Bajan-Brit author Andrea Stuart: Britain still in denial about British slavery

UPDATED: August 10, 2012 – Andrea Stuart’s book now listed for sale

To be the descendant of Barbadian slaves and white British sugar plantation owners is an extraordinary legacy, for it means that one side of your family once owned the other. But that is the strange inheritance that Andrea Stuart discovered when she began to investigate her family history…

Read a new account in Mail Online and purchase Sugar in the Blood: A family’s story of Slavery and Empire

“I think that in Britain there’s still a degree of denial or an unwillingness to really confront the back story of British slavery and so on. So there’s a sense of it being something that happened sometime a long time ago in some far away place, rather than realizing that the British colonies were, at that point, Britain, that they were British territories and the connection between the colonies and Britain is incredibly intimate. Not something that happened far away and a long time ago, but something that happened in Britain in the world of British life and something that still has repercussion today, and I think that’s the thing that, as a culture, Britain hasn’t quite come to terms with.”

Andrea Stuart talks with Marco Werman about the complexities of untangling her family tree, and of coming to terms with the idea of being descended from both slave owners and slaves in Barbados.

Andrea Stuart’s new book “Sugar in the Blood,  A Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire” is due on the shelves in January 2013 apparently available now through the link in the Mail Online story at the top of the page.

From the author of an acclaimed biography of Josephine Bonaparte: a stunning history of the interdependence of sugar, slavery, and colonial settlement in the New World—from the seventeenth century to the present—which is, as well, a spellbinding family memoir.

Andrea Stuart uses her own family story as the pivot of an epic tale, examining the ways in which the sugar crop cultivated on the island of Barbados created nations, enriched Europe beyond its wildest imaginings, and precipitated the enslavement of the millions of Africans in the Americas. Interspersing the tectonic shifts of colonial history with her own ancestors’ experiences, Stuart explores, with subtlety and sensitivity, how this one particular commodity has shaped the destiny of her family—its identity, genealogy, place of origin, varying hues of skin—and how our hunger for it has mobilized forces that converged to shape the world for four centuries and counting.

107 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Slavery, Sugar

107 responses to “Bajan-Brit author Andrea Stuart: Britain still in denial about British slavery

  1. Jrjrjrjr

    In reality people in the UK and indeed all over the world are more focused on how to pay the bills and eat in this current economic climate rather than dwell on history. Slavery was horrific and should never have happened but let us dwell on the now and the future not the past . We can’t change it but we can make things better from experience

  2. Get OVER it.

    This is all about what some see as a Hopeful Restitution Payout.

    Not gonna happen. so move on.
    No money coming your way, sorry.
    New world now!

  3. an observer

    Who doesn’t have a complex family tree? You should see mine (and yes mine also has the elements which she is “coming to terms with”). The lady needs to get over herself.

  4. an observer

    Furthermore, since the begining of time mankind has taken advantage of and exploited his fellow man. From the hordes of Genhis Khan sweeping across the steppes of Asia, the Nordic peoples ravaging the British Isles and other parts of Europe, Alexander the Great sweeping across Egypt, Mesopotamia and north India, the Romans conquering the Mediterranian, Europe and Britain, the Barbarians laying waste to parts of Europe and the list goes on and on….Give me a break. But I suppose madam has to support herself somehow.

  5. Dessalines

    @ observer, jrjrjr and over it
    Thanks for proving beyond all reasonable doubt that one cannot fix dumb If you have nothing constructive to say – shut up. I’d be rich if I had a penny for each time I have heard black people regurgitate the popular talking points of the Europeans, here’s a few you guys forgot – the Jews were slaves also – it was a long time ago – let bygones be bygones etc – no one alive owned slaves etc etc. Sounds familiar?
    If one is to follow observers logic – since we were not the only people to have been ‘taken advantage’ of we should just shut up and bear it. Its like telling a rape victim she’s not the first or last to be raped so she should accept being violated.
    @ jrjrjr – ever heard the saying ‘Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it’
    As to get over it’s naive and simplistic insinuation that the author is looking a ‘payout’, this I find offensive.

    What the author is doing is seeking to represent OUR history and struggles from OUR perspective and as seen through our eyes as opposed to the eyes of our British colonial masters who committed their atrocities in the name of God and Queen.
    Some of us do have respect and gratitude to our ancestors on whose shoulders we now stand. Which is why we will never bow to your infantile rantings of payouts and bygones. We will continue to demand that Britain takes responsibility for her actions and at the least issues an apology. It took the Aborigines over 140 years to get theirs from their government – we are not too far behind.

  6. Beefcake

    You can’t change the past. If you want to learn from it, do what you can to combat slavery in today’s world.

  7. an observer

    @ Dessalines – You are silly. I have no problem with my ancestors – European, African and South American Indian. I actually find it fascinating. The point I was trying to make is the fact that mankind of whatever race or hue are nasty. And no amount wallowing in the past will ever change that. Get over your own mental slavery.

  8. just want to know

    And slavery with children. these children are put to work in workhouses to make clothes, and other items for the people in the western countries to buy, and the people who organise this reap massive rewards financially. What a sorry state we are all in, for even in Barbados we buy these things.

  9. Mark Fenty

    Dessalines, the past with its Good and Evil lives in the present, and what Men and Women did three-hundred years ago has shaped our lives today.

  10. Mark Fenty

    Dessalines, the Old is in the New concealed, the New is in the Old revealed my friend.

  11. Mark Fenty

    @Dessalines
    You’re correct, it is senseless to dwelling on the past, but the past impacts the future in many ways, especially when it comes to the Black- Man in the
    western hemisphere. Yes, the Jew endured slavery just like the man of color, and I hardly think that any sound- minded individual here would deny that fact. But the reality is, that the man of color has been unshackled from iron –grip of economic- colonialism, and racial apartheid less than fifty years ago. And even after his pseudo- emancipation he still continues progressively push aside the many obstacles which continually impinge upon his liberty.

  12. Mark Fenty

    @Dessalines
    I suggest that you get a copy of Claudette Williams’s book “(Charcoal and Cinnamon)”. Her book chronicle slavery in the Caribbean through the medium of poetry, and it provides a broad insight into this institution.

  13. robert ross

    Well, the book isn’t on the shelves yet so maybe we’re just a little premature. Mind – I’m not clear precisely what the Brits – and the French, the Dutch, the Spaniards, the Portuguese and all the rest – have got to come to terms with and with what consequence. Until the C19 slavery, which we now accept as an abomination and rightly so, was entirely lawful. Sad – but true. The ‘slave’ was ‘res’

    But as someone points out – it is about time we dealt with the slavery of our own minds and begin to wake up.

  14. 74

    Ok again….slavery of the black race was started by the black races of africa. Think for a moment a ship with about 20 white people arrive in port. History says about 400 slaves are packed onboard the ships. Who does the packing, who does the rounding up of the slaves ??? White people NOOOOO !!! Black people sold their own slaves to the white people.
    The good news is you are not in that toilet called Africa any more…you owe the people that brought you over the cost of a one way fare, pay up !!!

  15. Mark Fenty

    @74
    The first instance of slave trading and labor developed in the Western Hemisphere involved, racially not the black- man but the Indian. The Indians rapidly succumbed to the excessive labor demanded of them, insufficient diet, the white’s man diseases and their enable to adjust themselves to the news life. 74 is it important to note, that the immediately successors of the Indians, however, was not the black- man but the Poor- White. This white- slavery was commonly known as Indenture, which was equal to that of black- chattel slavery in some respects.

