Although declared 156 years ago, Abraham Lincoln‘s words still resonate today–some would say, more than ever. This famous House Divided speech was made by Abraham Lincoln, who was unafraid to oppose slavery in spite of its wide acceptance and immense pressure to change his position. This resolute stance eventually led to the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, which laid the groundwork for an important turn in American history.
Slavery still exists in America today, which is why research on modern slavery is just as important as historical studies on slavery, which details the long-lasting impact of slavery. In Public Memory of Slavery Ana Lucia Araujo noted that “in July 1992, during the 28th Summit of the Organization of African Unity in Dakar, President Soglo associated the human cost of the Atlantic slave trade with Africa’s present-day difficulties. According to Soglo, the ‘continent was emptied of its human substance by the greatest deportation of all times’ and that ‘In order to guarantee its survival and renaissance, Black peoples […] do not have the right to forget.’”
Through such investigations on slavery will these heinous violations of the most basic human rights not be forgotten. As Elie Wiesel put it, “If we forget, the dead will be killed a second time.”
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