March 16, 1818: “Barbados By His Excellency The Governor”… Travel License for “a slave named William Henry…the said slave properly belonging to Joseph Whitehead”
Some Want Reparations – But Who Should Pay?
Our friend, Tightscenes, over at BIM Today posts “Church of England Apologises for Slave Trade” and says in part…
The Church of England has voted to apologise to the descendants of victims of the slave trade. An amendment “recognising the damage done” to those enslaved was backed overwhelmingly by the General Synod…. The organisation owned the Codrington Plantation in Barbados, where slaves had the word “society” branded on their backs with a red-hot iron…
This ‘apology’ does NOTHING to assist the decendants of slaves, and EVERYTHING to make the slave owners decendants appear humane, caring and sweet… awww. How about paying us a few billion pounds for the work we did and the suffering we endured?
If only things were so simple (I could use a few pounds myself)… but now we have Black Africans wrestling with their own guilt over their ancestors’ roles in the history of slavery…
Should Black Africans Pay Slavery Reparations to Black Bajans?
MMK, a blogger in Kenya, comments at African Bullets & Honey…
I am confused about how to apportion guilt over the slave trade accurately so I do not let myself off the hook when I should be on it or hang myself when I shouldn’t. I lived in the States for a dozen years and in that time was closest to black folks in terms of my politics and my social life. Every once in a while the slavery question would come up emotionally: why had Africans such as my ancestors sold our brothers to plantation hell?
It is obviously an issue that even today evokes pain in some descendents of slaves so let me try delicately offering some thoughts that I have…
MMK is writing in response to an article by Keguro, another Kenyan blogger, who writes…
“Why did you sell us?
African nationalists avoided the question. They said: it was the Africans who converted to Islam who sold you. In Kenya: it was the Swahili who sold you. And the Swahili said: it was the sub-group with brown nails who sold you.
We still avoid the question. We disclaim responsibility.
But we support claims for reparations. We want apologies for colonialism and slavery and civil rights violations. Blame the Arabs, the Europeans, the Americans.
We welcome African Americans back home, greedy for their dollars. Or we refuse to grant them the term “African,” saying they are black Americans. Not African. Black.
Whose history do we want to forget?”
If we really want to discuss the issue of slavery and reparations, we shouldn’t be artificially limiting the debate to those bad white European folks who bought, branded and put us into the fields. The actions of black Africans and Muslim slave traders must be part of any honest debate… not to mention the fact that Muslim slave traders are still very much alive and thriving in the 21st Century.
Human beings can still be purchased today for as little as twenty dollars.
Church’s Slavery Apology “Is Not Enough” – News Telegraph
Barbados Photo Gallery – Codrington Estate
All too complicated for me so early in the morning. Perhaps a Banks with the mid-day meal will help to clarify my thoughts…
Posted by Marcus
“Slaves rescued by H.M.S. Philomel, April 1893. Many of the Children received by the Universities Mission”