Emancipation and Reparations

FOR 184 years, Emancipation Day has been observed as a holiday on August 1, especially in former British colonies where that date in 1834 was supposed to have marked the end of Slavery. But the emancipation declaration did not at all mean automatic freedom for slaves.

184 years after Emancipation Day, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations are seeking ‘Reparations from Europe for Slavery and Native Genocide.

But it’s been an expectedly painful process getting today’s leaders of European states that benefited most from Slavery to even accept a formal Caribbean request to talk Reparations.

Unfortunately, Reparations also continues to be an issue that not all Caribbean people understand well enough and which too many believe is only all about money. But it’s also about history and education.

History having virtually disappeared from the school curriculum in this age of science and technology, the challenge continues to build the nexus that will make history more attractive to today’s IT generation.

This issue contains a 12-page Emancipation Supplement highlighting some – just some – of the many issues involved, for the benefit of our readers, both offline and online.

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