    Let’s take the argument that you have advanced, that the black people sold their own people to the whites for profit. Now, how does that negate the fact that the enslavement of any human being is contrary to the divine principles of Christianity, or the laws of nature? Indeed, one would have through that the European should have known better given the fact that his culture was more enlightened, and civilize than that of the African right? My friend, your failing attempt to speak away the fact of history, quite clearly demonstrates your lack of scope on this subject. The reality is, in order for the white-man to justify the enslavement of the black- man. Given the fact the Europe was Christianized at the time, and Slavery was in direct conflict with Europe religious values. He had to declare that the Man of African descent was Sub- human or less than human.

    My personal view on the matter is this; the voices of moral correctness should have said this is wrong, because no one has the right to undermine the liberty of any human being for their personal gain. Our black ancestors who sold my fore- parents into slavery was wrong if such was the case, because this seems to be that only justification that white- man can use to ease his conscience. And the European who brought the slaves from the continental African was wrong.

  16. Fentyml@hotmail.com

    Sorry my computer seems to be giving me some trouble, this evening for some unknown reason. I’ve made some mistakes which I unsuccessfully endeavored to correct, I ask for your understanding.

  17. Mark Fenty

    @74
    From time to time I’ll engage people of European extraction here in America, in discourse regarding the institution of slavery. And many of them seem to share your haft-baked argument that African people sold they people into slavery. So then, I ask the question, does selling one’s ancestors into slavery negates the fact that slavery was contrary to the laws of God, and that of nature? You know, one would have imagine that those Europeans who landed on the African continent in search of slave labor should have known this, given they highly developed Brains one would think.

  18. 74

    @Mark Fenty

    Mark life is a bitch I know…but you must know that the white race couldn’t care less. We are to busy heading to the future, while blacks are heading to the past. A black man’s biggest problem is another black man…
    My room mate at univerity was a black african he and i were great friends. He told me that he is the son of a king, but all black in american and the caribbean are sons of slaves.
    He told me that africa will be destroyed by its own people….I agree, in 1000 years their will be no black people in the world……why you ask…..AIDS !!!
    The UN says that 40 % of the African contenent has AIDS…WOW !! Followed by the Caribbean at 29 %…wow. Who are you going to blame for that ??

  19. robert ross

    @ Anonymous

    Odd that story of yours. See I got exactly the same story from a Nigerian ‘princess’ who was very dismissive of Caribbeans. Her line was ‘we got rid of them’. Mind, her b/f was from the Bahamas!

    @ Mark Fenty

    Another odd one. Didn’t the Confederacy rely on the “laws of God” too? And what of Paul’s Letter to Philemon? And the idea of ‘gayness’ as an “abomination”? Funny old things, those ‘laws of God’.

  20. John

    The reality is, in order for the white-man to justify the enslavement of the black- man. Given the fact the Europe was Christianized at the time, and Slavery was in direct conflict with Europe religious values. He had to declare that the Man of African descent was Sub- human or less than human.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I would dispute this reality with history.

    The Bible was not widely available to mankind and most of mankind could not read!!

    Think about if the following changes had not happened and you and I were required to read the Bible in Latin!! – Some extracts from various sites are given to show the timeline of how the message of Christianity came to us!!

    “The first hand-written English language Bible manuscripts were produced in the 1380’s AD by John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor, scholar, and theologian. Wycliffe, (also spelled “Wycliff” & “Wyclif”), was well-known throughout Europe for his opposition to the teaching of the organized Church, which he believed to be contrary to the Bible. With the help of his followers, called the Lollards, and his assistant Purvey, and many other faithful scribes, Wycliffe produced dozens of English language manuscript copies of the scriptures. They were translated out of the Latin Vulgate, which was the only source text available to Wycliffe. The Pope was so infuriated by his teachings and his translation of the Bible into English, that 44 years after Wycliffe had died, he ordered the bones to be dug-up, crushed, and scattered in the river!”

    The printing press was first invented in 1400’s and the Bible printed in the 1450’s.

    The New World was “discovered” in 1492.

    “In the 1490’s another Oxford professor, and the personal physician to King Henry the 7th and 8th, Thomas Linacre, decided to learn Greek. After reading the Gospels in Greek, and comparing it to the Latin Vulgate, he wrote in his diary, “Either this (the original Greek) is not the Gospel… or we are not Christians.” The Latin had become so corrupt that it no longer even preserved the message of the Gospel… yet the Church still threatened to kill anyone who read the scripture in any language other than Latin… though Latin was not an original language of the scriptures.”

    Martin Luther’s ideas on Justification by faith signalled the beginning of the Reformation. It was sparked by the publication of his 95 theses in 1517.

    Martin Luther translated the Bible from Greek into German. It was printed in 1522.

    “Although Henry VIII broke with the Church of Rome in the 1530s, he
    strongly resisted thereafter associating the English Church with the Continental Protestant Reformation. [1] Henry’s position was however, reversed in the brief reign of his young son Edward VI 1547-1553, when the leaders of the Church of England, especially Thomas Cranmer, actively sought to establish England in the centre of evolving Reformed churches.[2] Cranmer’s ambitions, however, were not widely shared amongst the bulk of laity and clergy; and accordingly, the return to the religious forms of traditional Roman Catholicism under Queen Mary was widely welcomed.” – Source Wikipedia

    The King James version of the Bible appeared in 1611.

    As the Bible became more widely available to people printed in their own language different interpretations arose.

    It was the Quakers from 1648 who provided the force which eventually led to the abolition of the slave trade and slavery in British colonies less than two centuries later.

    The point I think is that the Bible as it became more widely available changed men’s and women’s hearts until eventually slavery which had existed and was accepted for millenia was finally thought to be a wrong by enough people in enough countries.

    It is like ITAL.

    Years ago not many would have embraced this way of thinking in Barbados.

    It took time but many accept this is needed. The old system is wrong and should be changed.

    All we need is a Wilberforce in Parliament to make it so!!

  21. robert ross

    @ John

    A very nice summary. One thing though: does the Bible actually have anything meaningful to say about the abomination of slavery?

  22. Mark Fenty

    @John
    John it is important that you note, that Emperor Constantine was the first person of exalted status to introduced Christianity into the Rome- Empire,
    and he had done this long before the continent of Europe was ever conceived. Perhaps, you may have forgotten that at the disintegration of the Rome- Empire, countries within the continent of Europe progressively started to take on their own individual nationhood. And during this era, Europe propelled itself through the political vicissitudes of: Monarchy, Anarchy, Aristocracy, theocracy, and then finally democracy. John, it is pretty difficult to convince me that the people within the European theater were devoid of any knowledge of Christianity, when Europe at one point was governed by the theocratic Popes. You probably may have realized by that the through simple examination of European history, that there is no evidence of chattel slavery recorded anywhere on European- continent during the Atlantic- Slave Trade ? (Perhaps you may want me to enlighten you as to why this is the case.)
    Now when one talks about slavery in the Hebrew bible, and the Rome- Empire, etc, it is important that one understands that there is an fundamental different when compared to Chattel- slavery which was practiced in the Americas. Take for instance, slavery in the Rome- empire, a slave in that period were no more different than a servant who does his or her job and go home at the end his or her workday.
    Finally, John one could easily argue that the Nation of Israel were unlettered, but yet they had had a fundamental grasp of “Spoken Word of God ” before Moses received the Written- Word from the Almighty God . Remember now, the Almighty God communicates to his people through the intuitive- conscience. I also think that you’re introducing certain aspects of biological- evolution when you reference man’s inability to read.

