Category Archives: American Slave Trade

Caribbean adopts plan to seek slavery reparations.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent (AP) — Leaders of Caribbean nations on Monday unanimously adopted a broad plan on seeking reparations from European nations for what they say are the lingering ill effects of the Atlantic slave trade on the region.

 

A British human rights law firm hired by the Caribbean Community grouping of nations announced that prime ministers had authorized a 10-point plan that would seek a formal apology and debt cancellation from former colonizers such as Britain, France and the Netherlands. The decision came at a closed-door meeting in St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

 

According to the Leigh Day law firm, the Caribbean Community also wants reparation payments to repair the persisting “psychological trauma” from the days of plantation slavery and calls for assistance to boost the region’s technological know-how since the Caribbean was denied participation in Europe’s industrialization and confined to producing and exporting raw materials such as sugar.

 

The plan further demands European aid in strengthening the region’s public health, educational and cultural institutions such as museums and research centers.

 

It is even pushing for the creation of a “repatriation program,” including legal and diplomatic assistance from European governments, to potentially resettle members of the Rastafarian spiritual movement in Africa. Repatriation to Africa has long been a central belief of Rastafari, a melding of Old Testament teachings and Pan-Africanism whose followers have long pushed for reparations.

 

Martyn Day of the law firm called the plan a “fair set of demands on the governments whose countries grew rich at the expense of those regions whose human wealth was stolen from them.”

 

Day said an upcoming meeting in London between Caribbean and European officials “will enable our clients to quickly gauge whether or not their concerns are being taken seriously.” It was not immediately clear when the meeting to potentially seek a negotiated settlement will take place.

 

The idea of the countries that benefited from slavery paying some form of reparations has been a decades-long quest but only recently has it gained serious momentum in the Caribbean.

 

Caricom, as the political grouping of 15 countries and dependencies is known, announced in July that it intended to seek reparations for slavery and the genocide of native peoples and created the Caribbean Reparations Commission to push the issue and present their recommendations to political leaders.

 

They then hired Leigh Day, which waged a successful fight for an award compensation of about $21.5 million for surviving Kenyans who were tortured by the British colonial government during the so-called Mau Mau rebellion of the 1950s and 1960s.

 

The commission’s chairman, Hilary Beckles, a scholar who has written several books on the history of Caribbean slavery, said he was “very pleased” that the political leaders adopted the plan.

 

In 2007, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed regret for the “unbearable suffering” caused by his country’s role in slavery but made no formal apology. In 2010, then French President Nicolas Sarkozy acknowledged the “wounds of colonization” and pointed out France had canceled a 56 million euro debt owed by Haiti and approved an aid package.

 

The Caribbean Reparations Commission said Monday that far more needed to be done for the descendants of slaves on struggling islands, saying it sees the “persistent racial victimization of the descendants of slavery and genocide as the root cause of their suffering today.”

 

Reblogged by Wade Bailey

 

Associated Press writer Duggie Joseph reported this story in Kingstown, St. Vincent, and David McFadden reported from Kingston, Jamaica.

 

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Harriet Tubman.

 

 

Harriet Tubman: (Buck town Maryland New York 10 March 1913) one of the leaders of the Underground Railroad.

Tubman was also a Christian who carried a bible in one hand and a shotgun in the other.

She was reputed to be braver than most men were and threatened anyone who betrayed the Underground Railroad with death. Tubman’s birth namw was Araminta Harriet Ross, She was born in Maryland in 1820, she was one of 9 children born to Harriet Green and Ben Ross, her father was a Freedman at age 45. By 1844, Harriet married John Tubman, a free black man and changed her name to Harriet Tubman. Allegedly Harriet used her middle name as her first name as a way of honoring her mother Harriet Green.

By 1849 Harriet took her two brothers, Harry and Ben and escaped the plantation where they had lived all of their lives. The runaway was publically followed and their return ransom was set as $300 according to the Cambridge Democrat. After a long journey, Tubman’s’ brothers fell weak and retracted back to Maryland, although Harriet kept going (Yass Harriet!).

With the help of The Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman successfully escaped to Philadelphia in 1849. The journey was nearly 90 miles long on foot.

From the time Harriet was a child into adulthood, she experienced psychedelic dreams that guided her life. One dream in particular included extremist abolitionist, John Brown, who she eventually met in the late 1850s.  Harriet went on to help Brown recruit slaves and freed blacks for an attack on slaveholders at Harpers Ferry.

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Despite already having her freedom and leading rebellions, Tubman made it her mission to rescue her family and other slaves in the south. By December 1851, she guided 11 fugitives towards the north into freedom (She may have stopped at the home of Frederick Douglass). By the 1860s, Harriet was responsible for helping 100s of slaves escape to the north.

During the Civil War, Harriet Tubman worked as a union army cook and nurse before being recruited as an armed scout and spy for the union.

Harriet was also the first woman to lead an armed troop in the war, known as the Combahee River Raid. Her troop went on to liberate more than 700 slaves in South Carolina, totaling more than 1000 slaves forever indebted to Harriet Tubman over the course of her abolitionist life.

Harriet Tubman died in March 1913 and she became widely known as Moses and General Tubman. Both names accurately describe the life and contributions of Miss. Harriet Tubman.