Why CARICOM must celebrate Emancipation Day
(Barbados Today) This coming Thursday, the 1st of August 2019, is Emancipation Day – the day on which we celebrate the anniversary of the 1834/1838 abolition of slavery in the British Empire. But it is also a day on which we should celebrate our heritage of Caribbean integration, for the truth of the matter is that the successful effort to achieve the abolition of slavery was very much a regional enterprise.
Make no mistake about it – while there were several economic, political and humanitarian factors that contributed to the decision to abolish the British slavery system, the most potent factor by far was the sustained and uncompromising rebellion against slavery in the Caribbean by our enslaved foreparents.
Indeed, the American historian, Michael Craton, author of the book Testing the Chains, has identified no less than 75 slave plots and rebellions in the British West Indies in the 200-year span between 1638, the beginning phase of British slavery in the Caribbean, and 1838, the year in which the slavery system finally collapsed in the British colonies.
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