  23. Mark Fenty

    @Anonymous
    I vehemently disagree with your argument that the black- man biggest problem is another black- man. I think that the biggest problem people of color face today is they inability to full understand themselves. And this is due in part, because we have allowed others to defined and redefined our -self-image. Now to respond to your second point, I’ve heard the argument before from some of the African- brothers, who believes that blacks in the western hemisphere are the sons of slaves. But you must ask yourself the question, are they view the general consensus of the collective black population on the African continent. Now, it is unintelligible in my view, to paint with a broad-brush the views of a few individuals to criticized, or condemn the collective African- race, you know as I do that there is ignorance in every race, especially our.

  24. Mark Fenty

    Some my friend you should bush it off as mere open- mouth buffoonery, and wanton baboonery.

  25. Mark Fenty

    @John
    John, I love your failing attempt to shift the evil institution of slavery on the strong shoulders of our black ancestors who resides on the African continent. Are you trying to convince me that the European bears to responsibility at all for the almost complete elimination of the Indian in the Americas, and the black he worked to death for his financial gain? Please! Go an convince those individual who knows no better than to entertain your fairytale reasoning.

  26. Mark Fenty

    @John
    John, William Wilberforce of England gave his financial resources to eradicated the institution of slavery; John Brown of the United States of America gave his life for the same cause. Now, I’m talking about two
    prominent European abolitionists who detested the treatment of God’s creation.. And you want be to believe that those Europeans who were directly involved in the slave trading saw nothing immoral about this practice. Even if my fore-parents on the African continent sold us into slavery for their profits.

  27. John

    robert ross

    June 14, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    @ John

    A very nice summary. One thing though: does the Bible actually have anything meaningful to say about the abomination of slavery?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yup – the slavery of sin.

  28. John

    Mark Fenty

    June 14, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    @John
    John, William Wilberforce of England gave his financial resources to eradicated the institution of slavery; John Brown of the United States of America gave his life for the same cause. Now, I’m talking about two
    prominent European abolitionists who detested the treatment of God’s creation.. And you want be to believe that those Europeans who were directly involved in the slave trading saw nothing immoral about this practice. Even if my fore-parents on the African continent sold us into slavery for their profits
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Our politicians and lawyers see nothing wrong with theft.

    Until they become like the Europeans who figured out the abomination of slavery (they were actually shown) theft will go on.

    Our European and African foreparents bought and sold human beings because they were slaves as well ….. to power and profit.

    It is the message of the Gospel which lifted them out of their slavery to sin.

    The summary I gave above simply illustrates how that Message came to many as a result of the Reformation in Europe.

    In short, the Message overcame in less than two centuries what had taken place and been accepted for millennia.

    Wilberforce was a Christian.

    John Brown was a Christian.

    But look at the difference in how they gave their lives.

  29. John

    Mark Fenty

    June 14, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    @John
    Are you trying to convince me that the European bears to responsibility at all for the almost complete elimination of the Indian in the Americas, and the black he worked to death for his financial gain?+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Nope!!

  30. robert ross

    @ John

    On th slavery of sin

    Nice answer. But it ‘beggars’ all the questions..

    But to add to the theme. You might have said ‘In Christ there is neither slave nor free’. To work that into a ‘Gospel’ ethic takes a little interpretation. Now: was it the ‘Bible’ that did that or the ‘age of reason’ which brought about a new way of seeing things?

  31. robert ross

    @ John

    “Our politicians and lawyers” as thieves.

    “Some of our politicians and lawyers”????

    Mind are all of us not thieves in different ways? In our sleepiness, don’t we steal other people’s ideas all the time – not to speak of paper clips, envelopes, the partners of others, another’s dignity, and so on? Has the world changed very much in 2000 (or more) years?

  32. John

    Robert

    You are right … I left out some!!

    And I agree we are all thieves in some form or fashion!!

  33. Mark Fenty

    @ John
    John, the bottom-line is this; Chattel- Slavery shouldn’t have happen at all . And the reason why I advance this view is simple, because when one analytically vivisects human- civilization, especially during the period of the enslavement of the man of African descent. One discovers unequivocally that the world had reached as they often say, a Period of Enlightenment. Meaning that we had attained a high level of Spiritual, and intellectual awareness, and should have known better given this reality. But I guess when one is motivated by “Power”, and “Economic” gain, the concept Morality goes out the widow so to speak.

    Now, hear me out here John for a moment! I know as well as you do, that there is no such thing as “utopia” in terms of human society, and that man is governed by evil and well as good impulse, do you agree?. If this weren’t the reality, the Jewish, as well as the Rwanda genocide would not have happen, given the documented record of the atrocious treatment of the black-man at the hands of the European. So therefore it is only fitting to attribute man’s inhumanity to man, to man’s nature as their often bewail. Finally, I’ve realization that man has a proclivity to profess the good side of his nature, but yet, history shows us quite clearly that he has fails miserably to live up to what he often professes.

    As I said previously, I often hear the perennial dictum articulated by the man of stock-European, that the continental African sold they people into slavery. But I often say, haven’t for the European financial incentive, and the continental African greed for gain, that institution of slavery probably mightn’t take place, but who knows. Let’s face it, even though the enslavement of the black- man has taken place centuries ago. The reminder of this atrocious act still evokes deep-seated emotions in some people of African descent. I have realized that consciously and unconsciously some of us are still troubled by the effects of this egregious and despicable treatment of the man of African descent.

  34. John

    robert ross

    June 15, 2012 at 11:58 am

    @ John

    Now: was it the ‘Bible’ that did that or the ‘age of reason’ which brought about a new way of seeing things?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I am not too well read on this but I would answer the Bible.

    I think the “age of reason” led people to to look harder at the Bible and they found that what they were being told by the Church did not agree with what their eyes and hearts told them.

    One man in England went so far as to learn Greek to be able to translate the Bible into English and not rely on the Latin.

    But then I have to ask, what led to the “age of reason”?

    Why was it then that man started to question the official line and risk his life?

    Why not 500 (or 300) years earlier … or later?

    What events led to “the age of reason”?

  35. John

    I am using “the age of reason” when I should be using the Reformation!!

  36. Mark Fenty

    The pages of history both secular and religious quite clearly shows us that mankind; when motivated by financial- gain, would compromise his moral convictions to attain this objective. I often ask this question, how does one
    justifies or realizes the kind of behavior that his conscience tells him is wrong?

    Furthermore, when one examine with some degree of meticulousness the system of government in the United States of America. One begins to see a system of government that has been intricately interlaced with a set of contradictory principles. Now the Founding Fathers as they are referred to, embarked on a system of government which was grounded on the principles of “Liberty”, and “Justice” for all. But they Achilles Heel I think were the institution of slavery which had produced an undemocratic social order within the republic.

    So America with its Liberty and Justice for all, continued for centuries to grapples with the institution of slavery. The North being a heavy industrialized society saw no need for this institution. But the South with its agricultural based society saw an absolute need to keep alive this institution which had resulted in one of the bloodiest civil wars to date. So through constant struggle and resistance from the enslaved black element, America was forced as some would say, to get a conscience.

