Slavery Theme Park Stirs Controversy

Slavery Theme Park Stirs Controversy

Published February 23, 2009

Ignoring critics who say that slavery should not be remembered in a fun way, former Jackson Five member Marlon Jackson is helping build a slavery theme park in the east African nation of Nigeria.

When the Badagry Historical Resort Development Project is complete, says Jackson and other park backers, Nigeria will be one of the world’s top tourist destinations.

"This will be an adventurous ride, giving you an historical overview of African music. From hologram images, concert footage, a state-of-the-art recording facility, to robotic figures displaying the rhythmic beats from 300 years ago where music began leading up to the biggest African group in the world, The Jackson Five," says literature from the investment group behind the plan, called The Motherland Group (TMG).

Also included at the resort would be a memorial and a museum about slavery, which alone probably wouldn’t stir that much controversy.

But those who are livid about the notion of exploiting the pains of slavery for profit point to the plans for such things as casinos, shops, a golf course, condominiums, a relaxing swimming pool – and, of course, memorabilia from the Jackson Five’s heyday.

"This plan is morally reprehensible, it's like dancing on the graves of dead people and telling them you're honoring them," C. Don Adinuba, a writer and PR consultant, told the BBC. The goal, says TMG, is to make Nigeria “a major world player” in African tourism, projecting that the theme park would likely generate $400 million in the first year alone.

Do you support the idea of a slavery theme park?

Written by BET.com Staff

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