UN honours heroes and survivors of transatlantic slave trade

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Rita Pemberton

The UN is honouring heroes and survivors of the transatlantic slave trade, which marked one of the darkest chapters in human history.

The transatlantic slave trade lasted for 400 years despite a spirited resistance by the millions of enslaved peoples. It is estimated that between 15 to 20 million men, women and children were forcibly taken from their homes and sold as slaves.

This year's theme pays tribute to those who fought against the inhumane practice.

A panel discussion was held at the United Nations Friday, where Dr. Rita Pemberton, a History Professor at the University of the West Indies and author of several books on the topic of slavery paid tribute.

"There were those enslaved men and women, who in contradiction to their enslaved status managed to empower themselves through their daily social and economic activities, which resulted in their acquisition of what one historian calls customary rights. And so even in the midst of enslavement there were those who owned property who earned the right to participate in social activities the point about these rights in social activities is that they set a pattern of change within the system and I see that as part of being heroic."

Duration: 35″

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