Category Archives: Africa

Spark of the Day! Faith, Hope and Charity at a Kenya orphanage

Did you know that the old meaning for the word “Charity” was “Love”? The parents are dead of AIDS, but with a little love, this child will make it. Merry Christmas, little one.

Give thanks to a friend of a friend who sent this and other photos of hope from Kenya.

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Spark of the Day! All smiles in Kenya

Children are the same anywhere, or rather they should be. These cuties in Kenya were playing and laughing and being children when Naddel photographed them in 2009. You can check out his other Africa photos here.

Spark of the Day! is our reminder to pause once in a while and enjoy The good, good Earth.

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Johnny Clegg and Savuka sing for Mia Mottley

One (Hu)man, One Vote! – for Barbados

Ousted BLP leader Mia Mottley says she was fighting for “one man, one vote” during her recent campaign for election as Chairman of the Barbados Labour Party.

We support one man, one vote when it comes to choosing the leadership of political parties, even if Mia is rather new to the fight. She will recall that BFP criticized her in the past for not taking her leadership to a test before the general membership.

Mottley said the only two times she has spoken recently was when she was removed from office and at the BLP conference when she announced she was no longer going up for chairman of the party. At that time, she recalled she was fighting for “one man, one vote”. On both occasions, she recalled that she said only time and God will determine the future

… from The Nation article Mia speaks her mind

The BLP and the DLP need open leadership contests where every member gets a vote – but those holding the reins of power don’t want that because then the political elites might lose control to a populist candidate.

Does Mia Mottley really want “One Man, One Vote”? We’ll come back to this subject occasionally and see if she is serious or just blowing smoke.

One ‘man, one vote — step into the future
One ‘man, one vote — in a unitary state
One ‘man, one vote — tell them when you see them
One ‘man, one vote — it’s the only way

Johnny Clegg and Savuka

God, how I miss the times when I first heard Third World Child.

Robert

Further Reading

Mail and Guardian: White Father of African Rock celebrates Anniversary

BFP: Stephen Biko – 29 Years Ago Today

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Music, Politics

Did I enjoy eating Giant African Land Snails? Hell yes!

Thanks to BFP reader iWatcha for this culinary recommendation…

“Did I enjoy it? Hell yes. It’s rare to find a totally new combination of flavour and texture and it was privilege to be shown how to prepare it properly. Will I be knocking up land snail at my next dinner party? I’m ashamed to say, no. I’m not sure I could find anyone to share it…”

“I’d gladly fill you in on the whole process of shell smashing, guts removal, washing with alum rocks and boiling for ages but you’d be better off watching the video above for the full, rather astonishing effect.”

Tim Hayward takes you right from buying the snails at the market (or finding them in your garden!) to de-sliming and then all the way to the table in the Guardian’s article and video: Hard as Snails

Would the folks at BFP eat them? Would you?

Watching the video, Shona said something like “Eeeeeewwww!” but Robert said (with a big smile), “That’s nothing compared with snacking on live grubs in Brazil. Wiggly fellows as big as your thumb, aren’t they!”

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Wildlife

Kammie Holder connects with his lost cousins in Ghana

“Africa is more than wars, pot-bellied children and mud huts.”

SWIMMING UPSTREAM: The Ghana, Barbados connection

by Kammie Holder

I am forced to revisit my pilgrimage to the ancestral home of the majority of Bajans, Ghana.

Why am I doing this?

The decision was prompted by a call last Friday night from a 78-year-old woman. She reminded me of my privileged position and responsibility to readers.

Therefore, I am going to share some things which the mainstream media have failed to share or have not shared enough on this African country located south of the Sahara.

Ghana achieved independence in 1957 under Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

The Portuguese were the first to arrive and they named the place where they settled as the Gold Coast. That became the name of the country until independence in 1957 when it was changed to Ghana. The Gold Coast had been among the wealthiest and most socially advanced areas in Africa boasting schools, railways, hospitals, social security and an advanced economy. Continue reading

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Nigerian Ambassador: Barbados Foreign Minister refuses to see me!

Ambassador John Musa tells Nigerian press of “discord”, “deteriorating situation” with Barbados

Barbados Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Maxine McClean, refuses to receive the Nigerian Ambassador. According to Ambassador Musa (also called Musa John Jen), this is because the image of Nigeria has “sunk to the gutters” in the Caribbean.

How right the Ambassador is! Can anyone in Barbados recount even one successful joint venture between Bajan business and Nigerians? Continue reading

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FREE National Concert – Healing of the Nation – this Saturday, June 19, 2010

IMPORTANT UPDATE – Location Change!

