Reparations to ‘bring closure’
Barbados has reiterated its call for Blacks in the Caribbean to take concrete and tangible measures for reparations.
Speaking at a Regional Reparations Conference in St Vincent over the weekend before an audience that included host Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and revered Reggae singer/songwriter Bunny Wailer, Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley said the issue was not a matter of retribution “but a just cause”.
“All around us, the reality of our economic, political and social circumstances point to historical developments that have resulted in inequality and deprivation of the descendants of African slaves – these have manifested themselves in structural economic challenges to plague our societies to this very day.
“Left unattended, these challenges will restrict the development of future generations of descendants of African slaves. In the words of a former Barbados Prime Minister, ‘we need to bring equity to the emancipation process and closure to the criminal activity that was racial chattel slavery’. Reparations provide the opportunity to bring about this closure,” Lashley said.
Lashley used the occasion to thank Prime Minister Gonsalves for taking the initiative to activate the collective will of his fellow CARICOM Heads of Government to urgently and immediately place reparations on the regional agenda.
“Barbados will continue to do all it can to ensure that this important matter is positively addressed,” he said. (MK)