Sunday, September 24, 2017

"In 1906, this Congolese man was displayed in a zoo. Now, Virginia is honoring him"

WaPo:

Last weekend, Virginia — one of three states in the country that prominently display a statue of Confederate leader Jefferson Davis in its capitol — unveiled a historical highway marker for Ota Benga, a Congolese native and Lynchburg resident who in 1906 garnered global headlines when he was exhibited in the Bronx Zoo monkey house.

...

For nearly a century, the story of Benga’s tragic life was narrated by the very men who were most complicit in his degradation. In dozens of accounts — including one in a Virginia encyclopedia — the man most responsible for his exploitation was absurdly depicted as his friend.