africa / news

Can one reflect on history in a luxury resort?

What does a slavery memorial have to do with a luxury resort? A lot, if you are Marlon Jackson, one of the Jackson brothers.  Many are calling this project a little more than bizzare. Quite a number of Nigerians are up in arms against the construction of this tourist resort in Badagry, Nigeria. Their argument is that a holiday spot takes away from the seriousness of the Tran Atlantic forced movement of Africans, re: slavery.

The BBC reports:

The historic slave port is to be transformed through the bizarre combination of a slave history theme park and a museum dedicated to double Grammy-winning pop-soul group the Jackson Five.

The men behind the plan say it will honour the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and provide employment opportunities for Nigerians.

Arguments for:

On display at the museum will be animatronic vignettes of the band, memorabilia and “holographic displays” of the group that launched the career of Michael Jackson, after their split in 1989.

“The Badagry Historical Resort development project will certainly enhance the quality of life for millions of people across Nigeria,” promotional material for the resort says.

Arguments against:

Respected writer and historian Toyin Falola has condemned the project.
“It is not appropriate from a cultural or historical point of view, those who are looking for money care about money and no other thing,” he said.

Writer, columnist and PR consultant C Don Adinuba said if the resort was being built by a company run by a white person, there would be uproar.
“This plan is morally reprehensible, it’s like dancing on the graves of dead people and telling them you’re honouring them.”

The rest of the news article. Your take?


3 thoughts on “Can one reflect on history in a luxury resort?

  1. This reminds of a similar argument surrounding the luxury hotel that Bet founder Bob Johnson is building in Liberia. Click here. While many welcome the endeavor, some were upset at the choice of the location. Apparently some historical structures will have to be torn down, to construct this hotel.

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