Tag Archives: Barbados Slavery

Sheri Veronica – As school children in Barbados we were taught to hate Jamaicans

Sheri Veronica Barbados

“Respect Jamaicans”

by Sheri Veronica

THE TRUTH IS, we were taught to hate JAMAICANS.  As a little girl in primary school, our teacher taught us that Barbados was the jewel of the Caribbean.  We were taught that any mad/crazy slave or any slave who could not take instructions, were shipped off to Jamaica.  This was the mandate, I supposed in my little head (or was that taught to me also), of every Caribbean island.  Send the mad and **aggressive slaves to Jamaica.  Then as time passed and you start to see clearer, meet people and question things, you soon realize that the insurgent slaves were the brave ones.  They were the men and women who could not be broken…

… continue with a good read at Sheri Veronica’s blog

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

Jodie Kidd stages Yarico: “The shame of slavery in the Caribbean”

Jodie John Kidd Barbados

“The story has its origins, however, in around 1650, when traveller Richard Ligon met a female Amerindian slave in Barbados and returned to England to write A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados, telling of “poor Yarico” who “for her love, lost her liberty”.

It’s a musical. Don’t know what to think about it because I haven’t seen it, but I lost my liberty for love one time. Lost a house too.

Somehow, I don’t think that’s what they are talking about in Yarico.

Jodie’s quotes in the Guardian are interesting because they totally ignore the issue of white historical privilege in Barbados.

Yes… we’re free, but the old boys still control the money and the economy… and where they don’t, the new black political elites are gaining fast. The ordinary man, especially the light skinned mixed-race man, has not progressed in Bim since about 1960. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Robert, BFP

“When I was at school in Barbados I did learn about the history of the island, but there was not much sense of a racial problem when I was growing up because it is such a modern island and has people from all over the world coming in and out all the time,” she said. “More than any other of the islands in the Caribbean, it has always been super popular. So when it came to racial conflict, I didn’t really get to see any one incident of it as I grew up.”

Jodie Kidd quoted in the Guardian article, Jodie Kidd brings story of love and slavery to the London stage

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Infanticide by Barbados slave mothers – an expression of resistance?

slavery-barbados.jpg

It is truly disturbing to think that Bajan mothers murdered their own newborns as an act of rebellion to deny human slave assets to their captors and owners.

We know that as the Atlantic slave trade and supplies of new slaves dried up due to the efforts of abolitionists, plantation owners in the Caribbean and USA placed the emphasis on breeding new stock. The record is clear that some plantation owners thought it their right to impregnate their slaves with white blood for ‘better product’.

It is difficult to think that captive human beings were treated as property to this extent, but that was the reality of the day. The master had all rights, the female slave had none.

As you read the following article, just remember this…

There are more slaves held in captivity today than at any other time in history.

The obvious response to slave infanticide is to conceptualize it as an act of desperation, a sad act, or an act of altruism, in the sense that it was intended to save enslaved children from a life of hard labor, degradation, and physical, sexual, and mental abuse.

But what if slave infanticide, in all its horror, was an expression of resistance? To conceptualize it this way places agency back in the hands of the slave women who killed their children, because it assumes that their decision was actively, discursively antagonistic and insurrectionary.

… from Infanticide as Slave Resistance: Evidence from Barbados

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Internet pornography kills love, warps young minds and sustains slavery.

Donville Inniss associated website: Pregnant women porn at Orgasm.com

Government Minister Donville Inniss associated website: Pregnant women porn at Orgasm.com …CLICK PHOTO FOR DETAILS AND STORY…

by Grenville Phillips II

by Grenville Phillips II

Pornography is now easily available to all school children who have access to a tablet or a smart phone.  It is facilitated by persons who allow unrestricted access to the Internet in their homes or at the many Wi-Fi hotspots around Barbados.  So let me share a solution; but first, let me describe the problem.

Pornography has two main damaging effects.  The impact for viewers is that that they can primarily view sexual intercourse as a means to satisfy themselves rather than satisfying their partners.  For male viewers, this can lead to a less satisfying sexual experience for her and a boring routine for him.  He will likely develop an uncaring attitude towards her if she does not express a similar delight in his sexual performance as those whom he watches.  His sexual experience should be all about satisfying her, and her sexual experience should be all about satisfying him.

