Bajan Black Lives Then and Now

Submitted by Roslyn Stanherd

The fervent tone of most of the panellists supporting the removal of Lord Nelson’s statute on the Sunday July 12, 2020 programme, ‘The Peoples Business’ muted that of the sole panellist against its removal.  There was a lot of emotion, stated positions but no balance view on why the statute should be removed.  Research was necessary to determine fact from fiction and emotion from material evidence.

Lord Nelson shared via his writings, his ‘old-school’ views of a profitable British colonial system dependent on the slave trade, i.e., supporting money for the plantation owners and death for thousands of slaves.  Production was of prime importance to plantation owners who had mortgages to pay. The common practice therefore was for slave owners to deliberately work slaves to death via overwork, poor nutrition, poor work conditions, brutality, and disease simply because it was cheaper to replace slaves every 7 years than to feed them properly.  The high death rate among the Barbados slave population in the 1770s is evidenced by the annual importation of the 5,000 slaves necessary to increase the population by 700 per year. Therefore, slave owners by their actions bring into question the validity of the contention that Lord Nelson’s sinking of ships carrying food including bread fruit to the islands caused the death of thousands of slaves.  Sugar cane was a land intensive crop that required plantations used most of the arable land. With few exceptions, slaves were only allowed to cultivate food crops on rubble land but were granted limited time to do so. Owners did import costly foodstuff but they rationed these with a stingy hand. It was the Amelioration Act of 1798 which forced planters to improve conditions for slaves.

Yes, he spoke of his support for slave owners and the slave trade but was Lord Nelson overtly or privately racist.  Evidence suggests otherwise. He helped secure the release of slaves, hired ex slaves, paid them well and supported the idea that plantation slaves should be replaced by freed, paid industrious Chinese workers.

Finally, his success at the Battle of Trafalgar created the conditions that supported the British abolitionists.  Now in control of the seas, the British adhered to the abolition of slavery capturing 1600 slave ships and freeing around 150,000 slaves.

Whether we choose to learn our full history or err on the side of emotion is left to us.

The Sunday Nation of July 12, 2020 article ‘Black Lives in the Spotlight’ by Colville Mounsey addressed realities centred around the position “that elements of our historical starting points still shape the Barbadian economic power structure’.  This balanced article provided a contra position that was interesting, in that it might remind one of the American constitution which informs that all men are created equal, yet generations of blacks continue to be marginalized. The article is worth the read.

From my Barbados experience, though black business people had limited experience running businesses, they all had good ideas.  Unfortunately, they were naive always expecting business to be good and never planning for worst case scenarios.  Their mindsets prevented them from being responsive to situations which hampered businesses growth and development. In addition, money to cover business lags was not every easily accessible and most of them failed.

Retail banks and credit unions are usually wary of startups. Most of the local companies once providing funding to businesses as well as offering much needed advice and guidance are no longer in operation. A business plan along with collateral security are prerequisites for obtaining loans but whites and Indians have the option of obtaining financial handouts and other material support from family and friends something that is a rarity for blacks. In addition, the long preparatory process inclusive of financial assessment  can open doors for ideas to be subtly and overtly sabotaged.

Even at the end of a successful black businessman life cycle there is generally no succession plan for the handover of the business to a competent offspring. A failed black business most often means a loss of property/ies with black people poorer for it. Successful black businessmen also fail on a macro level in that they do not transfer key business information and knowledge via offers of support and guidance to start ups.

Then there’s this; the A students work for private enterprise, the B students for Government and the C for themselves, with the later typically starting at an early age.  There is no need to guess the categories preferred by black people.

My response is not analytical because there’s little evidence to support the perceptions and questions raised by those who doubt that black businesses are disadvantaged.  It is an area that should be investigated/researched.  Meanwhile, successful black businessmen should develop strategies to offer support to startup businesses.

520 comments

  • You should buy a pail of bag balm so when you are crying yourself to sleep after trump is re-elected you can avoid the prune up thing that rbg has going.. Or as Ilse Koch used to say nice skin

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  • Just decoded some more gibberish!

