The author Pamela Newkirk presents the shameful episode first thing in this book. Immediately reading about Ota Benga's plight captured my attention. --Two years after an appearance at the 1904 St. Louis World Fair, Ota Benga was brought to the New York Zoological Park (better known as the Bronx Zoo), where he was locked in a cage with an orangutan before a jeering throng. -- What follows is Newkirk's thorough research into the back story of Ota Benga and the numerous characters that were culpable. Any mystery or murkiness surrounding Ota Benga's story and this media sensation from the turn of the 19th century are brought to light.
This book does not restrict itself solely to Ota Benga's mistreatment and subsequent life but shifts focus to what was going on in Central Africa (especially King Leopold's treatment of fellow Africans) at this time.
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