Slave Merchant’s Notebook Confirms the Sorry Tale of the Slave Trade

A wealthy slave merchant's 270-year-old notebook and business log (pictured) has revealed a chilling insight into the slave trade and attitudes to human trafficking -

A wealthy slave merchant’s 270-year-old notebook and business log (pictured) has revealed a chilling insight into the slave trade and attitudes to human trafficking –

It seems unconscionable human beings of any era would be of such a ‘mind’ to treat fellow human beings like chattel (cattle). To compound the thought many slave traders of the day in the Mother Country labelled themselves Christians. BU dares to ask what has changed in 2014 compared to nearly 300 years ago. One sees the political directorate plying their nonsense  in our parliament and the number of millionaires being generated at the bat of an eye.   The same occurred when our ancestors sold us out for the proverbial ‘mess of potage’ all those years ago. The more things change the more they remain the same.

Here is  a related link:

The Uncorrected Evils of Racism

An article by Sir Ronald Sanders submitted by Ras Jahaziel

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday April 12, 2013 – In 1838, British slave owners in the English-Speaking Caribbean received £11.6 (US$17.8) billion in today’s value as compensation for the emancipation of their “property” – 655,780 human beings of African descent that they had enslaved, brutalised and exploited.  The freed slaves, by comparison, received nothing in recompense for their dehumanisation, their cruel treatment, the abuse of their labour and the plain injustice of their enslavement.

The monies paid to slaves owners have been studied and assembled by a team of Academics from University College London, including Dr Nick Draper, who spent three years pulling together 46,000 records which they have now launched as an internet database.  The website is:

Continue reading

Britain’s Wealthy Owe Barbados

Wealthy families all around the UK still indirectly enjoying the proceeds of slavery.

Wealthy families all around the UK still indirectly enjoying the proceeds of slavery.

Dr Draper added that the database’s findings may have implications for the “reparations debate”. Barbados is currently leading the way in calling for reparations from former colonial powers for the injustices suffered by slaves and their families

The Independent

There was the revelation on the weekend that UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s slave owning ancestors were among other wealthy families who received repatriation payments in the millions of pounds when converted to today’s value.  It seems ironic that these families would have encountered no significant roadblocks to get compensation for participating in the heinous act of slavery BUT those who are descendants of slaves are ignored by Britain which to this day continues to benefit from wealth earned from slavery and we (Barbados) continue suck salt.

There are the apologists who will proffer the rebuttal that this was a time when to own slaves was not regarded as a wrong, in fact it was institutionalized. It is the same explanation which Christians offer to explain why slavery was part of a way of life described in the Bible. Some also argue that It is also explains why the French exacted millions from Haiti.

It is the height of insensitivity shown to our ancestors by a predominantly Black country that Barbados refuses to engage in a rich debate about exacting reparations from countries which engaged in slavery. The irony is that Prime Minister Cameron and others of his ilk now occupy authority positions in governments and are able to levy APD taxes etc to the detriment of Barbados. Some things never change.

Read the startling revelation on The Independent  website

Trading Black Africans

Submitted by The Peoples Democratic Congress

Beginning in the 15th Century and continuing right through until about the mid 19th Century, both the system of Europeans, on one hand, and Africans, on the other hand, so-called trading in Africans on African territories, and the system whereby thereafter these Africans were taken hold of by the Europeans and brutally inhumanly enslaved in various parts of this Western World,  were representative of the most sordid cruel mechanisms ever set in motion in the history of humankind.

But, notwithstanding, the false, crude, racist, inhuman, and violent bases upon which these systems were created and carried out, the fact is that they were bound to come to an end within some eons of their establishment; thankfully, as a result of the many respective (un)foreseen, unprofitable, destabilizing aspects involving them and that had been enveloping other extant systems too.

At the same time, they were bound to be replaced by other evil politically constraining, income generating social systems!!

