R&B star Akon has launched a song to commemorate the victims of the slave trade, past and present.
He debuted "Blood Into Gold" at the United Nations, New York, on Wednesday - the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery.
"I will do my part to spread the word - a lot of my US friends are not aware of the history [of slavery]," he said.
Akon, real name Aliaune Thiam, was born in St Louis, Missouri, but spent much of his youth living in Senegal.
"[Slavery] is a big situation for us - the younger generation," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.
"It's very important for me because it was the slaves that opened the door for me personally.
"Seeing how far we've come, I'm honoured to be a part of it and I will do my part to spread that word.
"As people, we should stop using each other for money purposes."
Akon, the son of famous Senegalese percussionist Mor Thiam, shot to fame in 2004 with the release of his solo debut album, Trouble, which spawned the hit single "Locked Up".
He was the first solo artist to accomplish the feat of holding both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, twice.
On "Blood Into Gold" he collaborates with Emmy-award winning musician Peter Buffett, who was asked by the non-profit organisation, Culture Project, to write a song for the "Breaking the Silence, Beating the Drum" event.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.