The case for compensating the Caribbean

Repeating Islands

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This article by SIR RONALD SANDERS appeared in Jamaica’s Observer.

In 1838, British slave owners in the English-speaking Caribbean received £11.6 (US$17.8) billion in today’s value as compensation for the emancipation of their “property” — 655,780 human beings of African descent that they had been enslaved, brutalised and exploited. The freed slaves, by comparison, received nothing in recompense for their dehumanisation, cruel treatment, the abuse of their labour, and the plain injustice of their enslavement.

The monies paid to sláves owners have been studied and assembled by a team of academics from University College London, including Dr Nick Draper, who spent three years pulling together 46,000 records which they have now launched as an Internet database. The website is: ucl.ac.uk/lbs

The benefits of those monies still exist in Britain today. For example, they are the foundations of Barclays Bank, Lloyds Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland. But they…

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