Originally created 04/21/01

Black leaders silent on slave trade



African slave trade began in 1451 on the Gold Coast of Africa. The Portuguese started it and were soon joined by the English, Dutch and French. Originally the slaves were brought across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and Brazil. It is believed that Columbus brought the first slaves to the American continent.

The Gold Coast consists of several small countries stretching from Sierra Leone to Nigeria and was noted for vast riches in gold, silver and slaves.

As noted in recent news media and on TV, the slave trade continues even to this day. The county of Benin has been notorious for selling children at $14 a head for prostitution and slave labor to other African countries.

Just this past week, a boat previously loaded with about 150 slave children returned to Benin with no sign of the children. What happened to these helpless children? Unfortunately, the United States government has in the past turned a blind eye to some African countries' atrocious behavior.

Why have the community leaders of African-Americans like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Kwiesi Mfume been notably silent and not one of them has yet gone to Africa to protest or to make their views known? After all, their forebears and ancestors all came from these same African countries where the flagrant and vile slave trade continues to this day.

Al Kotras, Augusta