The most damaging impact is on the victims whom the watchers are viewing.  Many women, especially from Asian and eastern European countries, are forced into the sex slave trade, with harsh consequences if they do not show delight when raped (See ‘Half the Sky’ and other research into sex slavery).  As the watchers view these victims, they are supporting and sustaining this slavery.  If people choose not to pay to view pornography on the Internet, then they still support and sustain the sex slave trade by adding to the web sites’ page views, which increases their potential advertising revenues.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, Government, Human Rights, Politics & Corruption, Slavery

“Cumba” – the story of one slave woman owned by Captain John Burch, Christ Church. From Africa to Barbados to England

slavery-barbados.jpg

“Mr. Maverick was desirous to have a breed of Negroes, and therefore seeing she would not yield by perswasions to company with a Negro young man he had in his house…”

… from John Josselyn as recounted in Two Voyages to New England, published 1674

One story of millions

by West Side Davie

“Cumba” was her name. She died a slave in Romford, England in April, 1668 – the property of John Burch and his wife Margaret of Hogsty Plantation. (I’m not sure whether Captain John Burch of Barbados is also referred to and is the same as Colonel John Burch of Barbados, but this family history and other websites seem to say it is the same man. I remain open for correction!)

Today, Cumba is remembered as Havering’s first black resident in an excellent article by Professor Ged Martin just published in the Romford Recorder:

It was 350 years ago this year that a fabulously rich couple, John and Margaret Burch, arrived in Romford.

They’d made their money in Barbados, exploiting slave labour to produce the bonanza crop: sugar.

In 1664, they retired to England, buying Romford’s biggest estate, Gidea Hall, then usually called Giddy Hall. The mansion, demolished in 1930, stood just east of Raphael Park.

Madam Burch, as she was fawningly called, brought her personal maidservant from Barbados, the ultimate status symbol.

Cumba was Havering’s first black resident. A slave, a piece of property, Cumba survived the English climate just four years.

But when she died, in April 1668, somebody had the humanity to record her name in the register of Romford’s St Edward’s church. “Cumber, a ffemale Blackamore servant from Guyddy Hall, buried.”

Today, “blackamore” is an offensive term. But in 1668, when “black” was used to ­describe complexion, it was an attempt to identify Cumba with some dignity. The double “ff” ­indicated a capital letter.

… read the entire article Cumba: Havering’s first black resident remembered on the 350th anniversary of her arrival.

We know very little about Cumba, but we still know far more about her than we do about millions of other people who were enslaved with her and since. We know about the times in which she lived, and we also know a little about the socially-condoned cruelty of slave owners. I believe that much of history has been ‘cleansed’, but not all of it. What passed for ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’ when Cumba lived gives us some idea of her personal circumstances, what she probably saw even if she was not herself subject to all of the abuses. We simply don’t know the details of her life, but we know the times.

So to learn more about Cumba, we will talk of the people around her: the powerful elites of society at the time… Continue reading

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Barbados 1780 rum made by slaves fetches highest price ever

harwood rum barbados

Queen Elizabeth’s cousin sells 12 bottles from secret stash for US$127,555.65

In 1780 on the island of Barbados, unknown slaves without names distilled and barreled rum for their master: Edward Lascelles, the first Earl of Harewood. The rum was shipped to jolly old England in barrels where it was bottled and tucked away in a cellar at the family mansion… where it sat for 231 years before being discovered. Wuhloss! It wouldn’t have lasted a week ’bout my home!

Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, the Earl (later promoted to Viscount Lascelles) owned some 22 plantations and 2,947 slaves in the Caribbean – including Lascelles House near Holetown.

All these years later his descendant, David Lascelles, 8th Earl of Harewood, is the first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and great-grandson of King George V.

Mount Gay Rum owns the Barbados estate.

What did the 8th Earl of Harewood do with all that money from the sale of slave rum? Good for him… he gave the money back to the Caribbean people – to the Geraldine Connor Foundation.

Good for the Queen’s cousin!

But he only gave back the money from 12 bottles of rum.

We still waiting for the money from the sale of the family mansion: bought an paid for with the blood and tears of thousands of slaves.

Robert.

Further Information about this event:

Harewood House Auction and the Rum Ambassador

 

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One British tourist’s view of Barbados history

Should Barbados look to Germany and the Holocaust camps for guidance?

by John Slapp

I have visited Barbados many times over the past years and each visit is preceded by excitement at the prospect of reacquainting myself with friends made in previous years and the beauty of the island.

This excitement is, however, tempered by the knowledge that Barbados has denied and neglected its history, both architectural and human, in favour of the “Luxury Dollar”.

Architecture

Walking around Bridgetown one is struck by the number of neglected historical buildings left to rot and decay. Just one example of many is the Eye Hospital. There are many more. They are treated no better than the eyesores of empty hotels along the Boardwalk.

The Garrison area is one shining light, however Needhams Point, with its guns rusting in the sea, is now a part of the Hilton, for goodness sake! An example of the Dollar being more important than Heritage. It also seems that the Gun Collection in St Ann’s Fort is a national secret if direction signs are anything to go by.

Driving around the island one comes across many old sugar mills and boiling houses. Maybe I am at fault but I have yet to see one restored to give visitors an idea of what they were like. A few days of cane crushing at Morgan Lewis is commendable but hardly inspiring.

I could go on and on, but I think that you get the point.