Hail Brethren and Sistren

It has been confirmed that the Healing of the Nation will be relocated to ISRAEL LOVELL FOUNDATION, My Lord’s Hill, St. Michael. For those of us concerned as to why for the venue change, let it be known that the Royal Barbados Police Force has denied permission to have the event in the public space at Jubilee Gardens. Continue reading

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Filed under Africa, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Police, Religion

South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo Returning To Brooklyn Center For The Performing Arts

Tickets available for March 19, 2011

Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s recent release, Songs From A Zulu Farm (February 2011), is the group’s most personal work to date.  “These are songs from the earliest time in our lives,” says Shabalala. “These are stories our fathers and mothers and other relatives shared with us, songs our grandparents sang.  We have changed them somewhat and/or added extra harmonies and lyrics, but overall these songs represent an important memory of our early life. When we sing these songs, we’re singing songs from our history.”

Be There! Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 8pm

Two years ago I wrote about Shona and I seeing Ladysmith Black Mambazo when the sisters got together in New York City. At the time I said, Continue reading

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Political, religious, race-based agendas and fears are destroying our historical records

Our old friend and retired “Twotter” pilot Jim Lynch loves to preserve Barbados history and is a treasure-trove of information and advice for those seeking to learn about their Caribbean ancestry. He has published some very special books that will occupy you for weeks if you get one in your hands. Two years ago we covered his work in our article Old Barbados Newspapers Are A Treasure Of History.

Today Jim stopped by BFP and left the following comment that we think is worth a few minutes of your time.

Thanks, Jim! (I think the photo is about 25 years old, but you haven’t aged a bit, have you?) 🙂

I have been commended – and abused – in the past for saying what others think but refuse to put into words.

In Barbados, as in other Caribbean islands (and indeed in other parts of the world), records are destroyed – or not consciously preserved (same thing in a tropical setting) – for reasons of race, religion, or some other prejudice or irrational fear.

In this case, Barbados makes it difficult for “foreigners” to obtain genealogical information because there are some people in government who prefer to leave slavery and other unpleasant memories of the past in the dust of time. The excuses you will hear – in one of the most highly taxed populations in the world – is that they cannot afford the cost of preservation over other, more pressing, priorities.

Jordan and Walsh make it “pellucidly” clear in their book “White Cargo” that not only were the first slaves in the Caribbean – indeed, as elsewhere – white, but these men, women and children were as ripped from their English, Scottish and Irish homes and abused as much as black slaves were, and in vast numbers – hundreds of thousands were shipped to the West Indies for little or no reason. Most of the population of Ireland were being simply displaced and discarded as an English land-grab.

Present-day Caribbean governments, however, choose to remember only black slaves with white masters, hence the abuse of yesterday’s historical records.

The reason for the presence of the “RedLegs” who still exist in Barbados seems to have been conveniently forgotten – they were Scottish “indentured servants”, a class of servants who were treated worse than slaves and many of whom had their “period of service” extended indefinitely on any pretext.

So (in Barbados, at least) not only are these records becoming shoddy and insect-damaged, but in the last two decades there have been rumours of whole truckloads of historical documents being dumped into the sea late at night on the west coast. In St. Vincent there are rumours of whole cell blocks in forgotten garrisons filled with documents rotting from the damp ground up.

Once in the Barbados National Archives, however, records seem to be taken care of. But, as in other countries – as you may already have experienced – cash or money orders sent to pay incumbent workers in the various institutions for research or copies of documents manage to disappear without trace, and my understanding is that their managers refuse to take any action or even to investigate.

I do know of a reliable and knowledgeable professional researcher who does outstanding work in Barbados and charges reasonable fees. If you wish to make contact, please send me an email through this form (it is an anti-SPAM resource) and I will respond direct to you.
http://www.candoo.com/contactform/index.html

Regards,

Jim Lynch

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Filed under Africa, Aviation, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Race

Prince Harry, Prince Seeiso launching Sentebale Polo Cup – coming to Barbados in January

Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso focus on children as HIV/Aids ravages Lesotho

Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso are coming to Apes Hill Polo Club in Barbados on Sunday 31st January 2010 for the first Sentebale Polo Cup.

Prince Harry will play for the Sentebale team in the match to raise money for Lesotho’s orphans, abused, disabled, ill and most vulnerable children.