    But liberty for the American black did not arrived with Abraham Lincoln civil- war amendments. Because after there were passed the fifteen southern introduced their own black- codes which subsequently keep blacks in the same racial- apartheid as it had done previously. Critics have argued that blacks in America should have been progressively further in terms of they overall development than where they are today. But it is important to note, that even though on paper blacks in America gain they emancipation in the 1860s, moderate freedom wasn’t attained until some fifty years ago.

  37. Mark Fenty

    @John
    John, I think that as far as the bible goes, you’re confounded between the concept of Creationism and Biological- evolutionism.

  38. Mark Fenty

    I wouldn’t necessary say that all lawyers and politicians are thieves, even though it certainly appears that way from our casual observation. With
    respect to politicians, and I can speak fundamentally from the world of politics in America. A lot of the decisions politicians make in America, are motivated by Partisan- politics, or party ideological leaning.

  39. John

    Mark Fenty

    So America with its Liberty and Justice for all, continued for centuries to grapples with the institution of slavery.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    American Independence 1776 … freedom and justice for all,

    … end of US Civil war 1865.

  40. John

    Mark Fenty

    June 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    A lot of the decisions politicians make in America, are motivated by Partisan- politics, or party ideological leaning.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    All over the world.

  41. Mark Fenty

    @John
    John the late American president John F. Kennedy wrote a book called (“profiles in Courage” )and in that book he chronicle a group of American politicians who defied the conventions of their party to voted they
    consciences on certain issues . now, I could only speak for politics in America, because I’m quite aware of what is going here. And in America you have politicians that are known as non-conformist, these men and women vote their conscience irrespective of the consequences.

  42. Mark Fenty

    A good example of this type of politician is John McCain who is commonly known as the Mervicts/ Non-Conformist.

  43. Mark Fenty

    John if one has the backing of his or her constituents, why is necessary that one appeased the party -platform?

  44. John

    Mark Fenty

    June 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    John if one has the backing of his or her constituents, why is necessary that one appeased the party -platform?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I would put it differently.

    If one is representing his/her constituents there is no need for a party!!

  45. Mark Fenty

    @John
    John, would you agree that in the world of politics, America is a completely different organism when compared to the rest of the work? Let’s take for
    example, politics in America. Now, you know as well as I do, I hope. That there are two major parties in American politics, the Republican, and the Democratic party, and a few minor parties like the Green- party and Tea- party etc. And if at anytime a politician in America sees it fit to abandon either party of his or her choosing, and for whatever reason. He or she has the option to run as an Independent, isn’t that awesome?. Now, tell me where in the world could one find such as system of government?

  46. Mark Fenty

    John, would agree that in the world of politics, America is a completely different organism when compared to the rest of the world? Let’s take for example politics in America. Now, you know as well as I do, I hope. That there are two major parties in American politics, the Republican and Democratic party, and a few minor parties like the Green- party and Tea- party. And if at anytime a politician in America sees it fit to abandon either party of his or her choosing, and for whatever reason, he or she can run as an Independent, isn’t that awesome? . Now, tell me where in the world could one find such as system of government?

  47. Mark Fenty

    I’ve made a small mistake, sorry had to do that.

  48. Mark Fenty

    Lately John, I’ve been on this page too long now , and the reason I say this is simple, when my grammar starts to disintegrate I know that it is time to go.

  49. victor

    I have just read the discussion on this page and many interesting points have been expressed; points which I would have raised, having read the start of the page. Christianity was responsible in one way when black people were deemed “subhuman” in order to facilitate the trade yet it was Christians in England who condemned the trade and deemed slavery illegal for the first time in human history. It’s pointless for schools today to teach a mealy-mouthed version of the slave trade when the whole story should be told. How the growth of trade and shipping led to the sale and purchase of people at an unprecedented rate, that the practice was already rife at the time locally as a means of social control and that in our historical past slavery was the norm. The point that stands out for me is that even though the Atlantic slave trade was conducted under existing conditions where the sale and purchase of people was the norm, those who conducted it knew better. ALL those involved in the trade, buyers and sellers, very soon became aware of what happened to the slaves upon their terrible journeys and when they reached their destinations. Yet the trade escalated. It was all about profit and greed. From an African point of view, gaining what the modern world had to offer and fast, from the European view, making untold sums of money.
    In my view, the only villain in the story is the greedy man who will enrich himself by any means, regardless. Moral turpitude. On both sides.

    Christianity has another part to play here, however. The introduction of the cult into Western Africa had a huge and demoralising effect upon the local population, depriving them of their own beliefs in ancestor worship; the phrase which doesn’t even touch on the strong culture which held society together. The whole sense of belonging to a group where past, present and future is all one, where laws, family life, death and the world of nature are all one was completely destroyed by the cult of christianity where all of a sudden there was just birth, being good, and then heaven, with the threat of hell if you did not follow the rules. I believe that destroying a society’s cohesive belief system leads to the destruction of that society and it is certainly true that this is what has happened in West Africa. Social cohesion has been lost where groups adopt a new viewpoint, owned by another country which is bent on exploitation and conversion.

    The then and still existing, West African deities who all represent aspects of life, were consigned to oblivion. A culture which had worked for thousands of years was deemed “witchcraft” and pagan. Don’t get me started about how the toxic mix of christianity and locally held beliefs ends up killing women and children as “satanists” or devils.

    It’s time that we all addressed the story about the conflict and nightmare of what happened during the Atlantic slave trade and look at all aspects. The sooner the better. And in our schools, where we should look at the whole issue, re-examining every detail, including the role of christianity.

    It’s amazing to me that in most of the Caribbean, everybody is firmly Christian. Hardly any countries have been able to keep up with their old beliefs because they were prohibited. We see in Haiti where voudoun has gone bonkers. No wonder! If you were a slave, wouldn’t you ask the Orishas to destroy your enemies?

    We need to look at the whole picture.

  50. robert ross

    This is just to thank Victor for his very interesting comment. Yes, what has passed and still passes for ‘Christianity’ has much to answer for, then and now.

  51. Mark Fenty

    Victor, although I admire your effort, I cannot support your vilification and vitiation of Christianity. As a believer of the doctrine Christianity I know that the historical record supports some of what you’re saying. But whether we
    can absolutely say without equivocation that Christianity has been responsible in some from or fashion for the fragmentation of the collective African cultural -Ethos is left to be determined.

    I do agree however, that there was a conscious effort made on the part of the European to animalize and criminalize that man of African- descent. And this was done as a ploy to convinced Christianized Europe, of their justification and rationalization for his enslavement. Let’s face it, Europe to some extent, especially the Christian aspect of it, opposed Chattel- slavery to some degree.

    Victor I had to respond to this point that really trouble me, why should it amaze you that most people in the Caribbean are Christians? I can answer your question, the reason why most people in the Caribbean are Christians, is based on the fact that their have seen evidence of the Metaphysical God. Before the Europeans set foot on the African- continent. where was tribal -Africa, Islamic -Africa, and when the Europeans arrived and attempt to Christianized Africa is sunsequently became Christian- Africa,

    This is my final point, Christianity did not contribute to the fragmentation of the African- culture, economic- colonialism, and European-imperialism has done that. It is important to note, victor, and this is well documented, that before the European enslaved the North American Indian, and shackled the poor-white from the British Isles in the Contract Indenture, and the continental African in chattel slavery. The Arabs start shipping slaves from that continent of Africa to the Middle East round about the 14th century. This is why today Nigerian is so predominately Islamic, because before that the European arrived in West Africa that Arabs invaded several countries in the region and imposed their culture, and religion on them.

