Embassy Celebrates Black History Month with Homage to Kunta Kinteh Island

Public Diplomacy Banjul recently organized a CLO trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kunta Kinteh Island and the neighboring village of Juffureh, the ancestral home of Kunta Kinteh, to commemorate African American History Month. The story of Kunta Kinteh was made famous in the book Roots by well-known, African American author, Alex Haley. Haley detailed the story of his ancestor who was captured along the Gambian river and sold into slavery in the United States. The story reached millions of Americans and helped people throughout the world better understand the realities of slavery. The Embassy group was greeted warmly by representatives from the National Center for Arts and Culture who took the Embassy staff on a guided tour of the site and to meet with the village chief and Kinteh family. The Embassy representatives also toured a local museum which provided historical information about the slave trade in The Gambian region along with modern day information about the Kinteh family. The museum featured a poster show about influential African Americans provided by the U.S. Embassy some years ago. The entire group gained a better understanding of the roots of African American heritage and a better appreciation for the people of The Gambia.