Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Hold Africans to book for slavery atrocities

Published:Tuesday | October 27, 2015 | 10:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Martin Henry's article 'Africa's role in slavery' (Sunday Gleaner, October 25, 2015) has made an invaluable contribution to the rather vociferous reparation debate. While the primary focus of the debate has been on reparation from Great Britain for the significant role it played in the transatlantic slave trade, it is critically important that the culpability of our African forefathers, both as participants and beneficiaries from the enslavement of our African ancestors, be not ignored.

Reparation is not only about the righting of this wrong, through the pursuit of economic compensation for the terrible consequences of slavery we have suffered as a people; most important, it is about the spiritual liberation of our people from the effects of slavery through the pursuit of forgiveness of those responsible for these terrible acts of injustices.

That is why British Prime Minister Cameron's failure to issue an apology on behalf of Britain for the part it played in the Atlantic slave trade constitutes such a grave error on his part. But how fair is it for the Jamaican people to demand a pardon from our British colonial masters for enslaving us, while absolving our African ancestors of any wrong?

It is not only important that our data be truthful for the benefit of posterity, we also depend on this data not only to shape important discourses of such national importance as the reparation debate, but also significant policies that impact the social and economic life of the nation. Martin Henry?s article has helped to set the record straight in this important regard and, therefore, deserves congratulation for his contribution to the debate.

NEWTON GABBIDON

ipmiorg@aol.com

New York City