The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade


An illustration of a the silhouettes of a formerly enslaved Black man and a Black woman breaking out of chains. The caption reads "Celebrating the Heritage and Culture of the African Diaspora and Its Roots. Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade."
Credit: The United Nations

One of the most deep-rooted tragic historical events in American history is the slave trade and the transatlantic slave trade. For more than 400 years, 17 million men, women, and children became victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. Formerly enslaved people were forced to give up their basic human rights to the slavery system which became one of the most horrifying events in the history of humanity. In 1807 slavery was finally abolished in the West (Great Britain and the USA).


The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade is not always mentioned throughout our education, but it is absolutely important to educate ourselves on the topic. This knowledge allows us to create a moral compass to achieve ideals one might develop through life. A way to educate ourselves on remembrance day is to read the stories of formerly enslaved people, watch documentaries that are accessible to you, and allow yourself to view history from a different perspective.


Some recommended readings are the biographies on Fredrick Douglass’ life. There are many short films on YouTube, and many short biographies as well that explain his life. Frederick Douglass wrote his memoir titled, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave which narrates his life and explains how he was a formerly enslaved person but escaped and became an author, activist, public speaker, and even one of the leaders of the abolitionist movement to end slavery. The abolitionist movement was a movement created and led by Fredrick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and John Brown. Their goal in creating this movement was to ultimately end slavery elsewhere. With this movement, along with other factors, slavery was abolished.


Solomon Northup was an African American farmer and musician who was taken hostage and sold into slavery. His autobiography was the basis of the film 12 Years a Slave which describes his life story of how he was tricked into going to Washington by two people only to be kidnapped and sold into the South. He paid tribute to many victims in his writing who also had their rights taken away.


A documentary made in 2016, titled 13TH on Netflix, explains an interesting theory that slavery still exists in the prison system in the United States. More so, it explains how prisons are disproportionately filled with African Americans. It explores the racial inequality and the alarming statistics of people of color in the prison system in America. The title of this documentary refers to the 13th amendment which abolished the slavery system in the United States. More so, it explains how prisons are disproportionately filled with African Americans. It explores the racial inequality and the alarming statistics of people of color in the prison system in America.


It is very important to speak up and stand up for people who are being oppressed the same way that it is important to hold people accountable for their actions to further educate people so they can carry on their newfound knowledge. Expanding this knowledge is ultimately important to truly understand that historical biases still exist and must be addressed. By understanding the after-effects of our history, we give ourselves the opportunity to learn how to prevent horrific historical events from repeating itself.


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