28 Jun 2012


During a conference in Liverpool last week, we had dinner with Dr PC. PC is a consultant who grew up in Hong Kong and worked in Liverpool in the last three decades. He is a very kind person and has given several lectures in Hong Kong previously.

When he learned that I was leaving on the next day, he asked what my plan was.

“I want to attend the appetite control symposium. Afterwards, I will catch the train to London and then go home,” I answered.

“Listen,” he said, “you must visit the International Slavery Museum before you leave.”

Thus, I sneaked away in the middle of a talk and said goodbye to the conference. By the way, a psychologist was explaining why liking food and wanting food were different. It sounded interesting.

The Museum had but one theme. For around 400 years, Europeans sent tens of millions of Africans to America to work as slaves, mostly at cotton plantations. Through networking and business skills, merchants in Liverpool quickly led the field and made the city capital of human trafficking. The Museum also illustrated at length how the slavery business destroyed the economy and development of Africa. In essence, the illustrators believed that Liverpool should take full responsibility of the damage.

A nation cannot be great until it can face its history.

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