What has therefore been significant in the PDC’s pointing to the inevitability of the collapse of those systems and their replacements with other evil systems has been that at the core of what had for a long time been operating the system of Europeans and Africans so-called trading in Africans, and that at the core of what had for a longer period been operating the system of Europeans enslaving Africans, were the constant and recurring patterns of landed, trade, material, political, social relationships – which surrounded the enslavers and enslaved at the time, but that which nevertheless were bound to in the long run lose momentum and direction, and which were also bound to reproduce, thankfully, less and less in material, financial and social terms, in so far as to have helped make those evil systems unsustainable – rather than viable – in the long term (See the late Dr. Eric William’s thesis in Capitalism and Slavery for supporting references).

Continue reading

Pimping The Legacy Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr – Are Gay Rights The Same As Civil Rights? How The “Lunatic Fringe” Of Modern Religious Pharisees, Wishy-Washy Politicians, And Secular Humanists Masquerade In Deception And Disinformation

Submitted by Terence Blackett


On Monday January 17th marked the 25th anniversary of The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday – a day that saw “multi-racial” groups breaking bread together; political leaders setting aside their partisan politics to speak of the need for greater unity (even if only just so glibly); sprinkled with the solemn tributes and affirmations as well as the pontificators who lauded the name of MLK. Somehow you could feel this sense of fuzziness, and for a moment, you thought that some of the rival factions were literally going to break out in the singing of “kumbayah” my lord…

Sadly, the dust always settles and the smoke finally clears and it’s back to business as usual with the customary wrangling, infighting and squabbling over every inch of social terrain. It’s seems that after “THE DREAM” comes the cold, bitter morning of reality and we are somehow shocked into this polarized sense that we simply do not see eye to eye and are incapable of getting along.

A pedantic lurch back through the mid to late 1950’s and 1960’s history carries a stark reminder of a time when as Black folks our parents and grandparents faced in many ways a myriad of social pressures – monetary, political and religious alienation which has contributed and has been responsible for the psychic scar that remains a blot on the landscape of Black empowerment. This has due in part to the contemporary eyes of postmodernity through which we view that recent historical past but especially for those who were not privy to live through it. But even if we did, the memories have faded to a mere shadow of what life was really like. What does stand out is the socio-sexual revolution of the 60’s – and although this seismic shift in the last [50] years has defined the latter half of the 20th century, we are seeing its resultant social metamorphosis now in the 21st century.

Continue reading

Restitution For Colonial Era Is Due

© Raimond Spekking / CC-BY-SA-3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

Barbadians celebrate National Heroes Day today. A time to celebrate those who significantly contributed to the foundation for advancing Barbados. The following article (reproduced) is meant to provoke thought and awareness given the new challenges which have emerged in our new world.

“Mahatma Gandhi, with no weapon but truth, brought England’s Indian Empire crashing down. Another man of peace, from a small island off the coast of India, is now committed to an even more ambitious task. He would restore what he sees as the equilibrium upset by Western Europe when it set out 500 years ago to conquer the planet.

As if that were not enough, he wants the Christian churches to recognize that as legitimators and beneficiaries of those wars of conquest, they are obligated in justice to return the unjustly acquired benefits. Wait a minute. Didn’t the colonial era end shortly after World War II? Hasn’t the number of sovereign nations more than doubled in 50 years to 185?”

Read full article

Popular Culture And Scientifically Cultivated Ignorance

Submitted by Ras Jahaziel


The British explorer, H.M. Stanley was enthralled by the economic prospects Africa had for his country:

He is reported to have said “There are 50 million people beyond the gateway to Congo, and the spinners of Manchester are waiting to clothe them. Birmingham foundries are glowing with red metals that will presently be made into iron-work for them so that our trinkets shall soon adorn those dusty bosoms, and the ministers of Christ are zealous to bring the poor benighted heathens into the Christian fold”

– (H. M. Stanley, Journalist and Explorer)


In the above statement it is clear that Slave dealers were not only interested in slave labor, but they also saw Africans as a potential MARKET…. if their wants and desires could be effectively re-arranged. From out of this mercantile desire on the part of Slave dealers sprung a billion dollar industry to manufacture a product called POPULAR CULTURE.

