While large parts of America once had slavery, it’s NOT an American idea. It STILL goes on in Africa, and America is where a Civil War was fought to stop it. American slave traders bought slaves in Africa not because they uniquely coveted or disliked Africans, but because it was the only place in the world people were still conveniently for sale. Neither Europe nor Asia had that distinction.
In 2000, at an observance attended by delegates from several European countries and the United States, officials from Benin publicized President Mathieu Kerekou’s apology for his country’s role in “selling fellow Africans by the millions to white slave traders.” “We cry for forgiveness and reconciliation,” said Luc Gnacadja, Benin’s minister of environment and housing. Cyrille Oguin, Benin’s ambassador to the United States, acknowledged, “We share in the responsibility for this terrible human tragedy.”
Also, remember, while the Atlantic Slave Trade and the horrors of the Middle Passage are what every American learns about in school, it wasn’t the only slave trade, and they weren’t the only horrors. Long before Columbus discovered America, Africans were selling other Africans to Arab slave traders in the North of Africa, and marching them north through deserts where many of them died. (Sadly this still goes on, as Sudan shows).
In the meantime, while whites are apologizing all over the place for their distant ancestors’ role in African slavery, (Clinton apologized, George W. Bush apologized, the next President will probably apologize) slavery still goes on in Africa, including Benin.