Marking 200 years of slave trade end

EXTRACT: Trinidad Guardian Editorial

“Notwithstanding all that, there remains quite an amount to be thankful for, fundamentally, as New World societies, even civilisations, have been formed out of the slave trade.”

©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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1 Responses to “Marking 200 years of slave trade end”

  • It is often presumed in the West that Africans of the diaspora have a lot to “be thankful for,” so the slave trade was good for us. That is bull. Wherever we have lived outside of Africa, we have been relegated to the lowest rung of the socio-economic ladder, given the least educational opportunities, and deliberate policies have been put in place to keep us back. It is as if life is supposed to be a set of hurdles that Africans jump over, and as soon as one height is mastered, the bar is raised again. Even today, fifty one years after the Civil Rights Act of the USA was passed, there is a three tiered education system in the USA designed to keep poor and inner city children back.(That’s where the Afro-Americans and Hispanics mostly live) Their schools are underfunded, due to the fact that each school district provides its own funds, so poor districts get enough to keep them poor. Rich districts get the money they need for programs,either from taxes or corporate sponsors. Occassionally, an African family makes it to the suburbs, but the majority of Africans still live in out of the way small towns, and over crowded inner cities. The society seems to want it ot stay that way.
    Education continues to be the surest means of lifting oneself off the bottom rung of the ladder, yet poor children, in all countries of the west, are likeliest to have the worst diets, that do not contribute to well developed brains, and poor children are likliest to be dark-skinned. Where supplemental programs are put in place by some well meaning politicians, they are lambasted by others. The USA, the country with the largest English speaking African population outside of Africa, and whose economy was built on the backs of those “two dozen million” people taken out of the African continent( for ever one that landed live approximately three died) still has not put in place one program that really compensates for three hundred years or more of abuse. It was in 1615 that the first cargo of slaves landed in Virginia. Two hundred and fifty years later, they got a sort of freedom by the Emancipation Proclamation. Another hundred years later, the Civil Rights Act gave them the right to vote. Processes were laer enacted to deprive them of the vote.

    This “model nation” and that other model of “racial harmony” that is Trinidad and Tobago have more than the English language in common. They have a sociopathical determination on the part of citizens, to keep Africans at the bottom of the society. I watch and wait to see whayt Chavez’ Venezuela will do to lift the African in the west to the stature of full man, a palce where his skin colour is not the first thing people respond to, and do not associate it with all that is negative..

    Meanwhile, educated “stolen people” still wonder what our ancestral language was. So much was stolen from us that cannot be restored. What were our ancestral names? Where on the continent did we come from? We lament for what was lost continually, and sometimes, in some of the younger hotheads, the lament turns to raw anger. There is no “All in all some good came of it.” The good came to Barclays’ Bank, big cities and merchant bankers(slave merchants who started banks?) in Britain and the Americas. The effects of the depletion of 100 milliom people from Africa is still being felt today. Yet, to the European and American business man, drunk on the after effects of slavery, Africa is still a colony of exploitation, and so is Africa’s child-nations in the Caribbean. That the exploitation also involves poor immigrants, child labour and women’s labour are just part of the legacy of slavery. There has to be somebody to exploit for others to make a profit.

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