The First Annual Roots Recovered Reverse Middle Passage Tour And Forgiveness Ceremony Confronts The African Side Of The Slave Trade In Order To Promote Forgiveness And Bonding Among African Americans, West Indians And Africans

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The First Annual Roots Recovered Reverse Middle Passage Tour & Forgiveness Ceremony will take place at Republic of Benin West Africa (Kingdom of Dahomey) March 23 to April 1, 2006.

The First Annual Roots Recovered Reverse Middle Passage Tour & Forgiveness Ceremony was conceived from the same elements that caused the authors, James White and Jean Gontran Quenum, to write the acclaimed African heritage travel book titled "Roots Recovered The How To Guide For Tracing African-American and West Indian Roots Back To Africa and Going There For Free Or On A Shoestring Budget." "Roots Recovered" was written in response to the authors’ frustration with some people of African descent’s peculiar questions and negative perceptions about Africa.

The book has received rave reviews since its release in January 2004 and was featured on the Tavis Smiley Show on NPR Radio, CN-8 News, "Africa meets Africa" Pacifica Radio; on WHUR, "The Caribbean Experience"; and on Radio One and WKGO Radio on the number-one rated travel talk show "John Hamilton On the Go." The book was selected for the DiverCity Book of the Month Club, as well as featured in: The University of South Florida Africana Heritage website; the Boston Globe; and many other publications. However, not all of the book’s attention has been positive. During the many tours and speaking engagements many people of African descent say "those African people don’t like us" and "they are the ones that sold us into slavery, why do I want to go back over there?" Out of these statements The First Annual Roots Recovered Reverse Middle Passage Tour & Forgiveness Ceremony was born. White said "We must confront the pain of the African involvement in the slave trade in order to move forward as a global African Diaspora. We forgive others involved in the slave trade now we must forgive our brothers in Africa." He added "Most of us do not know how sorry most African are about the slave trade." The authors White and Quenum teamed up with elite traveler and entrepreneur Camille Howard to plan this tour. White says that Ms. Howard has years of experience in international travel that brings sophistication to the tour. White says that he, and co-author Quenum "know how to bring you to Africa on a shoestring budget and Ms. Howard knows how to bring you there with style."

White said that the Republic of Benin was primarily chosen because the President of Benin, the Honorable Mathew Kerekou admitted his country’s part in the trans-Atlantic slave trade and sought reconciliation and forgiveness from the descendants of that horrific crime against humanity, through a formal conference held in Republic of Benin in 1999. White said, "I was deeply moved by the actions of President Kerekou but I was saddened by the fact that not many people on this side of the world knew about his actions or knew about the country of Benin."

The Republic of Benin was also chosen because it was known as the "slave coast" and its coastal city Quidah was the slave capital of Africa and slaves from several countries passed through this town. Benin also is the home of some very unique historical sites that rival, and sometimes exceed the better-known African Heritage destinations such as Senegal and Ghana.

White says that "Benin is not well known but has some very interesting history and many sites, as it pertains to African history and slavery," such as the city of Allada which is the birthplace of Toussaint L’Ouverture, the founder of Haiti. Ganvie, which is an entire village, built on poles in the middle of a huge lake by people escaping slave raiders. The village of Quidah, which has the slave route, that is marked with numerous monuments, down to the great arch at the edge of the ocean called the Point of No Return, as well as the Temple of the Pythons with live snakes roaming freely." The highlight of the tour will be the Forgiveness Ceremony and Conference. For those interested, optional DNA testing to trace your roots can be obtained from African Ancestry prior to the trip.

To reserve your place contact Palace Travel, "The African Travel Experts" at 800-683-7731 or 215-471-8555 or online at http://www.palacetravel.com. For more information about the tour send e-mail to rootsrecovered@aol.com For information about traveling and tracing your roots to Africa go to http://www.rootsrecovered.com and purchase Roots Recovered.

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