Tag Archives: Slavery

Slaves Were Sold to Save Georgetown University. What Does It Owe Their Descendants? – NYTimes.com

""272 Slaves Were Sold to Save Georgetown University. What Does It Owe Their Descendants? – NYTimes.com

In 1838, the Jesuit priests who ran the country’s top Catholic university needed money to keep it alive. Now comes the task of making amends.

Georgetown University

Georgetown University

By RACHEL L. SWARNS – APRIL 16, 2016 – NY Times
WASHINGTON — The human cargo was loaded on ships at a bustling wharf in the nation’s capital, destined for the plantations of the Deep South. Some slaves pleaded for rosaries as they were rounded up, praying for deliverance.

But on this day, in the fall of 1838, no one was spared: not the 2-month-old baby and her mother, not the field hands, not the shoemaker and not Cornelius Hawkins, who was about 13 years old when he was forced onboard.

Their panic and desperation would be mostly forgotten for more than a century. But this was no ordinary slave sale. The enslaved African-Americans had belonged to the nation’s most prominent Jesuit priests. And they were sold, along with scores of others, to help secure the future of the premier Catholic institution of higher learning at the time, known today as Georgetown University.   Continue reading

The Unsung Black Women of America – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

The Unsung Black Women of America – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Ella Baker says, “You didn’t see me on television; you didn’t see news stories about me, The kind of role I play was to pick up pieces or put together pieces out of which I hoped organization  might come.’

While her most illustrious colleagues were in limelight Baker had fashioned a well-oiled machine as part of the civil rights movement. Baker was the granddaughter of a slave. Her grandmother was whipped for refusing to marry a man that was chosen for her by the slave owner.

Baker’s sense for social justice was sharpened by the stories of her grand-mother about the perils of slavery. She realized that in order to break the chains of dependence she would have to take education seriously.  Continue reading

JACK GLADSTONE – by Ralph Ramkarran

Jack Gladstone

Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

Posted on August 1, 2015 by

The Demerara Slave Rebellion of 1823 was a seminal event in the history of slave resistance in British Guiana and in the colonial world. Its stark exposure, once again, of the horrors of slavery speeded up its demise even as growing mercantilist trends were ravaging its economic foundations. Jack Gladstone was the Rebellion’s principal organizer and leading militant.

While he has not been forgotten by history, his monumental, though costly, contribution to the abolition of slavery in 1838 and the advancement of freedom is little known. Professor da Costa’s book, Crowns of Glory, Tears of Blood The Demerara Slave Rebellion of 1823, restores Jack Gladstone’s place in the narrative of resistance; but popular recognition and full knowledge of his role have still eluded his contribution to the freedom struggle.  Continue reading

Black Churches in America – By Dr Dhanpaul Narine

Black Churches in America – By Dr Dhanpaul Narine

Black Churches Burned

Black Churches Burned

It is 1758 and a slave reports on the condition of Blacks. He says, ‘the white folks would come in when the colored people would have prayer meetings, and whip every one of them. Most of them thought that when colored people were praying it was against them.’ In 2105 in Charleston, South Carolina, a weapon that was deadlier than the whip was used and it brought tragic results.

Black churches were a cause of concern to the White establishment during and after slavery. A Black congregation was seen as a threat to White supremacy. The congregation was an example of faith, togetherness, and the ownership of property and this did not sit well with Whites. When Whites in the South wanted excitement they would set fire to Black churches. The flames provided relief from boredom and sent a message to Blacks to mind their message and manners.  Continue reading

What the Modern World Owes Slavery – commentary

 Black History Month – February

The Bleached Bones of the Dead: What the Modern World Owes Slavery

Monday, 24 February 2014 – By Greg Grandin, TomDispatch | Op-Ed TRUTHOUT

Slaves working on James Hopkinson's plantation.
Slaves working on James Hopkinson’s plantation. (Photo: Henry P. Moore) >>

Many in the United States were outraged by the remarks of conservative evangelical preacher Pat Robertson, who blamed Haiti’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake on Haitians for selling their souls to Satan. Bodies were still being pulled from the rubble — as many as 300,000 died — when Robertson went on TV and gave his viewing audience a little history lesson: the Haitians had been “under the heel of the French” but they “got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.’ True story. And so, the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.'”