  52. John

    For what it’s worth I found this when I googled Christianity in Africa

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Africa

  53. Mark Fenty

    @Victor
    Victor there is a fundamental difference in the way in which some people persecute the Christian- Gospel. I think for to long Christianity has been
    given a bad rap instead of the instruments that are responsible for its articulation.

    Now, can we truly argue the fact that the fundamental mission of those who exported the Christian- gospel to the African- Continent, were to undermine the religious, and cultural traditions that has served the African masses before the arrival of the European? certainly not!

    Nonetheless, if some in the Christian- faith utilize its doctrine in ways that are contrary to what “Our Lord Jesus Christ” intended, how is that the fault of Christianity? Come on now, we don’t have to know “Nuclear- science”, or the “Theory of Quantum Physics” to understand that man has used the word of God to satisfy his desires, impulses, and inclinations.

    All in all, I believe that the fundamental mission of Christianity is to bring some to the realization and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who I believe exercises oversight over our cosmos. You know, I find it quite befitting to ask this question. Have people who are supposed to be the mouth-piece of Christian- doctrine, at sometime or the other, undermine its doctrine and tenets? Of course! But, so as every other religion in the world, but we have to be circumspect when impute blame to the Religion, and not the people who are undermining its doctrine.

  54. John

    Here is an extract.

    “Christianity is now one of the two most widely practised religions in Africa. There has been tremendous growth of Christians in Africa – coupled by a relative decline in adherence to traditional African religions. As evidence, only nine million Christians were in Africa in 1900, but by the year 2000, there were an estimated 380 million Christians. According to a 2006 Pew Forum on Religion and Public life study, 147 millions of African Christians were “renewalists” (a term that includes both Pentecostals and Charismatics).[9] According to David Barrett, most of the 552,000 congregations in 11,500 denominations throughout Africa in 1995 are completely unknown in the West.[10] Much of the Christian growth in Africa is now due to African evangelism rather than European missionaries.”

  55. Mark Fenty

    John, thanks for that speck of information. But for the most part, I have tendency to view with Suspicion a lot of the information that is dispense on the internet today. I’m not saying that it isn’t reliable, but my personal experience has taught me differently.

  56. Mark Fenty

    My rule of thumb which guides me in my quest to ascertain the truth is this. I’m always skeptical of the information that I receive, but nonetheless, always willing to listen, and learn.

  57. Mark Fenty

    John, I have a question for you, are you European? It really doesn’t make a difference whether you’re not, but just out of sheer curiosity I would
    like to know.

  58. robert ross

    @ Mark

    Is ‘Christianity’ a ‘doctrine’ (as you say) or an experience?

  59. Dessalines

    @ Victor

    I agree with your views on Christianity. I’ve always said with the exception of Rastafarians who had the insight to find their own God, (albeit from the same Bible) most of us in the Caribbean on the other hand have embraced the destructive Christian doctrine. We just replaced the physical chains with a mental one. Our leaders are still on their knees waiting on the great architect in the sky to make ‘everything all right’.

    I disagree with your statement that slavery was the norm in Africa pre- western intervention. A so called ‘slave’ in pre AST Africa could marry his owners daughter, could speak his own language and retain his culture.

    I’ll even go as far as to challenge you to provide me with names of the players in Africa who ‘sold’ their brothers and sisters to the Europeans. I remind you that at the height of the slave trade most of Africa was under colonial rule anyway. Of late I noticed that the false notion that Africans sold their people is very prevalent among black people – seems like the Europeans have successfully outsourced their talking points.

  60. John

    Mark

    I am a born and bred Bajan.

    I have ancestors who were African, English, Scottish, Portuguese, Jewish, Amerindian and God only knows what else!!

  61. John

    Dessalines

    Of late I noticed that the false notion that Africans sold their people is very prevalent among black people – seems like the Europeans have successfully outsourced their talking points.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Read Olaudah Equiano, a former slave in the 1700’s.

    It sure sounds like he was kidnapped by Africans and sold from African to African until he got to the coast where he was sold to Europeans.

    His book was one of the many pieces of evidence use by the abolitionists in England to get the slave trade abolished.

  62. robert ross

    @ Dessalines

    Yes, most Barbadian ‘Christians’ (and so many, many people) still believe ‘God’ to be an old man in the sky. The critical question, however, is whether that IS “Christianity’ – which is why I asked Mark Fenty whether Christianity is a ‘doctrine’ or an ‘experience’. See, some Christians – like myself – think of Jesus not as someone who espoused, preached, religion but rather ‘religiousness’ – something which goes far, far beyond religion. One catalyst for change in more modern times was the publication, in the ‘sixties, of John Robinson’s ‘Honest To God’ but the way had already been paved by theologians such as Paul Tillich. The average priest does little to incorporate this in his preaching – which is why the old ideas still persist and are witnessed very obviously at funeral services and, as you say, at the roots in the idea ‘be good and you will go to heaven’. Somehow we have to ween people to understand that it’s not all about ‘thou shalt’ but rather ‘I will’.

  63. John

    I thought this was an interesting statement as well in the wikipedia article.

    “Some experts predict the shift of Christianity’s center of gravity from the European industrialized nations to Africa and Asia in modern times. Yale University historian Lamin Sanneh stated, that “African Christianity was not just an exotic, curious phenomenon in an obscure part of the world, but that African Christianity might be the shape of things to come.”[11] The statistics from the World Christian Encyclopedia (David Barrett) illustrate the emerging trend of dramatic Christian growth on the continent and supposes, that in 2025 there will be 633 million Christians in Africa.[12]”

  64. John

    Victor

    It’s amazing to me that in most of the Caribbean, everybody is firmly Christian. Hardly any countries have been able to keep up with their old beliefs because they were prohibited. We see in Haiti where voudoun has gone bonkers. No wonder! If you were a slave, wouldn’t you ask the Orishas to destroy your enemies?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The question you should ask is why is your perception of Haiti so different from the reality of Africa? (according to wikipedia)

    Perhaps your perception is wrong … or wikipedia is wrong …. or there really is something different going on in Haiti.

    Have you ever been to Haiti?

    I haven’t so am not in a position to confirm or deny your perception.

  65. Dessalines

    @ John

    You still did not answer my question.

    Most scholars agree that Olaudah embellished his bio to sell books and agree he was born in the USA and not present day Nigeria. This is just one account.
    Even if Equiano’ s account is true you still have not given me the names of the African players who sold over 16 000 000 units of human beings to the Europeans. The AST was a massive operation of which the Africa was a focal point so I find it strange that there is no (or very few) record of any influential African figure who was instrumental in the slave trade.

  66. John

    Dessalines

    What do you think of the Trans Saharan Slave Trade?

  67. John

    This is research done by Jerome Handler where he reports on the recorded experiences of 15 persons who survived the middle passage and actually gave an account of the experience from capture.

    http://jeromehandler.org/2002/04/survivors-of-the-middle-passage-life-histories-of-enslaved-africans-in-british-america/

    He puts the number of Africans brought to the New World at 10 million.

  68. John

    Denying the truth won’t progress the discussion.

    So long as there are buyers there are sellers.

