In emotional service, Jesuits and Georgetown repent for slave trading

“We express our solemn contrition for our participation in slavery, and the benefit our institution received. We cannot hide from this truth, bury this truth, ignore this truth. Slavery remains the original evil in our republic, an evil that our university was complicit in.” – President, Georgetown University, John DeGioia
(CNN) There is wide gulf, Frederick Douglass wrote in 1845, between Christianity proper and the “slaveholding religion of this land.” One is “good, pure and holy,” the other corrupt and wicked, the “climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds.”

“We have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries and cradle-plunderers for church members,” Douglass wrote in “Life of an American Slave.”

For Douglass, as for other African-Americans, the sin of slavery was intolerable; the complicity of Christians unforgivable.

On both counts, the Jesuit order, one of the Catholic Church’s most powerful group of priests, (Pope Francis is a member) was guilty. In the United States and elsewhere, the Society of Jesus owned and sold slaves.


Read more at: CNN

ALBA issues Declaration on solidarity with Caribbean

Alba 2017 photo

The Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA) grouping has come out in support of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on a number of matters including graduation, reparations, de-risking, and climate change.

The support came in the form of a Declaration of solidarity with the Caribbean that was issued at the conclusion of the Fifth Meeting of ALBA’s Political Council, held in Havana, Cuba on Monday 10 April. CARICOM Member States which are members of ALBA were represented at the Meeting.

Please see Declaration below:

We the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas – People Trade Treaty, at the 15th meeting of its Political Council in Havana:

Recognize the need to face together the challenges in order to achieve sustainable development, including our vulnerabilities as Caribbean countries and in particular as Small Island Developing States and countries in low lying coastal zones, especially in the economic and environmental areas, and to build more just and equitable societies; (more…)

St. Lucian Olympian Levern Spencer supports reparations movement

St. Lucian high jumper and three time Olympian Levern Spencer has given her support for the reparations movement. The champion athlete said she thought her country men and women needed to learn more about the movement. She spoke to the CARICOM team just before participating in a Reparations Relay held to coincide with Jounen Kweyol celebrations last weekend in St. Lucia.

Check out this video clip to hear her views on reparations and why she decided to participate in the relay.

Levern Spencer on Reparations from Caribbean Community on Vimeo.

Olympian Levern Spencer anchors reparations relay in Saint Lucia


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It was a scene of excitement in the streets of Castries Saint Lucia on Saturday afternoon when when the national athletes headed by three time Olympian Levern Spencer led the charge in a youth relay passing the reparations baton that culminated in a youth rally at the Derek Walcott Square. The relay began at the Vigie Field in Castries and continued to La Clery, Chaussee Road, Leslie Land , Riverside Road, Laborie Street and then into the Square. The anchor leg of the race was of course ran by three time Olympian High Jumper from St. Lucia Levern Spencer. Everyone who attended was in high spirits and the commitment to reparations displayed by the youth was indeed heartwarming. Stay tuned to this space tomorrow for a video clip from Levern on why she decided to participate in this event.

We are not begging! CARICOM Official on Reparations

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We are not begging! That’s the word from Programme Manager, Culture and Community Development at the CARICOM Secretariat Dr. Hilary Brown in her remarks at a Reparations Rally held at the Derek Walcott Square in Castries Saint Lucia on Saturday. The event was preceded by a Reparations relay that was anchored by three time Olympian Levern Spencer.

We are not living in the past; we are claiming what is rightly ours that was lost or stolen from us.  And most of all what we lost was our right to culture and identity, to loving and appreciating who we are; it was the ideology of racism that we have inherited from centuries of oppression, which denigrates and devalues everything black and everything African, said Dr. Brown

According to Dr. Brown, the CARICOM Reparations Commission sees the persistent racial victimization of the descendants of slavery and genocide as the root cause of their suffering today and sees this history of slavery and colonialism as the primary cause of development failure in the Caribbean. She said this was the reason the Commission has outlined a Caribbean Reparatory Justice Ten Point Action Plan. She said the plan would address the deficiencies inherited from these periods of oppression.

A Ten point Action Plan to address the health and education crisis, the identity and self hatred crisis, the debt crisis, science and technology crisis and the persistent poverty of people of African descent and those of the indigenous people. A Ten point Action Plan to improve our knowledge and appreciation of our heritage and of the African continent and to facilitate repatriation of our people.  This is what Reparations is all about.