    Poor drunken Lawson, my son is only sixteen. I am supposed to make some of his decisions for him. I have gradually let go as is age appropriate. He has chosen his career path with no objection from me and is already making foreign exchange and all from his enterprise. We both agreed he would not return to school but improve his CXC grades from home. He agreed that they would serve as back up just in case, No pressure from me for college or university. I had to back him up against his dad on that score.

    But…. this weekend he is off for four days to a guest house of his choice, with friends of his choice in celebration of his birthday. His dad is supervising. NO MUMMY! HIS CHOICE!

    And just last week I told him he was welcome to live with me for as long as he likes but a man is not a man when he lives with his mother. Thus I was agreeing with him that he should do exactly what he was doing – exploring options for the purchase of land.

    And before you start thinking he wants to get away from me, he is looking to purchase down the hill to the beach where I walk on mornings so he can keep an eye on me. He is buying me two dogs and a surveillance system to keep me safe and he is planning to replicate this very house with slightly bigger rooms.

    MY son is happy here! He thinks I am the best mother in the world – flaws and all!

    And now you may rant alone.

    Racist! Misogynist! Trumpist!

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  • “You seem to have aligned yourselves with the vile Donna”.

    Is this a cry for help?

    Let me add, that the names mentioned here are often listed by “others” are not my example of what is a good person.I hope they are able to sleep well at night, It amuses me when the list of fine black people are “Daiamond and Silk”, Candace Owens, Herman Cain, … I will not call them names, but I think I can easily make myself a better list.

    It seems as if Donna is able to

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  • “You seem to have aligned yourselves with the vile Donna”.

    Is this a cry for help? I can understand if it is.

    It seems as if Donna has a way with words that has a few having to resort to calling her names; and I see that you have allowed your imagination to wander.all over the place.

    For the record, I am trying to be neutral, but if I were to go by your words, I would align myself on her side.

    Let me add, that the names often listed by “others” are not my example of what is a good person. It amuses me when the list of fine black people are “Daiamond and Silk”, Candace Owens, Herman Cain, … I will not call them names, but I think I can easily make myself a better list.

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  • Ha! Lawson exposes himself like a exhibitionist in a trenchcoat.

    All you have to do is poke him and he can’t help spewing his racist, sexist bile!

    I recall with great amusement when 45 govt called me a whore also. MoneyBrain used more delicate language but he too questioned my “virtue” when proded.

    They come here trying to tell us that they are not racist but one little poke and boom!

    Fools blow their cover! (poor as it was)

    The one thing I am yet to decide is – do these guys even KNOW they are racist????

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  • I am not calling anyone ignorant.
    I asked, my wife “If a person is ignorant and ‘unknowingly’ spout racist shit are they ignorant?”
    Her reply, ‘they are not ignorant, they are racist’
    By now, they have knowledge of who is in the same camp as themselves.

    MB puzzles me.
    In the same way that PLT went to bat for CH, I would go to bat for MB.
    MB puzzles me..

    Bentsen: Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.

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  • @Lawson July 31, 2020 8:06 AM “…a great achiever like herman cain (that young black men should follow his example.”

    No they should not.

    An elderly black male cancer survivor, perhaps with diabetes and hypertension as well, at a large meeting with no mask, sitting close to others with no mask? What did he think would happen?

    He died to prove a silly point?

    I would advice young black men [and white ones too, especially elderly ones like you} NOT to follow Herman Cain to an unnecessarily early grave.

    A man who can’t or won’t take care of himself should not be followed by sensible people.

    4,542,620msick Americans

    152,940 dead Americans.

    Most unnecessarily.

    If a foreigner had done this to Americans it would be regarded as an act of terrorism or of war and indeed it would be.

    But what is is called when it is done to you by your own?

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  • LawsonJuly 31, 2020 12:51 PM

    You should buy a pail of bag balm so when you are crying yourself to sleep after trump is re-elected you can avoid the prune up thing that rbg has going.. Or as Ilse Koch used to say nice skin

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/steven-calabresi-federalist-society-trump-tweet-election

    And they just keep on jumping off the Trump Train! It sure took a long time for these so-called intelligent people to recognise the fascist!

