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Sunday, April 19, 2015
THE ARK OF RETURN U.N. SCULPTURE TRIBUTE TO TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE
"It was only fitting that the ceremony take place at a site surrounded by the looming skyscrapers of New York. Slavery was the economic engine upon which American capitalism was built, providing the seed money for United States businesses to create the most vibrant economic system in the world."
from ATLANTA BLACK STAR
"The enslaved Black person (whose gender is purposely vague to represent men, women and children) lying inside the dramatically shaped marble memorial, which is called The Ark of Return, is a symbol of the millions whose deaths led to the building of those skyscrapers, the visual emblems of American capitalism’s enormous financial windfall for the white beneficiaries of slavery and their descendants.
During his speech unveiling the memorial, Ban Ki-moon spoke directly to Black people in the Americas and the Caribbean who are descended from the enslaved Black people who were sacrificed.
“I hope descendants of the transatlantic slave trade will feel empowered as they remember those who overcame this brutal system and passed their rich cultural heritage from Africa on to their children,” Ban said.
In his remarks, he singled out Black women in particular, noting that a third of those Black people who were sold as slaves from Africa were female.
“In addition to enduring the harsh conditions of forced labor as slaves, they experienced extreme forms of discrimination and exploitation as a result of their gender,” he said.
CLICK HERE TO TAKE A LOOK INSIDE and HEAR THE INSPIRATION FOR THE INTERACTIVE PIECE from ARTIST RODNEY LEON