Some say the US is ignoring the commemoration of the slave trade's end

Last year England lavishly celebrated the 200th anniversary of the abolishment of the slave trade. Although the system of purchasing human beings for money ended, slavery continued in British colonies. The country marked the bicentennial with a service at Westminster Abbey attended by the queen. The city of Liverpool, a former slave trading capital, opened the International Slavery Museum. Another British city, Bristol, spent almost $800,000 to commemorate the end of this lucrative business.

Thomas Jefferson's bill abolishing the slave trade in this country took effect Jan. 1, 1808. The institution of slavery itself didn't end for several decades.

Celebrations surrounding the end of the slave trade in this country are muted compared to England's. President Bush signed a bill in February creating a national commission on the abolition of the slave trade, but it included no funding for festivities. The 17-day Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C., commemorated the bicentennial in May by focusing on the black experience.

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Randll Reese Besch - 7/2/2008

Symbolic but still important I think.

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