People of
African Descent. Ban called slavery "a stain on human history," and the
monument allows all a chance to reflect on the causes and consequences of
racism "so we may eradicate prejudice and intolerance."
"I hope The Ark of Return will also serve as a call to action against the
many contemporary manifestations of slavery, from human trafficking and
sexual enslavement to debt bondage," he said.
The memorial project was conceived more than five years ago and led by
African and Caribbean nations. The Permanent Representative of Jamaica,
Courtenay Rattray, served as chair of the Permanent Memorial Committee and
noted that several nations, along with UNESCO, helped raise more than $1.7
million for it.
Jamaica is a member of the 15-member Caribbean Community, which is
currently pursing reparations claims against European nations that engaged
in the slave trade.
Simpson Miller did not raise the reparations issue in her remarks but spoke
of slavery's enduring legacy. She noted that even after Britain passed a
law on March 25, 1807, abolishing the slave trade, slavery continued.
"For us freedom came after a long journey," she said. "Freedom was not
gifted to us but rather earned by the sweat, blood, and tears of millions
of our forebears on whose back the economic foundations of the New World
For the original report go to
*lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>* |
March 25, 2015 at 11:43 pm | Tags: Portia Simpson-Miller
<http://repeatingislands.com/?tag=portia-simpson-miller>, Rodney Leon
<http://repeatingislands.com/?tag=rodney-leon>, United Nations slavery
| Categories: News <http://repeatingislands.com/?cat=103> | URL:
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