Justice For Ota Benga: A Memorial at the Bronx Zoo

Zoo trips are always fun with the family. Many schools will go out of their way to give loads of money to zoos, in order for the students to have a "great and meaningful learning experience". But did you ever think of the dark sides of zoos? Have you thought of the hidden stories within those walls? What information are zoos not giving schools? Many people do not know about Ota Benga. Ota Benga had a very difficult life - even before he was taken to live in a zoo. He had two wives, and both of them died. He also survived a massive massacre. Ota Benga was from Congo, where an explorer, named Samual Verner, meet Ota Benga, and brought him back to the United States. In 1906, he was put in the Bronx Zoo, in the Ape Sanctuary. People would come to the Bronx Zoo, to laugh and insult Ota Benga, while the zoo keepers tried their best to humiliate him. The exhibit became immensely popular, but also controversial. The zoo was then put under fire to free Ota Benga. People threatened to press charges if the zoo did not let him go. Finally, the zoo did, and Ota Benga was placed in a school in Virginia. He spent ten years of his life in that school but was still thought of as a joke. He had little respect from other people. Eventually, homesick and depressed, Ota Benga committed suicide, in 1916. In science and history, we learned about his story, and many people were shocked and have never heard of him before. This is why it is very important that we let the world know. Believe it or not, the Bronx Zoo does not have any kind of memorial for him. We must urge them to at least make a plaque for him, where he was held in captivity. After all, it is their responsibility. In addition, it would be groundbreaking for American children to learn about their city's and nation's past.

More info available at: bit.ly/OtaBengaMemorial

Update #14 years ago
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