“Prince Seeiso and I are incredibly proud of what Sentebale has achieved. But HIV and AIDS are killing more people every year, and poverty and drought afflict many more people than we currently are able to help. The situation is critical. It is the children who are suffering the most from this crisis. Without help, the future of this beautiful country and its unique people is very bleak. We believe Sentebale can change this.”

from a December 18, 2009 story posted on the Prince of Wales’ official website

Life expectancy in Lesotho has plummeted to 34 years

Have a look at the video above, and you can also check out the following website for more information…

Sentebale.org

Our mission is to transform the lives of Lesotho’s orphans and vulnerable children. Sentebale was founded by Prince Harry and Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso to help the forgotten victims of poverty and of the HIV/Aids epidemic ravaging this kingdom.

Sentebale is a new charity with a new approach. We combine thoughtful aid giving with effective businesslike methods. We are committed to the long term funding and support of small but dynamic organisations in Lesotho that are really making a difference in their communities.

Lesotho is fighting for survival. Nearly one third of Lesotho’s people are infected with HIV/AIDS – the third highest rate in the world. There are an estimated 400,000 orphans and vulnerable children in a country of 1.8 million. Life expectancy has plummeted to 34 years.

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Health, Human Rights, Polo, Royal Family

Barbados Free Press in Swahili… Really! “Plastiki na Uchafuzi wa Mazingira”

Sometimes the world is very large, and sometimes it’s very small.

Today, it’s tiny because we’ve been getting a gazillion hits (well, ok, approaching a hundred so far) from Africa.

How did that happen?

Easy… Global Voices featured one of our articles in its Swahili edition.

That’s kind of special, don’t you think?

Now if we could only get translated into Italian. I’ve always wanted to see the Sistine Chapel.

Wait… Oh… Well wat da ya know!

“Stiamo avvelenando l’oceano con tonnellate di plastica. Secondo il NOAA [in] il Great Pacific Garbage Patch [in], l’enorme chiazza di rifiuti che gallegga a nord del Pacifico, sarebbe grande due volte il Texas. Barbados Free Press [in] propone di vietare la vendita delle bottiglie d’acqua in plastica per favorire l’uso di contenitori riutilizzabili da riempire alle fontane e agli accessi pubblici di acqua potabile. La situazione è intollerabile, basta passeggiare lungo qualunque spiaggia delle Barbados per vedere l’enorme quantità di rifiuti in plastica sparsi sulla riva.”

Yup, the world gets smaller every day.

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B.C. Brooks looks at Barbados-North Carolina connections & African influences

Did the North American slave trade kill Africa’s self-sufficiency in food production?

How did African slaves change North American native tribes?

Shona was surfing around last week and discovered a wonderful blog by North Carolina writer and historian B.C. Brooks. Mr. Brooks loves history and the details of Bajan/African history and influences upon the Carolinas and Florida. Until I read his article Land Pirates and Tory Capitalism I didn’t know that as early as 1708, slaves from Barbados and Africa outnumbered white colonists in North Carolina.

"Tight Pack" in the Middle Passage

I knew that the slave trade destroyed African civilizations, but I didn’t specifically think about what happened when an entire generation of rice farmers was removed from the continent. Once you take that knowledge of mass food production away and prevent it from being passed to following generations – that’s it. The society is effectively destroyed and placed beyond self-recovery. Here’s a sample of what Mr. Brooks has to say…

By 1708, only forty-five years later, historians generally agree that slaves outnumbered white colonists in Carolina. Moreover, these slaves came mostly from regions of West Africa where rice production had occurred for centuries. The timing and transplantation was intentional. Removal of skilled agricultural labor from West Africa may have proved beneficial to Carolina planters; however, the general practice eventually proved disastrous for the continent of African. Scholars have argued that the Atlantic Slave Trade “transformed Africa economically, politically, and socially.”

Cowboys and Indians… or should that be “Cowboys and Africans” ?

Here’s something else I never thought about: cultural and behavioural changes in North American Indian tribes as a result of African influences from escaped African slaves. In his article African Influence on the Seminole Indians of Florida Mr. Brooks looks at how African culture and knowledge transformed North American Indian societies.

After reading his blog, I’m convinced that by the time the “Indian Wars” of the mid 1800’s rolled around, American Indian culture was heavily Africanized in many regions. Just take a look at the similarities between a photo of a Florida Seminole woman and a painting of an African woman at the top of this article.

It’s all fascinating stuff and well worth your time.

“The Black Seminole culture that took shape after 1800 was a dynamic mixture of African, Native American, Spanish, and slave traditions. In the tradition of the Native Americans, maroons wore Seminole clothing; strained koonti, a native root; and made sofkee, a paste created by mashing corn with a mortar and pestle.”