This re-arrangement of the African’s taste buds has been so successful that today the African’s head is stuck in a Macdonald’s box…figuratively and literally. The African is COLLARED AND TIED in the European STRAIGHT JACKET…figuratively and literally. So too are dogs and cats and all domesticated creatures captivated by their taste buds and by their bellies. Just as destructive as the military force that was used to capture the African is the insidious manipulation of popular culture to capture the soul of the African.

CAPTIVATION of a people’s taste buds, CAPTIVATION of their wants, CAPTIVATION of their idea of beauty, CAPTIVATION of their idea of God equals CAPTIVATION OF THEIR MINDS.

Continue reading

The Day I Walked Down To The Sea At "Rapparee"

Submitted by Yardbroom

Ilfracombe - Photo Credit: John Moore's Website

In a sprinkle of showers on a summer’s day sometime ago, I walked down to the sea at Rapparee. Rapparee cove lies at the foot of a steep cliff in North Devon on the South Coast of England.  Should you have difficulty in locating Rapparee Cove on the map, fear not, it is beneath Hillsborough cliff, which lies between Ilfracombe and the small bay at Hele.  Why did I walk those rolling hills, on the verdant landscape of North Devon and what was my purpose to stand alone and dwell by the sea at Rapparee.  I invite you to turn the clock back some 214 years this October, for it was then this story unfolded.

On the night of October 9th, 1796 a transport ship “London” bound for Bristol from St Lucia in the West Indies with master William Robinson, sank in stormy seas near the harbour of Ilfracombe.  On board were black prisoners some say “slaves” – but I will not labour the point here – who had fought with the French for their freedom against the British and were defeated.  They were now on their way to Bristol, England.  Also included in the cargo was treasure lots of it and as is often the case, riches can do strange things to men and dare I say it- women as well.

Down below as the ship crashed against the rocks were men chained and fettered unable to escape, as the cold water crashed about them.  No doubt there were screams of anguish.  Men would have been prepared to rid themselves of their own limbs if that were possible but alas that was not to be. “Tradition says that many of them were drowned with iron fetters on their legs”: Slade-King 1879 TDA p 167.  In the dark icy cold waters of North Devon peace came to their souls when water replaced oxygen in their lungs.

Continue reading

Who Or What Am I?

bajan_prideA few weeks ago we listened to veteran journalist David Ellis expressing exasperation on air about all the race talk around in Barbados. His position as we understand it – educated Barbadians need to conceptualize positions which would move the country forward. We believe if Ellis were to think a little on that utterance he would realise it was an  asinine statement. Bear in mind the issue of race is being discussed in many countries around the globe including the great USA which is described as representing the melting pot of people from all backgrounds. He should also bear in mind the greatest Roman philosophers who we quote freely today were always prepared to enter the public squares to discuss the issues, good and bad with the people. The debate facilitated cross fertilization, more importantly the approach allowed the PEOPLE to vent and for the learned to respond. Hopefully both sides were the richer for the exchanges. It is a model which BU is committed to following for as long as we exist.

For any people including Barbadians to understand who they are and what they want to become, an understanding of their past lives must feature prominently. Decisions in the present cannot be divorce from experiences of the past. The psyche of the Barbadian has been influenced over time based on ALL of our history. Sadly our past is tarred by the experience of slavery and the colonial governance system which enforced it.  Today when we survey our system of government, church and other institutions and symbols which support civil society, the vestiges of our colonial relationship remain visible to all who want to see. For us to move forward as a people we have to discuss and debate how institutions which were active in our pre-emancipation period must be reconfigured to ensure a  Renaissance which the late Right Excellent Errol Barrow would have envisaged for our small but proud nation when he uttered that Barbados would be friends of all and satellites of none. Sad to say Barbados has progressed admirably if we use economic measures but boy have we neglected the social structures which are the intangibles of equal importance.

