Jamaica Demands Over $10 Billion Reparations From Britain Over Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

by Duke Magazine

The demand for reparations for the epic dehumanizing acts that the British, Spaniards, and Americans subjected Africans and their descents to are becoming global discourse in today’s frown and abatement of racism. In what is being described as a historic move, Jamaica has joined its voice with others in the world calling for restitutions worth billions from the UK for the centuries-old slave trade they ramped the Black people with. 

“Our African ancestors were forcibly removed from their home and suffered unparalleled atrocities in Africa to carry out forced labor to the benefit of the British Empire,” Olivia Grange, Minister of Sports, Youth, and Culture, told Reuters.

“Redress is well overdue,” she insisted.

Although Grange did not specifically put forward how much the former British colony and the current Caribbean nation is seeking, more than $10.5 billion was put forth by Jamaican lawmaker Mike Henry, which is roughly equivalent to what Britain paid the slaveholders during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

“I am asking for the same amount of money to be paid to the slaves that was paid to the slave owners,” said Henry. “I am doing this because I have fought against this all my life, against chattel slavery which has dehumanized human life.”

With the approval of Jamaica’s National Council on Reparations, the petition will be filed following advice from the attorney general and three legal teams, then the attorney general will send it to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who remains head of state of the Commonwealth country.

According to the National Library of Jamaica, an estimated 600,000 Africans were shipped to toil the land and Britain did not formally abolish the practice of slavery until 1834. Seized from Spain by the English in 1655, Jamaica was a British colony until it gained its independence in 1962.

Included in the petition is an effort by some Jamaican leaders to sever formal ties with the UK, with opposition lawmaker Mikael Phillips in December presenting a motion to remove the British monarch as the country’s head of state.

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