A supremely callous example of right-wing idiocy? Absolutely. Yet in his own kooky way, Robertson was also onto something. Haitians did, in fact, swear a pact with the devil for their freedom. Only Beelzebub arrived smelling not of sulfur, but of Parisian cologne.   Continue reading

Emancipation – commentary



On August 1, 2013, it will be 179 years since slavery was abolished in this country – and in the rest of the British Empire, for that matter. As a national Public Holiday, we should be reminded that it is a day that should be commemorated by all Guyanese. Not only because we are citizens of this country but because we are the inheritors of the legacy of those who fought and died fighting that epitome of man’s inhumanity to man.

It was an institution of which the world had never seen before – and hopefully will never see again. There are those that like to mention that there was slavery before our “New World” slavery that dragged millions of Africans across the Atlantic and plunged them into a world in which even their humanity was denied.    Continue reading

Legacies of Empire: the Good, the bad and the ugly – Sir Ronald Sanders

Legacies of Empire: the Good, the bad and the ugly

Thursday, May 23, 2013 – 17:54 By Sir Ronald Sanders

This commentary is a much shortened version of a paper delivered at a public seminar at London University on May 20th on the Legacy of the British Empire in the Caribbean.

The Legacy of Empire in the Caribbean is a mixed one – some aspects are good, many aspects are bad, and one in particular is ugly. I will start with the good aspects:



The first is language. Because English has become the first language of international commerce, the Legacy of the English language in the former British colonies has been beneficial to the English-Speaking Caribbean countries in a range of global transactions.   Continue reading

CARICOM should seek reparation for slavery – UWI Pro-Vice Chancellor – video

CARICOM should seek reparation for slavery, says UWI Pro-Vice Chancellor

shot0002 Governments need to create a regional reparation agency to present an international case against its former colonizers.
Describing slavery as the “Worst Crime against humanity”, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Professor Hillary Beckles, called for an ‘informed and sensible conversation’.

He said Caribbean descendants of African slaves have both moral and legal rights to reparation for the injustices that were done during the slave trade.

Sir Hilary was at the time delivering the first of a series of lectures to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the 1763 Berbice Slave Revolt as part of Republic celebrations,   Continue reading

Nantes, France – French City Confronts Its Brutal Past

Memorial to Slave Trade

French City Confronts Its Brutal Past

By Stefan Simons in Nantes, France

Photo Gallery: Nantes' Dark History

Chateau des ducs de Bretagne/ Musée d’histoire de Nantes

The slave trade once made the people of Nantes rich, but the French city covered up its dark history for decades. It recently erected a memorial to the victims in a project believed to be the first of its kind in Europe. But the effort to shed light on the Continent’s role in the 18th century slave trade with Africa and the New World has not been popular with some residents.

 In the 18th century, cruelty had poetic names, like Le Prudent (“The Prudent”), La Légère (“The Light”) or Les Trois Maries (“The Three Marys”). The ships, named in the hope of a good voyage or baptized with Christian first names, were part of a brutal business between Europe, Africa and America: the slave trade. During a period of approximately 400 years, at least 13 million people were transported under horrendous conditions from Africa to the colonies of the New World.       [more ]
— Post #1330

Tim Wise on the Creation of Whiteness – video

Tim Wise on the Creation of Whiteness

This is a clip from The Pathology of Privilege: Racism, White Denial & the Costs of Inequality, the newly released video from the Media Education Foundation. The video is of a speech given by Tim Wise at Mt. Holyoke College, October 1, 2007.

Also look at the other Tim Wise videos that follow this one.

  Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S., and has been called, “One of the most brilliant, articulate and courageous critics of white privilege in the nation,” by best-selling author and professor Michael Eric Dyson, of Georgetown University. Wise has spoken in 48 states, and on over 600 college campuses, including Harvard, Stanford, and the Law Schools at Yale and Columbia, and has spoken to community groups around the nation.

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