Thursday 31 August 2023


As a member of the Mbuti people, Ota Benga lived near the Kasai River in the Congo. His people were killed by the Force Publique, established by King Leopold II of Belgium. Benga lost his wife and two children, surviving only because he was on a hunting expedition when the Force Publique attacked his village. He was later captured by slavers.

Benga was “purchased” by one Samuel Phillips Verner, and transported to the Bronx Zoo. He was caged in the Monkey House labeled. Eventually Benga was released to African Americans in Brooklyn, and later moved to an outpost of their community in Lynchburg, Virginia. In the late afternoon of 19 March 1916, Benga gathered wood to build a fire in the field. He danced around the fire. That night, he retrieved a gun from an old shed and fired a single bullet through his own heart.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...