  69. Le monde caraibéen à travers le C.A.R.I.C.O.M.se doit de se pencher sur ce phénomène qui nous touche au quotidien.
    http://www.zinfos974.com/L-immigration-metropolitaine-en-augmentation_a17393.html

  70. La stratégie du système colonial français depuis les origines dans notre région Caraibe est basée sur la démocratie du COUCOU dénoncée par la grande révolutionnaire française LOUISE MICHEL,que malheureusement nos élites locales refusent d’assimiler pour contrer les nombreuses forces prédatrices qui sévissent 24 heures sur 24 chez nous avec la complicité de certains d’entre nous .
    LES 60 % D’ABSTENTIONS DE NOS ELECTEURS PARTICIPENT A CETTE MAIN MISE DE CES ALLOGENES :
    http://balades.wordpress.com/2007/08/18/democratie-du-coucou/

  71. Dessalines

    @ Garimo45

    J’ai lu les articles .c’est.interessant mais cela n’a rien a voir avec le sujet la.

  72. John

    Oui, je suis d’accord avec vous.

  73. robert ross

    Africans who sold their own

    The Itsekiri of Warri sold their own to the Portuguese. The “Princess’ I mentioned in the anecdote above reckoned that ‘We got rid of them; they were riff-raff’. But then the British did the same with vagrants too – got rid of them as riff-raff.

  74. Dessalines

    @ ross

    Congrats, at least you named one. ONE. One nation for 16 million units.
    I can rattle off hundreds of Europeans off the top of my head.

    Isn’t there something that strikes you as odd here?
    I seriously doubt that the Itsekiri of Warri were an autonomous region that acted independently of their European colonizers.

    Read up on the Kenyan Mau Mau torture case in the 50s and 60s. The High Court in London ruled that even though Kenya was ‘independent’ during the time of the massacre and torture of the Mau Mau people by British regiments, the government of the UK was responsible and had to answer to the courts.

  75. robert ross

    The Olu of Warri was autonomous within the Warri kingdom – but, of course, there was ‘accommodation’ – the Warri River was part of the trade route. I’ve no doubt that things were different in Maiduguri in the far north….a place where someone once told me “It is hot. There are flies. You can die there”. Actually I found it rather pleasant!.

  76. Mark Fenty

    @Robert

    Robert, No disrespect intended, sorry I wasn’t able to answer your question with a quick dispatch. Now, with respect to your question regarding
    whether Christianity is a “Doctrine” or an “Experience”, my answer to that question is this, it is both. Christianity is a doctrine or a set of prescribed principles which are fully understood through our daily experience in the faith. Our daily walking in the Christian-faith brings us to the realization that the doctrine/ religious directives are there to increase our understanding Christianity .You can’t have one without the other, without the doctrine how are you going to know what to believe? Without experience in the faith how are you going to put to the test the doctrine?

  77. John

    I found the book “Africa and Africans in the Atlantic World 1400-1800” to be a good read.

    It is available at Amazon where reviews can be read.

    The chapter entitled “The process of enslavement and the slave trade” is worth a read.

  78. Mark Fenty

    @John
    John, I’m happy to hear that you’re born and bred Barbadian, for a minute there I thought you were whiter than snow. But you know as well as I do. That irrespective of the racial hierarchy that you so eloquently articulated,
    if you physiognomy is that of charcoal, then you’re automatically relegated to a marginalized status. Have you given any thought to the name “(Fenty)”, is it one of the whitest Name a black- man can carry on the Island of Barbados, ask “(Rihanna Fenty)” she is a distant cousin?

    Nevertheless, it is still mind-boggling how a man of color such as yourself, can unilaterally, and arbitrarily deflect the moral turpitudes of the European during the process of slavery, on the shoulders of the man of African- descent. It clearly shows to the rest of us here the kind of principles, and convictions which direct your thinking.

    To me there is not justifiable reason given the, indescribable, inalienable, and inviolable laws of God and nature, for another human- to think that he or she has hegemony to curtail the liberty of another human-being?

    I do agree that we can’t allow this experience to handicap our thinking. But as I said sometime ago, that past with its good and evil lives in the present. And what men and women did three- hundred years ago has shaped our lives today.

    Finally, I think that it is safe to argue that the institution of slavery has contributed in some shape or form to the destructive behavior that we are witness day and night in the black- communities around the world.

  79. Mark Fenty

    @John
    John I’m sure that you have read the late Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Dr. Eric William book, “(Capitalism and Slavery)”. The book is Insightful, informative, factual, and right on point.

  80. Jrjrjrjr

    Mark Fenty’s reply to John John have a hint of racism. Disappointed in you

  81. John

    Mark Fenty

    Nevertheless, it is still mind-boggling how a man of color such as yourself, can unilaterally, and arbitrarily deflect the moral turpitudes of the European during the process of slavery, on the shoulders of the man of African- descent. It clearly shows to the rest of us here the kind of principles, and convictions which direct your thinking.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Who do you feel bears responsibility for the Trans Sahaharan slave Trade in which Europeans were not envolved …… actually in a way they ….. were but as slaves!!

    The point I am making is that slavery existed for milennia and it is the Message of the Gospel that changed men’s and women’s hearts over time to recognise it as being wrong.

  82. John

    I understand Eric Williams’ thesis.

    Slavery was abolished for purely economic reasons.

    My thesis is that long before it became uneconomic it was predestined to end because of the spread of the Gospel.

    The economics just assisted in the end!!

    No doubt the abolitionists used the economics as an argument just as they used the fact that 20% of British sailors on slave ships died as a result of disease.

    But they were driven by their convictions.

  83. Mark Fenty

    @Robert

    .
    Robert, it is true that we cannot prove conclusively that God exist through the empirical medium, because the whole concept rests on a metaphysical premise. In other words, we cannot engage the existence of God with our empirical lens. And this is why the agnostics take the middle- ground that the existence of God cannot be disproved or proven.

    Early theologians in their desire undermined that concept of Evolution which had posed serious a challenges to the validity of God’s existence, devised three main arguments, the Cosmological teleological, and the ontological arguments which are based on pure metaphysical thought. Now,the whole concept of God seems quite aliened to man’s way of understanding his universe. It seems rather is palatable for man to doubt the existence of the metaphysical God, but believe in the laws of gravity, inertia, the wind that blows against his skin which he can’t be seen or touched.
    in Neuroscience we hear of concepts such as the “Mind” which stores data, which can be accreted, and recapitulated,but yet we cannot see or touch, it is what some consider a pure Hypothetical Construct, But yet we refuse to use the intellect God gives us, to employ reason which bring understand of his existence.

  84. robert ross

    Mark

    Do I need the Nicene Creed to be a Christian? Can’t I share the life and love of Jesus without it? Do I have to accept it for him to be my Lord? I wonder what the doctrine was which he required people to repeat in order to be disciples.

  85. John

    Mark Fenty

    June 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    @John
    John I’m sure that you have read the late Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Dr. Eric William book, “(Capitalism and Slavery)”. The book is Insightful, informative, factual, and right on point.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    ………………and irony of ironies written by a descendant of a slave trading family who made its fortune in the trade after it was abolished!!

    Here’s what you will find if you use google!!

    “The late Dr. Eric Williams was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. He served from 1956 until his death in 1981.He was the quintessential Renaissance man; author, scholar, politician, historian, revolutionary leader and known internationally as the Godfather of the Caribbean.Eric Williams was a descendant of the de Boissiere family which made its fortune trading African slaves illegally after slave trading had been abolished in 1811.”

  86. Dessalines

    @ John

    A black person being a member of a European family does not mean they sat at the same table. Eric Williams’ great grandmother was probably raped (while she was in her early teens to boot) and the offspring disowned.

    What exactly is your point????