To understand the Barbadian and the negative reaction we have had to the large influx of Indo-Guyanese, we have to revert to history.

Continue reading

Race And Slavery: The Behavioural Conditioning Of A People

Submitted by Yardroom

slavery_maryland_0327“The first step, advised those who wrote discourses on the management of slaves, was to establish and maintain strict discipline…they – slaves – must obey at all times, and under all circumstances, cheerfully and with alacrity, affirmed a Virginia slaveholder…

The second step was to implant in the bondsmen [slaves] themselves a consciousness of personal inferiority.  They had to know and keep their places, to feel the difference between master and slave, to understand that bondage [slavery] was their natural status.  They had to feel that African ancestry tainted them, that their colour was a badge of degradation.” [Plantation and Frontier, pp108-11, De Bow’s Review V11, 1849]

The third step…”We have to rely more and more on the power of fear…we are determined to continue masters, and to do so we have to draw the rein tighter and tighter day by day to be assured that we hold them in complete check”. [The Pecular Institution, Kenneth M. Stampp p146]

Continue reading

Slavery: A Somewhat Specious Disputation

Submitted by Looking Glass

slaveryImagine a man born in Ethiopia, raised and educated in Puerto Rico presenting slavery as an epithet for Negroid in a three-piece suit. What Irony. He forgot the briefcase and brolly. Dr Yosef Jochannan’s specious disputation is a convenient distortion of reality. Yes slavery (and attendant atrocities) has existed and will continue to exist. However, to present slavery as an epithet for Negroid is an over-characterisation. Negroes were not the first human beings to be enslaved. Slavery is not and never was unique to the Negro. There was white slavery going back to at least Roman times. Later other ethnic groups were also enslaved. The implicit assumption that slaves everywhere endured the same treatment is unsustainable. Today slavery is rampant in Africa, India and elsewhere. He forgot that Africans also sold their brethren into slavery both yesteryear and today

Regarding Africa Cecil Rhodes in keeping with the prevailing sentiment candidly stated that “we (the mother country and other colonists) must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labour that is available from the natives in the colonies…The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods produced in our factories…..” The sentiment was also echoed by Nigerian governor, Lord Lugard and former French president Jules Ferry (Goldsmith, Development & Colonialism) This suggests that the primary purpose was not enslavement/slavery as such but economic progress and ‘development.’ Workers including slaves were consumers just as they are today. Then as now progress was measured by the value of what consumers consume and their contribution.

Also then as now progress and economic development required an ongoing supply of an array of human resources—political, organizational, management and technical. The Cecil Rhodes Foundation and ‘associates’ directly and indirectly contributed substantially to the economic development of much of the world. Africans may not have won Rhodes Scholarships but they benefited substantially in other ways.

Continue reading

Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

President Obama and First Lady

President Obama and First Lady

The albatross clinging to the back of the Black race continues to remind Black people everywhere of the pain left by slavery. Yes the Black race has made strides since emancipation day but in a fragmented way. As a collective we are woefully short of where we need to be in order to leverage the talent of the Black race.

The rich culture lived by Africans before undertaking the arduous journey of the Middle Passage has been diminished through generations of slaving under a non-Black establishment. Those who understand the concept of culture i.e. the shared characteristics of a people would have witnessed the culture of the Black man subsumed by the more dominant of the colonial masters. Commonsense exposes the fact that the Black race compared to any other race experienced a physical and psychological abuse by another race never visited on any other race in the history of mankind.

Continue reading

The Race Card

reparationsBarbados Underground (BU) is thankful for all the complaining we hear about our blog because it means we have freedom of speech. Thanks to Nancie .J Carmody who made the following quote famous: “I am thankful for all the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.”

