First free village ‘loses appeal’
THE ANCESTRAL HISTORY of the first free village in Barbados has lost its value to some in the community. And after last night’s Apology concert, some residents are wondering what’s next?
The story goes that the enslaved Blacks of Mount Wilton, who did not take part in the Bussa rebellion of 1816, were willed money from the plantation owner for their “good conduct”.
It is said that after Emancipation in 1838, the ex-slaves used their inheritance to purchase fertile land in Rock Hall, St Thomas, which became the first free village in the island. With the ownership of land, these former slaves qualified for the right to adult suffrage.
In 2005, a monument to represent the rich history of the area was unveiled by Member of Parliament for St Thomas, Cynthia Forde. The then Barbados Labour Party government was embarking on a tourism project which they hoped would bring needed recognition to the Freedom Village and empower residents.
Please read the full story in today’s Sunday Sun, or in the eNATION edition.