Tourism and Culture Minister Hamat Bah said, last week that slavery was the making of a black man, who used to incarcerate their own brothers and sisters and sell them off to the white men.
Addressing a gathering in celebration to mark the end of slavery and slave trade at the American Corner along Kairaba Avenue on June 10th, the National Reconciliation Party (NRP) leader said it is time that black people rethink and redefine slavery.
He blamed failed African governments for what he called ‘bad leadership’, saying they are unable to focus their offices towards the development of their countries. “Europeans came with their goods and money to buy Africans to take them into slavery, and the same blacks willingly sold their people to the white men. We will continue to be slaves as long as we fail to work hard and rely on ourselves.”
He said ‘if Africans want to travel to America and other western countries, then who will be left back to develop the Africa?
“It is important that we focus on national development. Let us believe in ourselves and our country and ourselves and be ready to work.”
United States Ambassador Richard Carl Paschal said “Roots”, a best-selling novel and movie authored by Alex Hailey, inspired millions of his fellow Americans, who traced their lineage to American slaves to seek out more information about their families and origins. “This helped bring out the truth to Americans about a painful period in our past with legacy that we have not as a nation.”
Slavery, he added, was a painful shared legacy between Africans and American people, and even today, modern slavery continues to exist in many countries. “Many countries are faced with challenges related to human trafficking and exploitation.”
US diplomat further stated that the United States recently expressed resolve to fund an expansive anti-trafficking awareness activity and programme and would sincerely desire to partner with the government and people of The Gambia to defeat such exploitation.
By Fatou O Barrow