Yellen, at former slave port, sees path of renewal for Africa and US

GOREE ISLAND: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Saturday spoke of the “unspeakable cruelty” and enduring penalties of the trans-Atlantic slave commerce, however mentioned she was heartened by indicators of progress andrenewal in each the US and Africa.

Yellen visited the Home of Slaves, a fort constructed within the late 18th century on Goree Island off the coast of Senegal as a transit level for human beings earlier than they had been shipped acrossthe Atlantic, as she continued a three-country go to to Africa.

The location, now a museum, usually attracts high-level American guests, together with former President Barack Obama, the primary US president of African ancestry, who visited together with his household in 2013.

“In the end, Gorée Island reminds us that the histories of Africa and America are intimately linked,” Yellen mentioned after touring the island. “We all know that the tragedy didn’t cease with the era of people taken from right here.”

Yellen, whose work in economics has targeted on ending historic disparities which have plagued Black Individuals lengthy after slavery was abolished in 1865, mentioned each Africa and the US had made super strides, however extra work was wanted to counter the brutal penalties of the slave commerce.

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Below Yellen, the US Treasury has arrange a racial fairness activity power that has drawn the ire of Republicans, and the division has labored onerous to spice up the financial situations of communities of colour.

It was essential to inform the story of enslaved individuals, which “whereas filled with struggling, can be filled with perseverance and hope,” she mentioned, citing the vital contributions of African American women and men to the US economic system and democracy.

“With remembrance, I imagine, can come progress and renewal,” Yellen mentioned, highlighting what she referred to as “indicators of vibrant life round Gorée — a distinguished artwork scene, a spot of schooling, and hundreds who name this place dwelling.”

She mentioned the go to and the place itself redoubled her dedication to “battle for our shared values and rules wherever they’re threatened – in the US, in Africa, and world wide. We’ve extra work to do.”