Also check out Brooks’ major article on rice production in the Carolinas and the connections to Barbados…

Barbados, an island nation founded by the British, has remained staunchly British throughout its entire history. Furthermore, it has also been the locus of intense anti-Parliamentary and Anglican immigration (later known as “Tories”) after the English Civil War, through the Glorious Revolution, and continually throughout the eighteenth century. A dark cloud of imperialism covered the island nation, a symptom of the massive storm that swept across the continent of Africa for centuries. Barbadian lands quickly became incapable of supporting English capitalistic fervor. Barbadians, for lack of a nice way to phrase it, “raped” their own island. However, this unsavory tendency covered more than mere real estate. In 1670, these unscrupulous businessmen brought those practices to Carolina, along with an increasing number of enslaved Africans, along with their “purchased” agricultural ability.

… excerpt from BC Brooks’ article Responsibility in Business: Imperialism, Africans, and Rice in the South Carolina Trade

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Public flogging of students degrades Barbados

Dr. Victor Agard would have made an excellent Negro Overseer

Dr. Victor Agard would have made an excellent plantation field boss

St. Leonard’s Boys’ School senior teacher whips students for lateness

One would think that teachers in a nation that was built upon a foundation of whips, chains, rape and cultural genocide might view the public flogging of students as unacceptable in the year 2009.

We are disgusted with the actions of Dr. Victor Agard and moreover with the educational system and society that permits this outrage. Those educators who constantly run on about how the legacy of slavery still impacts our society today would do well to look in the mirror. They would also do well to look at some historical images of slaves being flogged to note how many of those wielding the whips are slaves themselves.

As for Dr. Agard, he should be aware that upon viewing a photo of him whipping their son, many fathers would be of a mind to have a quiet little chat with the teacher and provide him with some advice.

(Photo from Nation News: Getting licks for lateness)

For those who believe there should be a “debate” about the issue, feel free to do so – but at BFP we won’t be joining in. Once again we turn to our friend Dennis Jones at Living In Barbados blog who wrote much of what we would say in his excellent piece Flogging is a form of torture. Don’t pretend that it is otherwise.

And finally for perspective, let’s look at some other people today and in the past who, like Dr. Agard, believe that the flogging is appropriate, whether in public or private.

If the shoe fits…

whipped slaves

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, Human Rights, Slavery

Who’s my true ancestor?

interracial hands

Who’s My True Ancestor?

When I was young they told me
How my paternal great granddad was an ecky-becky (poor Whity)
On my mother’s side I had an Indian great grand
She married a half breed Chinese man
My name was taken from an American Lord
Yankee man who travelled by ship with slaves aboard
They said he was originally from Scotland and crossed
Regularly from coast to coast selling men at minimal cost
Under the many gene pools that tainted my blood
East to West, all kinds of manhood
Am I to contend that from my dark colored skin
None of these races have any part within
Can it be that I am chiefly a Black
Ethnically linked to a more African track
Should I refuse the many other tributaries
That converge to form this present man from the West Indies
Or can we not be so devoted to race but rather to blood
Race divides us, humanity unites us, so which do you think I should?

by Khaidji of Bajan Poetry Society

No offense intended by any Bajan terms used above.

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Race

Science Traces Barbados Slaves to Different Regions Of Africa

‘We knew from historical records that the plantation was worked by African slaves,’ says archaeologist Dr Hannes Schroeder who led the research while working for his PhD at the University of Oxford. ‘But now we have a method that enables us to identify first-generation captives among the burials and to trace their origins back to their native Africa.’

… from Planet Earth Online: Caribbean slaves came from different regions in Africa

Newton Plantation graves yielded tooth and bone samples

Copper bracelet from a slave's grave.

Copper bracelet from a slave's grave.

When does taking a body from a grave become an “archaeological dig” instead of something a little less acceptable?

My great-grandfather was born before “flying machines” were invented, but before he died he watched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon. I never knew my great grandfather except through one old black and white photo. By all accounts he was an ordinary man who led an ordinary life, produced a few children and worked hard when work was available. He went to church and was probably loved by his family and friends and (as it says in the Bible)… “then, he died.”

All the people who knew him are gone now too. I was told where he was buried, but the wooden marker is long since gone and so are the people who could say with any certainty exactly where he rests. As far as the church plot map goes… it’s gone!

So my great grandfather has disappeared, or rather he remains where he was buried and we as a family have forgotten to remember where he is.

