Sir Hilary addresses Black Caucus
A CALL FOR the support of Black American legislators by the regional body spearheading reparations for Caribbean nations at the centre of the African slave trade has met with major success.
Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, who recently addressed the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington DC, said that organization has agreed to establish a national commission based on the CARICOM model.
In his September 27 address to the Black Caucus, Sir Hilary had asked the organization to energize its campaign of championing a global reparations justice movement and to support the region’s own initiatives. He also invited the body to send representatives to the second CARICOM Reparations Conference which concluded today in Antigua.
In that presentation, Sir Hilary argued that “the struggle for reparatory justice for the crimes of genocide, slave trading and chattel slavery, segregation and apartheid was a global movement which we must pursue as one people”.
“In much the same way that the great (Marcus) Garvey brought to you from the islands our commitment to silence the enslavers from the cotton fields, we call upon you to strengthen our claim against the slavers of the sugar cane field,” he urged.
“Let us merge our mutual efforts as one force, use this Congress to press for a global summit on reparatory justice, and let our voices echo a common call, the redemption song of reparations, against the pirates who robbed and must now repair.”
Sir Hilary’s visit to the US followed one in June where he delivered an address in the House of Commons in which he said Britain had a moral and legal obligation to offer reparations to Caribbean nations where slavery had left a devastating legacy.
As examples, he cited socio-economic challenges in Jamaica and Barbados which he said cried out for Britain to invest in education, human resource and health initiatives. (PR)