  87. Dessalines

    @ Mark
    I leave you with this quote from Jomo Kenyatta prime minister of Kenya

    “When the white man came we had the land and they had the Bible. They taught us to pray with our eyes closed and when we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible.”

  88. John

    Dessalines

    June 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    @ John

    A black person being a member of a European family does not mean they sat at the same table. Eric Williams’ great grandmother was probably raped (while she was in her early teens to boot) and the offspring disowned.

    What exactly is your point????
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The internet must drive you crazy.

    Drink a rum and GO GOOGLE!!

  89. Mark Fenty

    @Robert
    Robert, the Nicene- Creed was introduced into the Roman- Empire by
    Emperor Constantine as a direct response to the prevailing doctrine of Arianism. And I hardly think that it changes whether one decides to accept or reject the doctrine of the Trinity.

  90. Mark Fenty

    @Robert
    Robert, what makes a democracy a democracy? Is it the principles of justice and Equality that every citizen enjoys that determines this political
    ideology? Isn’t it true that the same can be said for Christianity? If you call yourself a Christian, then isn’t indeed obvious that you would have to follow the Christian doctrine?

  91. Mark Fenty

    @Robert
    Robert, everyone wants the easy way out, I’m sure that we would all love to worship God with out any strings attach. In other words, any: Testimony,
    Ordinances, Laws, Statutes, and Commandments as the Nation of Israel has done.

  92. Mark Fenty

    @Robert
    Remember now Robert! Your definition of love as it relates to our Lord Jesus Christ must be conceived within the framework of the Christian- doctrine. The Hebrew Scripture informs us in no uncertain that all our righteousness are as filthy rugs. So in essence, what standard of love are you use to express you love to God? You have said above, that you do not have to follow the prescriptive mandates of Christian doctrine in order to express your love to God. Now, would it surprise you to know that if you ask an atheist, were does his sense of morality comes from, he would give you a definition colored with the Judeo- Christian -Morality all over it? Believe it or not, but our sense of morality has been impregnated in the Western -societies with the Judeo- Christian- Morality.

  93. Mark Fenty

    @Robert
    Finally, Robert we all can’t empirical invented an individual standard of Love for our Lord Jesus Christ; the love of God of course, must comes with certain conditions and obligations. For example, that love of one’s wife comes with certain conditions and obligations do you agree? One has to honor his vows as a faithful husband, a provider, a protector etc, so then the love of God also comes with these conditions. And these obligations and conditions are held within the Christian- Doctrine, as there are held within the institution of marriage.

  94. victor

    Now it is getting mad, reverting to the Lord Jesus Christ as the ultimate authority etc. next, quotes from the bible will be bandied about, as if these were concrete facts. I was brought up as a christian, went to church A LOT, went to a faith school, learned all about it and chose to give it all a miss to become a comparative religionist and please, give the same respect to other peoples’ spiritual belief systems as you give to your own. They are just as valid. Like you, those in West Africa were convinced their world view was the best one. To them, the only one, until they were forced to adopt a new world view under duress and threat of death.

    The whole of the middle east and the top of Africa had become christian largely under duress, apart from the remaining “pagans” until Mohammed and his followers (and I don’t say peace to his name or whatever) “converted” the people by the sword in that area, to Islam as we call it today. Emperor Constantine’s revelationary vision, it is said, caused him to adopt christianity and halt the policy of throwing christians to the lions, etc. etc. but by then many of the disenfranchised, such as slaves, the poor, women especially widows in the Roman empire had already taken up the religion because it offered something new for them, the idea of heaven for the meekest, which was a brand new idea then. Romans were keen cult followers and took up all kinds of religious fads and fashions, the army following Mithras with enthusiasm but that could never have worked universally as it was an essentially male thing. There were the followers of Isis and other deities but christianity offered something new the promise of heaven to all, regardless of social status which had always been key in Roman society’s view of religion. The unfortunate of the world, having been regarded as cursed and untouchable, suddenly got equal. This threatened the empire so Constantine thought he’d sweep that lot up as followers instead of throwing them to the lions. It was a shrewd move one in which all who did not adopt the christian view lost political status and often property, were consigned to oblivion as pagani or just country bumpkins.
    From tiny acorns, giant oak trees grow and until Mohammed’s arrival, christianity flourished in the middle east for 600 years. Then we get another spiritual dictator, forcing ideology upon people.

    Surely today we can just agree to leave people alone! Of course one group will try to impose its will upon another in pursuit of conquest; Germans against jews, jews vs muslims, muslims vs hindus, muslims vs bhuddists, muslims vs christians, muslims vs indigenous believers, christians vs indigenous believers etc. etc. Some might say socialists vs all of the above, some might say democrats vs all of the above. Should socialism or democracy be given the same status as religious belief systems? With varying degrees of success, socialism and democracy have both tried to tackle the problem. To a tribal society which respects elders as leaders, democracy might seem an anathema and socialism might not make sense where ancestors might achieve their status through great things but also avoidance of events like not dying by an accident such as falling out of a tree or being attacked by a wild beast. In ancestor-worshipping societies such events preclude you from being reborn, end of story, status in the after-world nul points, therefore descendants don’t even get a look-in.

    To some these practices seem bizarre and pointless yet they keep a culture together. A good example of a cohesive society today is Tibet, sadly being demolished by China. The Dalai Lama CAN fly. He has freely admitted this. All good Tibetans know this as a fact. It doesn’t mean he feels as if he is flying, he really is. The next Dalai Lama will be chosen when a small boy recognises certain sacred implements belonging to the previous one on a table put in front of him. This is a fact. To Tibetans. Priests set themselves on fire to stick up for this idea.
    However, they wouldn’t set anyone else on fire to prove it unlike some others I will refrain to mention in the same breath!
    Anyway, I hope I have made a bit of a point, that being that we should all look into our own hearts to find fairness and tolerance of the beliefs of others as long as they are not trying to kill us. Should that be the case, run a mile! Luckily, we have democracy today…..?

  95. robert ross

    @ Mark

    For Nicene Creed substitute the Trinity, the Virgin Birth or any other ‘doctrine’. You are begging the questions. MY point is that you don’t need any of that to be a follower of Jesus…and I don’t mean ‘the risen Lord’, the ‘mediator’, ‘he who substitutes’, the ‘sinless one’ or any of that.

  96. John

    My simplistic understanding is as follows:

    The Love of God has no strings attached.

    He gave all mankind a Gift because of this love.

    The Gift of everlasting life comes through accepting the Message of the Gospel.

    A person does not have to accept the Message of the Gospel and indeed many do not … and will not.

    God still loves unconditionally and the Gift remains available to all to accept … or not.

    The past is passed.

  97. Mark Fenty

    Victor from what you have written thus far, I have surmised that you’re an intelligent person, and I am not trying to patronize the least. But, I’m quite sure that you are well aware of the fact that the whole concept of Christianity is predicated upon the concept of Free-will. So I don’t know how you can in good conscience accuse those who are the custodians of the Christian- faith of being Religious Unilateralist.
    As the Hebrew Scriptures expressively informs us, that when the Almighty God created his universe along with man, he saw it fit to made man its oversee. And he also planed within man’s intellect the concept of self- determination.

    When God created the first man Adam, and take from a rib to create his companion Eve. He entrusted to the both of them dominion over his universe, but not without preconditions. He forbid the both of them from eating of a certain tree in the garden, but through the free-will that he had designed them both with, their contravened his directives and follow that dictates of the conscience.