Would it matter if someone dug him up to learn about our past through his bones, teeth and burial clothes? Would it be disrespectful if it were done next year? In ten years? In a hundred years? When does a grave change from hallowed ground into something else?

I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I’d like to think that our ancestors who were kidnapped from home and family in Africa and brought in chains to Barbados would be pleased to know that we remember them and want to know where they once called home.

More background about slave burials at Newton Plantation at the African Diaspora Archaeology Network

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, History, Slavery

‘District 9’ Alien Movie Drawing Criticism – “A Racist Movie About Racism…”

District 9 Racism

Unless you’ve been on another planet for the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard something about ‘District 9’ – a science fiction movie shot in Johannesburg, South Africa – where stranded alien visitors become the victims of a new apartheid.

Nope, I haven’t seen it, and yes I’d love to… but some reviewers have been taking the position that District 9 isn’t just about racism – it is racist itself in its stereotypical portrayal of blacks and Nigerians in particular.

How is the movie racist?

Well, to discuss that subject one has to decide to ignore the following reality…

WARNING: Plot Spoilers Ahead!

So there. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

Okay, to start things off here are a few quotes from blogger D.C. Girl At the Movies

The filmmaker, Neill Blomkamp’s heart was in the right place, but he didn’t quite grasp his own topic. Because of that, DISTRICT 9’s take on issues of xenophobia and race has a perspective and frame that is itself laden with those very issues.

Basically, it’s a ‘RACE MOVIE’ with the same clichés I spoke about in this post on both the alien and human front.

(snip)

..And the real-live black people in the movie?? You know, the ones Blomkamp is basing his alien population on?

Ooga-booga negroes who think *eating* the aliens will somehow give them their ~*magic*~, gun-toting gangstas, hos, and yes, we even have a barely-there sidekick who is repeatedly called ‘boy’.

He might have been trying to be ~*edgy*~ironic when he did this, which seems to be all the rage these days, but I’m not feeling that when those attempting it, don’t grasp the subject themselves. You can’t say anything to the populace about race and still be in remedial classes yourself.

Nothing like a good African Cannibal & Inter-Species Prostitution Movie!

Carrying the observations about Hollywood racial stereotypes a little bit further is our friend Nicole Stamp at her Pageslap blog. The following excerpt is taken from Nicole’s article District 9 is racist

If you look at the film as an apartheid allegory, it has problems right off the bat. The aliens are loathsome, trash-eating vermin who fight endlessly, destroy property for no reason, and piss on their own homes, which isn’t a truthful or flattering allegorical comparison for actual black South Africans under apartheid. Apartheid is terrible because humans were denied rights. The “apartheid” of these aliens isn’t that terrible- it’s kind of justifiable, because they’re actually dangerous, violent and destructive.

(snip)

The Nigerians have a wailing “witch doctor”. Who instructs them to eat the aliens. And they do it. Bloody, wriggling, and raw, of course.

We’re told that the black prostitutes “service” the aliens sexually. ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME??!

And when Wikus’ arm grows a claw, the Nigerian gang boss starts licking his chops, eager to commit cannibalism.

Yup, that’s Hollywood’s Africa, isn’t it. Black Africans shown as degenerate savages who’ll have sex with non-humans and are pretty damn eager to eat people.

Disgusting.

The thing that really upsets me is that most people who see this movie won’t question, or even notice, this incredibly racist portrayal. It wasn’t even necessary for the plot, and in fact the racist elements actually created some plot holes.

What Do You Think?

Google “District 9 racist” and you’ll see how this discussion about the movie is taking off, with good people finding themselves on opposite sides of the arguments.

It will be interesting to see how this movie does in theatres in the Caribbean and, I guess, in South Africa. Is ‘District 9’ fatally flawed by racism in the making of the movie? Will black audiences notice or care? Is the criticism justified?  Do the critics realize that some of the nasty values and behaviors portrayed in the movie (cannibalism, rape, rape to cure aids) aren’t exactly unknown today on the continent?

Is the criticism justified? Once again, I haven’t seen District 9, but I have that impression. Nonetheless I’m wanting to see ‘District 9’ anyway for two reasons…

1/ The discussion of race, culture, history and the media always interests me.

2/ I love a good shoot-em-up!

Cliverton

Further Reading

Beliefnet: District 9 (Review)

Beliefnet: District 9 – About Racism or Racist?

