In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly designated March 25 as an annual International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
For white Americans, slavery is something that happened in the distant past and has nothing to do with them. Fact is, the legacy of forced migration and 400 years of free labor is evident today. It’s evident in the wealth gap, school-to-prison pipeline, inequitable school funding and desecration of the black body.
From my teenage fascination with the fictional Mandingo to the joy in knowing two colleagues discovered an Underground Railroad safe house in Philadelphia, slavery and the ancestors are never far from mind. Although I have read countless books about the “peculiar institution,” I still don’t know how the ancestors survived. But I am emboldened by their faith – and resistance – and revel in the rich cultural heritage that they bequeathed us.
So say it loud: Remember Slavery.