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

Emancipation lessons profound, timeless – PM Andrew Holness

“Celebrating Emancipation is by no means quaint or irrelevant. Its lessons are profound and timeless. We would do ourselves a disservice, not to mention the disservice to our ancestors, if we did not use this season to reflect on our history and to draw strength and inspiration from those wellsprings.” – Prime Minister of Jamaica, Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on the occasion of the observance of Emancipation Day, 2016

Centuries-old DNA helps identify specific origins of slave skeletons found in the Caribbean

STANFORD, (CMC) – A newly developed genetic technique has enabled researchers to sequence DNA from the teeth of 300-year-old skeletons, helping to pinpoint where in Africa three slaves had likely lived before being captured and transported to the Caribbean.

More than 300 years ago, three African-born slaves died in St. Martin but their names and precise ethnic background remained a mystery.

For centuries, their skeletons were subjected to the hot, wet weather until they were unearthed in 2010 during a construction project in the Zoutsteeg area of the capital city of Philipsburg.


Let no one doubt the resoluteness of our purpose – CARICOM Chairman on Reparations

(l-r) Dr. Julius Garvey, Hon. Gaston Browne Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda; ASG Dr. Douglas Slater; Hillary Browne

CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Hon. Gaston Browne (2nd left) shares photo with (from left) Dr. Julius Garvey, son of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, National Hero of Jamaica; Dr. Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary General, Human and Social Development, CARICOM Secretariat; and Dr. Hillary Browne, Programme Manager Culture and Community Development, CARICOM Secretariat, at the 2nd Regional Conference on Reparations, Antigua and Barbuda, Oct. 12-14, 2014.

No other region in the world, with such very small populations and limited resources such as ours, has achieved nearly so much. Despite being robbed of our material well-being for centuries, the Caribbean has acted as a crucible for excellence.

…Think how much more we could have done, had we begun the task of building our countries with the basic tools to do it.

That is why we are pursuing reparations.

It is to right that wrong.

We are also pursuing reparations because the international community appears unmindful of the legacy of neglect upon which we have built. While some may be limited in their knowledge of this issue others are intentionally ignorant of it.

CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Hon. Gaston Browne addressing the opening ceremony of the 2nd Regional Conference on Reparations, Antigua and Barbuda, October 12-14, 2014.

The full text of Prime Minister Browne’s presentation can be downloaded here: Prime Minister Hon. Gaston Browne’s Adress to Reparations Conference