In honoring Ota Benga, we focus our efforts on the need to treat each other with dignity, with respect for cultural diversity as a source of strength, and with truth as a foundation for genuine reconciliation to end the cycles of violence, vengeance, and militarism. We believe that peace and dignity cannot be achieved while the injustices of the past and present are buried in silence, and while the struggles of the present go unheard.
(c) Mumia Abu Jamal
Find out more about Ota Benga
Welcome! We are the Ota Benga Alliance for Peace, Healing and Dignity in the D.R. Congo and beyond, located in Berkeley, California and Kinshasa, D.R. Congo.
Who was Ota Benga? A Congolese man, brought to the United States to be exhibited at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. He was an Mbuti (a pygmy), about 4 feet 8 inches tall, put on display at the Fair’s Hall of Man along with an exotic collection of indigenous peoples from all over the world. Ota Benga was exhibited next to a group of Native Americans that included Geronimo. read more »
Case of the Zoo Pygmy Exhibited a Familiar Face of Human Nature
By Ann Hornaday
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 3, 2009; C01
It's not unusual for a minor, obscure historical figure suddenly to bubble up into the zeitgeist. (Remember the year of two Truman Capote movies?) But the inspiration for what might be the most arcane cultural reference of 2008 turned out to have particular, grievous resonance for me. His name is Ota Benga. read more »
English translation coming soon.
Un an après le centenaire en Octobre (1906-2006) rappelant l’exhibition d’Ota Benga au jardin Zoologique du Bronx à New York (dans la même cage que les singes), nous apprenons qu’un groupe de pygmées avait été « logé » dans une tente à l’intérieur du jardin Zoologique de Brazzaville, dans le cadre d’un festival pan-Africain de musique. A cent ans de distance, mais cette fois, en Afrique même, la déshumanisation de nos sœurs et frères pygmées continue, par des Africains. read more »