Racialicious: Shrimpin’ Ain’t Easy – A Look At District 9

Sony Pictures: District 9 Official Website

Wikipedia: District 9

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Nigeria, Race

Scottish Sugar Slaves In Barbados vs. African Slave Trade: Do Mr. & Mrs. Bourne Want To Forget or Remember?

The Lady Bourne, President George Washington, Lord Bourne (missing from photo: Escaped slave Oney Judge - owned by George Washington - Reward if returned.

The Lady Bourne, President George Washington, Lord Bourne (missing from photo: Escaped slave Oney Judge - owned by George Washington - Reward if captured.)

George Washington Owned Slaves

Depending upon the source, history records that President George Washington brought seven to nine of his family’s several hundred slaves to New York City in 1789 to work in the first presidential household. One of the presidential slaves was a biracial young lady named Oney Judge – the daughter of Betty, a “negress” slave without a last name, and Andrew Judge, a white English indentured servant at Washington’s Mount Vernon plantation.

When the presidential household moved to Pennsylvania in 1790, Washington illegally had his slaves rotated out of state every so often so they would not be freed under the Gradual Abolition Act – that prohibited non-residents from keeping slaves in Pennsylvania for periods longer than six months and freed slaves after this time.

In summer of 1796, the slave Oney Judge learned that she was to be given away as a present by First Lady Washington to her granddaughter, Eliza Custis. Oney then made up her mind to escape and she did so through the underground railroad and ended up in New Hampshire. You can read about her life and times at Wikipedia’s article on Oney Judge.

Washington_SlaveryWhich is all to remind us that when George Washington visited Barbados in 1751, and until he died in 1799, he owned other human beings as his property. Again, depending upon the source, history records that George and Martha Washington owned several hundred slaves between them. Although he had the power to free his slaves, George Washington did not do so. Even upon his death he only freed one slave, William Lee. The rest were given to his wife for further use.

How Much History Is Too Much? How Little Is Not Enough?

We were intrigued by an article and lively discussion taking place at Ian Bourne’s The Bajan Reporter blog. It seems that when Ian and his wife visited George Washington House in Barbados, they thought the slavery exhibit at the home was a bit overdone and at the same time incomplete in that it did not document the plight of non-African slaves and indentured servants.

See Ian’s thought-provoking piece: George Washington House by Garrison Racetrack: Are all Historical Reminders necessary? Time to let wounds heal – Yankee Bajan’s USA Independence

For our part, we think that Mr. and Mrs. Bourne are right and wrong about the slavery presentation at George Washington House. We think that the home is quite a proper place for a display about slavery – African, white, transported and indentured. But we also agree that for too long historians and Bajans have focused primarily upon the African slave trade to the exclusion of other areas of our slave history.

As an aside, we saw back in May that Planet Barbados published an excellent little piece on the Scots who were “Barbado’ed” as supposedly indentured workers – meaning slaves with a time to serve – but ended up being slaves who were never released. See Planet Barbados: Giving Voice to the Sad History of the “Redlegs” of Barbados.

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Human Rights, Race, Slavery, Sugar

President Obama Slams African Leadership – West, Colonialism, Neo-Colonialism “Cannot Be Blamed For African Catastrophe Of Last 20 Years”

“I think part of what’s hampered advancement in Africa is that for many years we’ve made excuses about corruption or poor governance – that this was somehow the consequence of neo-colonialism, or the West has been oppressive, or racism,” Mr. Obama told an African website, AllAfrica , in his only interview dedicated to Africa before his visit.

“I’m not a believer in excuses,” he said. “I’d say I’m probably as knowledgeable about African history as anybody who’s occupied my office, and I can give you chapter and verse on why the colonial maps that were drawn helped to spur on conflict. … And yet the fact is we’re in 2009.”

The West cannot be blamed for the disastrous policies that have brought catastrophe to Zimbabwe and other African countries over the past 15 or 20 years, he said. “I think it’s very important for African leadership to take responsibility and be held accountable.”

… from Globe and Mail World article Obama’s Mission of Tough Love In Africa

Obama Africa Policy

The Obama Cat Is Amongst The Pigeons!

You really must read the go to YouTube or All Africa.com and let President Obama speak for himself. Read the transcript of the interview or hear him speak on YouTube.

Just do it.

The man has ideas, presence and moral authority unlike any USA President I’ve ever seen. I think that Barack Obama would have a most interesting conversation with George Ayittey and Dambisa Moyo.

As I have said before… Darn, I like Obama… if he would only soften the US position on Barbados offshore banking and our “tax haven” status.

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Filed under Africa, Barack Obama, Barbados