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We Need To Change The Conversation Around Slave Reparations

In the Caribbean, there’s an argument going on which has been taking place for a few years now. Every once in a while it gains fresh momentum - and it revolves around reparations for slavery.

It’s a fact that most of the black people living on every island of the Caribbean today are primarily the descendants of slaves who were forcibly removed from their homes and villages across Africa between 1525 and 1866 and taken to work on sugar and cotton plantations in the West Indies.

The exact number of Africans shipped to the so-called ‘New World’ is estimated to be between 10 and 12 million. At least 20 percent of them are thought to have died in the holds of slave ships, while traveling through the notorious Middle Passage of the Atlantic Ocean. Those that did make it disembarked in North and South America and the Caribbean.

It’s not disputed that the men, women and children who somehow managed to survive that long, treacherous and hellish journey across the seas were treated worse than animals. I can only imagine the tyranny they went through at the hands of their ‘owners’, as they toiled in the fields and plantation houses and were denied every basic human right which we now take for granted.