Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan has sent an invitation to the First Lady of the United States to come to Amsterdam and speech during the ceremony of the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, according to Het Parool.
On July 1, it’s one hundred and fifty years ago that slavery in the Dutch colonies of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles was officially abolished. The commemoration in the Amsterdam is part of dozens of large and small activities that highlight the history of slavery and its implications.
Besides Obama more important guests from abroad are expected. Among the invited guest are African-American writers Alice Walker and Toni Morrison and the former Black Panther Angela Davis.
During the commemoration members of the Dutch government and the royal family will be present, as well as the governments of the Dutch Caribbean islands. The Surinamese government is not invited, because of the decision of the city of Amsterdam not to maintain contacts with the Surinamese government. The controversial President of Suriname, Desi Bouterse, is not welcome in The Netherlands.