June 27 - Barack Obama, the first US president of African ancestry visits Goree Island in Senegal -- the point of departure for the slave trade. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Almost four centuries after Africans started being shipped to North America as slaves, the first U.S. president of African ancestry visits Goree Island in Senegal -- the point of departure for those destined for lives in chains. On the first leg of an eight-day visit to Africa the first family visits the House of Slaves, a fort built in the late18th century as a transit point for human traffic. The visit is a somber reminder of a shameful period in U.S.history. It provides a powerful contrast between Obama's stature as leader of the world's most powerful nation and the historical status of Africans, once treated as property in the country he governs. After the Obamas' visit to the island, both the U.S. President and the First Lady will have dinner with Senegal's President before they depart the next day for South Africa - the second stop on their week-long tour of the continent.