UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Jamaica has turned up the volume of the longstanding call by Jamica’s Prime Minister and other leaders there for reparations for the suffering caused by the transAtlantic slave trade – the enslavement of Africans on the continent itself and the shipping to and enslavement of them and their descendants in the Caribbean, including Jamaica, and the rest of the Americas – which Britain, Portugal, Spain, France and Holland and modern-day Belgium all had a hand in to create:
– the wealth of those European countries plus the USA and Brazil among others
– the impoverishment and subjugation of the peoples of African descent in the Americas, including Jamaicans, that we see residing there now
– the impoverishment and subjugation of Africans and people of African desecnt on that continent today and in these former slave-owing countries
that have all resulted and the legacy of that today.
We believe it is a legitimate call, but not if it is simply financial. For us, arguably the greater damage done has been in terms of terminology used to describe us in comparison with Europeans and other races that has been internalised by millions of us around the world, and is inextricably linked with problems of low self-esteem and self-respect, division, and lack of respect of our own among many of us. It is essential to know, understand and be in no doubt about our collective intertwined history and how we got to be where and who we are today. For those who don’t know, are not sure, or are in denial, we suggest you look at these links too as well as read “The “Black” Jacobins” by CLR James. There is enough evidence there to make the case.