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  • Quote: Calabresi said he voted for Trump in 2016, and has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980. He added that he staunchly defended Trump against what he called an “unconstitutional investigation by Robert Mueller” into alleged collusion with Russia and penned another op-ed opposing the president’s impeachment earlier this year.

    “But I am frankly appalled by the president’s recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election,” he wrote. “Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist.

    Oh DEAR!

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  • cudhear I guess that is like someone who keeps on smoking knowing the risks right. but you know I was talking about his business acumen spiritual and public service not his case of bad judgement
    Theo ask your wife if feigning concern about what really happens in your microcosm is racist if so guilty as charged
    Donna I was just giving you a few skin tips from some of our canadian models….daisy mable and elsie

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  • Too late to close the trench coat now, Lawson! I have already seen your junk.

    Oh dear dear me! My mother, the nurse, used to describe that size as a rosebud!

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  • https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2018/10/17/nearly-half-the-world-lives-on-less-than-550-a-day
    $5.50

    From a next article
    “Poverty was not concentrated in Africa until recently. In 1990 more than a billion of the extremely poor lived in China and India alone. Since then those economies have grown faster than many of the richest countries in the world and did much to a reduction of global inequality. The concentration of the world’s poorest shifted from East Asia in the 1990s to South Asia in the following decade. Now it has shifted to Sub-Saharan Africa. The projections suggest the geographic concentration of extreme poverty is likely to continue. According to the World Bank forecasts 87% of the world’s poorest are expected to live in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2030 if economic growth follows the trajectory over the recent past.”

    Perhaps the poverty of a nation is ultimately dependent on the vision of its leaders.
    Perhaps the political giants that we boast of are mere dwarves when compare to others; the proverbial one-eyed man in the land of the blind.
    Leaders that have the Caribbean is hurtling towards the bottom. Left so far in the dust that we cannot see the smoke emitted by Singapore. Visionless and corrupt leaders.,

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  • Wrong blog, TheO??????

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  • Nice …you and your MAMA talked dick sizes growing up in our household we only talked politics and sports. I guess we were sheltered.

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  • I just saw the King lady in the news. Appears she had some negative comments for Obama.
    A next BU blogger is sharing the info on FB.
    Do you guys share these names with each other? How come you all know these outstanding blacks?

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  • My mama was talking to my papa. I happened to stumble upon them. Even now my son tells me I walk silently and jump him.

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  • WAIT your Momma was talking to your Papa saying we call that a rose bud LOL your killing me .

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  • Nope! She was telling him a joke about a patient who was always bragging about what a great lover he was and how many women he had. One nurse bet that the man was over compensating. She bet that he had a rosebud. When the man was prepped for surgery she lifted the gown and said to my mother, “Yuh see wuh ah tell yuh? A rosebud!”

    When I grew up and was old enough to hear it my mother repeated the whole story when we came across another braggart on the street.

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  • https://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/247044/uwi-mona-defends-decision-fees
    “At the same time, The UWI faces many US dollar costs in delivering our programmes, and the question is how these costs will be met and who will meet those costs. These include but are not limited to Library international subscriptions, software licences, ICT hardware, chemicals and specimens,” the UWI said

    That was one part of the argument that made sense, but if you are going to purchase anything from the US/UK/Fra you would expect to pay in a foreign currency. This is true, irregardless of whether you quote the cost of courses in $Ja or $US. But they will pay their lecturers in $Ja.

    I do not see any advantage, unless they are hoping to attract students from outside of the region.

    Waiting on John A or VC to break it down for me.

    —————————————–xx————————————————-
    True story:
    I remember when I graduated I applied to Mona and secured a position. My mother looked at the salary quoted and told me “I prefer that you stay and look for a job here. You will be unemployed for a while but I will support you. With that salary, you would be working there and I would still be supporting you.”
    That’s what family is for.

    Like

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