    As I have said previously, there is probably much validity to what you have said regarding the fact the Christianity was forced upon the people of North- Africa, and the Middle- East. But you must also remember that Roman- Empire was overrun by the Ottoman- Turks who also forced their Islamic belief on Northern- Africa, and certain parts of Europe. Come on Victor; now let’s not be partial in our distribution of the historical facts.

    Furthermore, Victor it is important to note, that if you pay close attention to African and Chinese cultures as I have done. You would indeed discover that the both of them worship their Elders / Fore-parents as we do in Christianity. Now, I’m not pasting judgment on them, because certainly I’m in no position to do that.

    If a man decide to be an: atheist, theist, secular- humanism, agnostic, and existentialist etc, that his absolute right. Because divine laws of God, and that of Nature has preordain it. Now, what are the essence of life, religion, and politics, without some measure of self- determination, self- realization, and self perfection?

  98. Mark Fenty

    John contrary to popular belief, the Christian- doctrine is the rules, principles and theory which guide us towards the true knowledge of God. And even though Charity is the highest Gift as the Hebrew- bible informed us quite clearly, it takes more than just Charity to gain acceptance into the Kingdom of God. You’re right !The Gift of everlasting life comes through accepting the Message of the Gospel. But you must ask yourself the Question, what does the Gospel entails? Does it not instruct us to accepted the Lord Jesus Christ in our heart,and then be Baptist? And there after seek earnesly the gift of the Holy- Spirit. Is this not the creteria set out in Christian- doctrine whereby we might be save,? And must we not gain this before we can lay claim to everlasting life?

  99. John

    Probably one of the most quoted verses in the Bible is “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    Jesus is the Gift.

  100. victor

    Now it’s happening, quotes from the bible etc. and people making points about being “saved” – from what, may I ask ? oh yeah, I forgot about that idiotic idea, “original sin” – and focusing their arguments on their own religious beliefs. Everlasting life? In what context? Yours? Or is this a universal reality? No, it isn’t so stop banging on about it. The Ottoman empire! For goodness sake, hundreds of years later after Mohammed! It’s not about the message of the gospel, blah blah. I’m out of here.

  101. GlenWick

    I am getting tired of people who say lets forget about slavery. Its in the past. We are living in a multicultural society now and the world is advancing. Get lost I say!!
    Tell it to the so called jews of the Holocaust. Does anyone have tbe BIG BALLS enought to tell them to forget about that. hey say the 6 million of them died. During slavery over 100 million negroes perished in the crossing of the atlantic. Which is more significant. Many of our people were thrown over board in the middle of the ocean when it was thought that they couldn’t make the journey either because of illness or pregnancy or the boat was too full.
    When you say forget it remember those souls who died. You are a brutal and a callous people who do not care for your ancestors. Guess who created the multicultural society you live in now. The same White man who put our people in slavery and how did they build such a society. Off the backs and hard work of slaves. If you think that the slavery has ended think again. You think that because you are not in chains you are now free. Who told you that you are free. You people are so brainwashed. Come off the koolaid, get off the TV and start reading some books.
    Slavery was no longer economically viable but what was economically viable would be to put the entire world on the plantation by sending them out to work and taking taxes from everyone. Who suffers the most from this kind of system. The same Negroes of the slave trade. We are still the poorest of all the races and the most economically disenfranchised. Our poverty is off the charts and in the states most of our men are either in Jail, Drugs or Rap Music. This is the reality of the world. Get a grip and read Deuteronomy chp 28. You will be surprised at what you find.

  102. bajan

    Nobody should ever forget slavery, Some people keep talking about its a new day and new world order but they also forget slavery is still going on today and its as bad as it ever was! Maybe because black people who are in positions to do better and report such issues are lazy. When the people who carry out slavery and trafficking are spied and reported on, they flee so fast all you see is dust but at least we get a name and face so they can’t do it again!

    Look at Rupert Murdoch- a big media mogul but reponsible for phone hacking, deaths and child abuse and he is a jew.

    Here in England, Venessa Feltz and Edwina Currie MP tried to sell me as a prostitute in her house of commons gang which included Jews, Asians,Jamiacans and irish. The queen allowed them to watch me through the TV in my homes and steal ideas from my family then turn around and insult me on BBC radio london 96.9. Venessa feltz reade out my medical records, the jamaicans in the studio with her spoke of my personal habits and the sex i had with my own husband. The whole thing was a humiliating disgrace. This was in oct 08. The jews were responsible for phone hacking and expenses fraud in England and the crashing of many ECONOMIES right now. They put their businesses in your countries and give you a job with a low wage, in the mean time the prices go up and up in their shops and businesses but your wages never move and as soon as you complain they sack you. They have done this every where – thats a form of slavery!

    So NO! nobody should forget slavery while it still exists!

    Some people think because they’ve achieved some succuess in their lives that they can ignore the rest of the society they’re in – until it effects them in some adverse way. Like gang crime. another form of slavery -when you peddle guns, drugs, knives and poisonous drinks in your community or country YOU ARE A SLAVE.

    Right now in England, boys and young men are filming girls they have sex with and putting up on the internet to make them look like whores even when they’re not and in this way they are open to future attacks by weirdos and peadophiles. SLAVERY! Its not nice its sick.
    The catholic church has exploded with child abuse already and its all stemming from slavery and those who still want it -the rich, the 1% that has all the other countries especially America joining the OCCUPY MOVEMENT for, not just for cheating lying bankers and politicians but for all the pain of their wars in other countries – tearing them down, death and desease and the peope losing the homes they worked so hard for all their lives but were swindled with fake documentation.

    Many many issues contribute to SLAVERY. The Queen and her family are a combination of Jew and Irish. Hitler was a Jew but he had a half Irish brother, this explains their atitiude to slavery – period.

    The bankers are jewish, the plantocracy in the whole caribbean is mostly Jewish and if you check who the real owners of most of the businesses on your own islands are – you will find they are Jewish WHY because the lying thiefing bankers are. MAKE SENSE.
    Most of the wars we have seen are carried out with the Queens permission, this is how she gets and keeps empire, now you know why she wants black people in particular to be just consumers and spectaters in our own lives, countries etc. Heres how they described it to me on the radio that time with Venessa Feltz BBC london radio 96.9 oct 08, USELESS EATERS-SENSELESS BREEDERS and other such terminology that could only come from RACISTS. TV and RADIO and its use is state equipment for which we pay a license of £145. but it was used to insult black people especially Bajans at that time and propoganda for war.

    NOW PEOPLE ARE MARCHING BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALL BEEN DUPED, and the war memorials and the cemetaries for the war dead are endless. SLAVERY
    My mother is Bajan and came to England in 1958 help with the war effort as a nurse. I cussed Venessa Feltz and the Queen and told them both – you will never have black people to fight in your wars again, becasue just like Mohammed Ali said, you have never thanked us for what we have done thus far anyway!!!!,

  103. James Sakku

    I read the book, cover to cover. For me, it is an eye opener, and I found myself feeling quite angry at times and wanted to turn on the oppressor of my people. But that would not help the situation, so I thought that I might just pass on the information I have gleaned to others who are more courageous than I am.

  104. Preston Martin

    Hi Mrs.Stuart my name is Preston. I am learning about slavery right now in my history class. I was doing some research on people that are related to slaves or slave owners to interveiw for a school project. I would like to ask you some questions if that would be okay with you. Please get back to me soon. Thanks