Yellen visits a former slave trading post
GOREE ISLAND – US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Saturday paid a celebratory visit to the Salmon House on an island off Senegal, which is one of the best-known symbols of the horrors of the Atlantic slave trade that held tens of millions of Africans captive in bondage for generations.
Yellen, in Senegal as part of a 10 days trip with the goal of rebuilding economic ties between the US and Africa, stood in the Gorée Island building known as the House of Slaves and gazed out of the Door of No Return from which enslaved people were shipped across the Atlantic.
“Goree and the transatlantic slave trade are not just a part of African history. They’re also a part of American history,” Yellen said in brief remarks during her visit.
“We know the tragedy didn’t end with the generation of people that were taken from here. Even after the abolition of slavery, black Americans — many of whom can trace their lineage through ports like these across Africa — have been denied the rights and freedoms promised them in our Constitution.”
The economic benefits realized on the back of hundreds of years of unpaid labor for major slave-trading nations, including the United States, could amount to tens of trillions of dollars, according to data research on trade.
And in the US, African slaves and their children helped build the nation’s most famous institutions, including the white house and capitol, according to the White House Historical Association.
Yellen acknowledged the lingering impact of that brutal past.
“In both Africa and the United States, despite tremendous progress, we are still living with the brutal consequences of the transatlantic slave trade,” she said.
“What I take away from this place is how important it is to redouble our commitment to fight for our shared values and principles wherever they are threatened — in the United States, in Africa, and around the world,” he said you. “We still have more work to do.”
Yellen’s trip to the island is one that many dignitaries have made, including former US Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and South African Nelson Mandela. Today, the island of Gorée is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Yellen’s stay there during a trip designed to revitalize American-African economic ties was a reminder of the enormous costs of the slave trade. There has been renewed interest in determining the true cost of slavery to affected generations.
The House Financial Services Committee has been investigating how in recent years US banks and insurance companies benefited from the practice of slavery before it was outlawed in 1865. There were also hearings about the study and development of reparations proposals in the United States
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https://www.local10.com/business/2023/01/21/door-of-no-return-yellen-visits-onetime-slave-trading-post/ Yellen visits a former slave trading post