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President Obama's Historic Trip to Sengal's Goree Island

President calls Nelson Mandela a personal hero and hero to the world.
1:37 | 06/27/13

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Transcript for President Obama's Historic Trip to Sengal's Goree Island
And the obamas, you may know, are traveling in africa tonight. Today, they visited the haunting monuments of the slave trade. Abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl. Reporter: The legacy of nelson mandela loomed large as president obama made a pilgrimage to senegal's goree island, where he and his family toured the infamous slave house. The president peered out from the door of no return -- a place that has come to symbolize the horrific journey of millions of africans shifed -- shipped off from this clooastline and into slave slavery. It's a very powerful moment to come here and to fully appreciate the magnitude of the slave trade, to get a sense in a very intimate way of the incredible inhumanity and hardship that people faced. Reporter: It is a place mandela himself visited more than 20 years ago. When mandela came here just a year after he himself had been freed from prison, he insisted on coming into here -- one of these small cells that was used to punish slaves accused of misbehaving. He spent some time in here alone. When he emerged, he had tears in his eyes. The depth of feeling here today, also mixed with joy. When he come here, everybody happy. Reporter: Locals told us they have been eeg ily awaiting the first african-american president. Why do you want him to come? Because he is black. Because we are proud for him to be president of the united states. It's a good country. Reporter: These women, like so many others here, consider obama, in a sense, their president as well. Jonathan karl, abc news, goree i land, senegal.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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