His mission was simple. Seek forgiveness from the millions of
displaced Africans. He led his entire country in this simple yet
difficult venture. Benin President Mathieu Kerekou did a brave
thing. He along with the Beninese people took responsibility for
their country's past and he invited other nations to do the same. A
few joined him.
Welcome to Benin (left).
Kelly Wright and Aaron Kurtz (middle).
Van Dora Williams (right).
WHRO and FOX43 traveled to Benin in West Africa to document these
events. About 125 Americans were there from all over the country.
Each had a reason for coming, each returned changed. Kelly Wright of
FOX43 and Van Dora Williams of WHRO teamed up to cover this event.
You'll read excerpts from their personal journals and hear white and
black Americans share their experiences.
Congressman Tony Hall and Senator James Inhofe spoke with deep
conviction and sincere regret about America's hand in the Atlantic
slave trade. If you'd like to learn more about these congressmen,
visit their web sites:
About Noble Desire
In February 2001, WHRO broadcast Noble Desire, a one-hour
television documentary about the Republic of Benin and the historic
Reconciliation and Development Conference that took place in
December 1999. The program chronicles the experiences of three
Virginians who were there as part of an American delegation. Noble
Desire is the culmination of collaboration between WHRO and FOX
Noble Desire features the historic efforts of President
Mathieu Kerekou, of the Republic of Benin. He invited descendents of
African and European slave trading nations to apologize for the role
of their ancestors in the Atlantic Slave Trade to representatives of
the African diaspora and to seek forgiveness. Three hundred people
attended this historic gathering including the President of Ghana,
nearly 50 African Kings, two members of the United States Congress,
business and political leaders from several European nations, and
representatives of the African diaspora.