A new international exhibition, “Slavery. Ten True Stories of Dutch Colonial Slavery,” will open at The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center on Thursday, March 21, 2024 and continue through June 30, 2024. The exhibit was created by the Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands’ national museum of art and history. At the invitation of the United Nations, the Rijksmuseum has curated a special “capsule” version of this acclaimed exhibition which will tour the United States.

“This powerful exhibition calls on us all to put an end to racism and injustice in our own time and make inclusive societies based on dignity and rights a reality everywhere,” said Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres.

During the summer of 2021, the Rijksmuseum staged its first-ever major exhibition devoted to the subject of slavery. In this landmark exhibition, the Rijksmuseum focused on slavery in the Dutch colonial period from the 17th to the 19th century in Brazil, Suriname, and the Caribbean, as well as in South Africa, parts of Asia, and the Netherlands itself. This era spanning 250 years is an integral part of the history of the Netherlands and has profound effects on society today. It was a time when the status of individuals was reduced to that of property, objects, and items in accounts.

“As the Dutch government recognizes its involvement in the trans-Atlantic trade of enslaved people, it is important to create space and dialogue with American partners to discuss this history and present-day impact. Partnering with the DuSable Museum on “Slavery. Ten True Stories of Dutch Colonial Slavery” is one way to call attention to our past as we work to make a better future for us all,” stated Dutch Ambassador Birgitta Tazelaar.

“The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center is honored to partner with the National Museum of The Netherlands to bring “Slavery. Ten True Stories of Dutch Colonial Slavery” to Chicago to the oldest independent Black history museum in the United States. Not only does this exhibit fulfill our mission to feature historical narratives from the entire Black diaspora, but the Rijksmuseum and the Kingdom of the Netherlands have shown, through this groundbreaking exhibit, the power to face history, acknowledge it and apologize for their role in the enslavement of African peoples. We believe there’s much to learn through this, and through our other international partnerships, in realizing that the voices of Black people are critically important to historical narratives not just here in America, but across the world,” said, Perri Irmer, President and CEO, The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center.

The United Nations hosted “Slavery. Ten True Stories of Dutch Colonial Slavery” in 2023 as part of the United Nations Outreach Program on the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Slavery. The exhibition at The DuSable Museum was made possible in part by the Dutch Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Washington, D.C., as well as the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Chicago.

“Recognizing the continuing impact of slavery on world history is of great importance. We are very grateful to the United Nations for drawing attention to this important subject through the exhibition,” said General Director of the Rijksmuseum, Taco Dibbits.

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