The evergreen race debate like immigration, homosexuality and topics of this tenor which BU is driven to blog about will always evoke passion. It is the nature of the beast. How can we debate the issue of race in a manner which is acceptable given the strong views likely to be provoked? The fact that we have people from different backgrounds whether influenced by race, education, socialization among other factors will make the race dialogue interesting.

BU finds it difficult for a Black person to be accused of being racist. It is our belief the word racist is often used interchangeable for ‘bigot’ or ‘prejudice’ by some. The BU household is always willing to learn from the BU family and welcomes feedback on our position.

Continue reading

Black Is Beautiful, Beautiful Like A Black Woman

A morning with stylish legends, wannabee legends and styless hats. Diana Ross (blue hat, yellow ribbon), Leontine Price, Patti LaBelle, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Tina Turner, Oprah Winfrey, Della Reese, Yolanda Adams, Maya Angelou, Denetria Champ, Shirley Caesar, Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Chaka Khan, Ashford & Simpson, Tyra Banks, Usher, Iman, Sidney Poitier, Ashanti, Alicia Keys, Tyler Perry, Angela Bassett, The Edwin Hawkins Singers. Although I miss some essential legends

This week we have pummeled the BU family with our views on the need for our authorities to retrieve our open door immigration policy. More prudence and foresight MUST be exercised given the several indicators which have raised concerns in many quarters. We wish to reiterate that this is not an issue to pussyfoot around because it has deep rooted implications for the future of our proud nation which has navigated many world’s challenges over the years, even to this day we basked with pride at what we have been able to achieve.

It seems appropriate that in the month of February we should remember that this is Black History Month which is celebrated in the United States. Unlike the former Prime Minister Owen Arthur who attempted to use symbolism to raise black consciousness in Barbados, we believe in focusing on those things which people can reach-out and touch and leave nebulous behaviour to the academics.

Of course Arthur’s experiment failed miserably. He created Heroes Square but left Admiral Nelson ‘smack dab’ at the centre of things, he created thirteen National Heroes but agreed to host CWC 2007 on dates which clashed with National Heroes Day and consequently cricket lovely cricket won out over any joyous celebrations caused by National heroes Day. To bring it home, he created the Pan African Commission and somehow was able to appoint Ikael Tafari to be its Head, a man who by his pigmentation appears at more than a glance to be Caucasian even if his lineage says differently. Remember that Arthur was into symbolism.

So on this first day of February, Black History Month, the matriarch in the BU household insisted that we use this medium to remember the role of the Black Woman as the underpinning force who is responsible for where we are today as a Black race. Although many Blacks remain psychological scared, caused by our links to our time in bondage, many of us have taken strength from our fallen Black soldiers who have sought by their struggle to take us back to the pinnacle which we once occupied in our Mother Lands. Do you remember Martin Luther King and Malcolm X to name two?

Watch the video, let it remind those who rush headlong to wallow in relativism and materialism and sinfully abandon the struggle.


We Shall Continue To Over Come!

'Jena 6' Case Exposes The Justice System Of The United States For the World To See

The case touched a nerve deep within the black community, says Leonard Steinhorn, professor of communication at American University in Washington, D.C. “There’s a sense that parts of the judicial system still remain anchored in the bigoted attitudes of old and that a black person can’t get fair or true justice.

Source: The Christian Monitor



As a mainly black country, Barbados should be very interested in the recent events in the United States where accusations are rife that six black boys have been treated unfairly by the US justice system. Blacks in the USA feel vindicated that here is another case which exposes the “subterranean” racism which remains simmering just below the surface of the greatest democracy on the planet. It seems like only yesterday we witnessed the great Martin Luther King leading the struggle which eventually saw the capitulation of the white supremacist system, which was institutionalized mainly in the South of the United States. He must be turning in his grave as he looks down from the “white pearlies” to see the injustice meted out to six black boys whose only crime is that they stood up to defend their race. Although we don’t agree with vigilantism, we believe that this is a case where all can agree there was a high degree of provocation – click here to find out about Jena 6

Continue reading