slave_reconcilitory_statueOn August 20, 2010, the first World Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement was celebrated in Richmond, Virginia with most of the events taking place at the downtown Comfort Inn 

Leading one of the only known observances of Slavery Remembrance Day in the US is the Rev. Ronald  V. Myers, Sr., M.D., who is also the national leader of the "Modern Juneteenth Movement" in  America.

That morning attendees convened at the hotel to do the Richmond Slave Walk Trail. Afterwards they gathered at the Salve Reconciliation Statue for prayer followed by a Juneteenth  Flag Dedication Ceremony at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center.

In the afternoon, the crowd attended the Reconciliation and Healing Worship Service at the Comfort Inn. During the evening everyone got to enjoy a Juneteenth Jazz Reconciliation and Healing concert. The concert featured Rev. Myers as a pianist and trumpeter, along with other Virginia jazz legacy musicians.

The National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement was originally established in 2000 as a response to former Congressman Tony Hall's efforts to pass a congressional Apology For Slavery. Working with Congressman Hall, Dr. Myers came to understand  just how touchy the issue slavery is for many Americans some of whom ignore the truth rather  than embracing it, commemorating its occurrence, and educating on the matter.

Myers stated that "the '20th of August' commemorates the day the first slave ship, the  White Lion, landed in Virginia at Old Point Comfort, today's Fort Monroe...From the shores of  West Africa came twenty Angolans on America's first voyage through the middle passage."

juneteenth"As the descendants of Americans of African descent, our ancestors were brought to America in  chains. This should never be forgotten," states Dr. Myers.

Given the fact that some of America's founding fathers and former presidents like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were slave owners, and that the Capitol and White House were built on slave labor, and the well known detrimental effects of the tyranny of enslavement "one  ponders as to why so little attention has been given to our own history of death and destruction  in America and the African Diaspora," Myers states.

Around the country and worldwide, many leaders have spoken up to acknowledge the atrocities of  the slave trade and to promote the idea of reconciliation and healing. Reconciliation statues  were erected and unveiled in Liverpool, England, Richmond, Virginia, and Benin in West Africa.  in a project called the Reconciliation Triangle project. At the statue unveiling in Benin,  Ambassador Segbe Cyrille Oguin told the story of President Kerekou's apology for his country's  role in selling fellow Africans back in 1999.

In 2006, then French President M. Jacques Chirac addressed the nation on the issue of slavery  during the National Day of Remembrance and Commemoration of Slavery and Its Abolition.

Thus far, President Barack Obama has not endorsed the movement to make Juneteenth a national  holiday or the National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement.



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