“Destination” – Poem by Guyanese-Canadian Poet Janet Naidu

From the Rosaliene Bacchus Blog

Three Worlds One Vision

East Indian Indentured Laborers

In commemoration of the centennial of the abolition of Indian Indentureship on March 12, 1917, my Poetry Corner May 2017 features the poem “Destination” by Janet Naidu, a Guyanese-born poet, writer, social activist, and life-skills coach. She migrated to Canada in 1975, at the age of twenty-two, where she obtained a BA in Political Science and Caribbean Studies from the University of Toronto and, later in life, an LLB from the University of London (UK).

With the abolition of slavery in 1834 and the end of the apprenticeship scheme in 1838, the mass exodus of ex-slaves from plantations across the British Empire created a dire need for a regular and reliable supply of labor. On May 5, 1838, the first group of about 400 Indian indentured laborers, on a five-year contract, arrived in British Guiana on the sailing ships, Whitby and Hesperus. By 1917, their numbers totaled over 238,000…

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