Human

Barbados has a history. Much as we all wish it had been otherwise the fact remains that slavery, both white and black, is a major part of this history. Continue reading

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

Will Barbados save St. Michael’s and All Angels Cathedral?

Cambodia’s Pol Pot wanted “Year Zero”…

…When it comes to reminders of British sovereignty and slavery, some folks in Barbados have the same goal.

With assistance from Passin Thru

The original title of my article was “Can Barbados save St. Michael’s…”, but then it occurred to me that that is not the real question. Of course we “can” save the Cathedral, the question is “Will we…”, or to be more truthful…

“Do we really want to see St. Michael’s Cathedral rot so we can further purge Barbados of the architectural reminders British Imperialism and slavery?”

You watch the comments for this article. Every time Barbados Free Press talks about preserving some old building or plantation house, more than a few otherwise intelligent and well-meaning Bajans come online and say “Let it rot” – or as in the case of Sam Lord’s Castle, “Let it Burn”.

These folks who want to remove every vestige of British history on this island are not just a few on the fringe. Although this feeling, attitude or undercurrent isn’t spoken about in the news media, it is real, widespread and it influences the actions of our so-called leaders too. And that’s a shame because the end result is we are losing our history and our heritage because whenever there is a choice to be made about preserving our history, we as a society willfully let it rot and fade away.

Neglect is just as effective as a bulldozer, except that using a bulldozer is a more honest action.

When I walk these fields and these hills and see the burned out remnants of plantation houses and the fallen walls, I touch the now-crumbled marl and think of the men and women who built the walls and the houses. Slaves, or freed slaves but still in slavery of a sort, ripped from their home countries and shipped like cattle to Barbados. Dying, starving, whipped and raped along the journey – only to arrive as possessions in a strange and brutal world.

They built St. Michael’s Cathedral. They built the plantation houses and the windmills and the signal towers. These buildings are monuments to British Imperialism it’s true, but moreso they are monuments to our ancestors named and unnamed who sleep in unmarked mass graves.

We need seven million dollars to restore and save St. Michael’s and All Angels Cathedral. Open your wallet or purse and say “save it”, or keep your money to yourself and say “Let it rot”.

There is no middle ground. Continue reading

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Sam Lord’s Castle burns to the ground thanks to Barbados DLP, BLP, CLICO, Leroy Parris

No water for fire fighters at scene

In April 2009, Barbados Free Press predicted Sam Lord’s would burn. We said in our article How CLICO Ruined A Barbados Heritage Site: Sam Lord’s Castle

“Five years ago CLICO Barbados said they would restore Sam Lords Castle as part of a major tourist development.  Surprise, surprise… as they did in the past and have done since about other things — CLICO lied.

You see folks, this is the way it works with these irresponsible corporate beggars…

First, they spot a piece of land that they want. If, like Sam Lords Castle, it is a heritage site in need of some work the corporation promises to restore the heritage site to its former splendor — all in exchange of course for permission to develop the land. Next comes the “the condition was worse than we thought” speech. After a few years of additional neglect, the heritage site becomes nothing more than a candidate for demolition. And if that doesn’t work, well, the Corporation just leaves the place unguarded and unlocked so the paros can look after business for them. When the place finally burns down the way is clear for the development they really wanted to build.”

A strategy of neglect

That’s how it happened my friends, and it did not happen without the complicity of those in power. In this case the strategic neglect started under the BLP Owen Arthur government and continued to the present day under the DLP Thompson government.

Somebody will make a bundle on that fire, but the poor suckers who keep paying and paying and paying are we taxpayers and our children.

Coming your way soon to where Sam Lord’s Castle used to stand: some concrete condo or row housing that looks like everything else.

Crocodile Tears from Leroy Parris

Leroy Parris: Never hired a watchman for Sam Lord’s. Never put plastic on the roof to stop the water. Did nothing at all to preserve or prevent the deterioration of Sam Lord’s Castle during the years it was in his care. Now that it burned, Parris says this…

Former chairman and director CLICO, Leroy Parris, told this newspaper he was “disappointed” at the news of the fire. He also commented that it was a shame for such a historic building to have been lost in such a manner.

… from the Barbados Advocate article Island’s only ‘castle’ gutted by fire

From Barbados Free Press contributor Colin L. Beadon…

“Once, our major tourist attraction.

The car park at Sam Lords used to be full of busses and taxis, and the little restaurants outside did a bustling trade with thirsty camera- swinging tourists who came to look over the Castle, taking photos at every step, inside and out. Sam Lords, used to be the proud, shining delight of Barbados. Now it is a burnt ruin.

We spend 84 million dollars, US$, to work over our caves, yet we can’t find the wages of day and night watchmen to guard against the vandalism of our world famous National Icon, a Castle.

Shame, sick shame, shame, deep dreadful shame on us, that we have allowed such a travesty, such a tragedy; and here we had been hoping for world heritage status. How much more stupid can we become?”

Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, History, Political Corruption, Slavery

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