Enslavers, we note, who not only condoned slavery, but also built generational wealth from the transatlantic slave trade and chattel slavery. Systems that were inhumane, unjust and unconscionable—crimes against humanity.
The unanimous call from members of Heirs of Slavery for the British government to apologise to the descendants of enslaved Africans in the British Caribbean, and “to begin long-requested talks on reconciliation and reparatory justice for the 3.1million enslaved African people transported across the Atlantic by Britain,” is a call that is four hundred years overdue.
As this diverse group of British authors, journalists and business people including former BBC journalist, Laura Trevelyan, embark on this journey to right the wrong of their ancestors—we applaud them for recognising the harms done by their ancestors.
Furthermore, we amplify the group’s call for repair and restoration of a British Caribbean that is still suffering and struggling from the lingering social, economic and political effects of British-led slavery and colonialism.
“This is clearly a step in the right direction. A step that is long overdue,” says Mr. Arley Gill, chair of the Grenada National Reparations Committee. “The heirs of slavery benefited, and are still benefiting today, from the legacy of slavery. It’s a legacy that is fueled by more than four hundreds of years of free African labour,” Mr. Gill added.
The Grenada National Reparations Committee welcomes this new initiative, and encourages other individuals, families and institutions, in Britain, as well as other individuals, families and institutions from across Europe to look within themselves, their families and nations, and join this growing global movement for fairness, justice and repair. The time is now to repair the harms done to our countries in the name of empire-building in Europe.
In the spirit of Sankofa which means, “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot’’, the GNRC views the formation of the Heirs of Slavery “as the dawning of a new day in Britain. A day when descendants of enslavers begin a process of restoring dignity to our African ancestors who forcibly endured the worst of humanity,” Mr. Gill concluded.