Reparations NOT Apologies - A Manifesto
In my seminar class we were asked to create a manifesto. My manifesto is seeking reparations owed to Jamaicans for years of chattel slavery and indentured work our fore parents were forced to perform to benefit England and it's Royal Family.
Reparations NOT Apologies
Jamaica and its people are seeking reparations not apologies for years of historical wrongs brought on by the displacement of Africans and their subsequent descendants brought to the shores of Jamaica byways of the transatlantic slave trade to work on fattening the coffers of the British Empire. The British Government and the British Royal Family must pay reparations owed to Jamaica and her people for 175 years of chattel slavery inflicted upon the island nation from these many years of indentured labour. Today, many Jamaicans are descendants of enslaved people from the Trans Atlantic slave trade. In 1662 Jamaica had 400 enslaved people, and later between 1702-1749, Jamaica had 299,306 enslaved people imported to its shores. By the time slavery was abolished in 1837, there were 12.5 million people enslaved, most of the Jamaicans. In 1833 Britain paid off 46,000 British enslavers, and they were paid 20 million pounds (500 million dollars in today’s money.) for loss of human property and loss of labour. However, what did Britain give the Jamaicans? Nothing. Not even an apology. David Cameron told Jamaica to “MOVE ON” when asked for reparations. It was later revealed his family members gained reparations for the loss of enslaved people. We will not move on!
Reparations are compensations for horrifying acts of injustice. Historically, Jamaica and many commonwealth countries have significantly suffered under British rule. Addressing this historical injustice is the first step towards healing and the lingering effects of generational trauma and cultural stigmas. The fact is slavery has continued to harm and diminish the lived experience of Jamaicans today and lessen the legacies of their ancestors despite these facts of abuse being documented and verified. The theories employed in this manifesto are socio political. In order to appeal to those who may inspire the change required the heart of the political system has to be addressed. Jamaica as a society, Is built on community and kinship, This is evident in how the Maroons continue to live and work harmoniously with the land and environment. Unfortunately this harmony is the weakness exploited by those in power to continue to rob Jamaica of her riches. In conjunction with monetary reparations, This is a list of calls to action which Jamaica and its people require to move forward.
Calls to Action
We demand the history books circulated in the Jamaican school system to be updated and accurately address the contribution of enslaved people to the culture and history of Jamaica.
Jamaica demands a full acknowledgment of the history of the Maroons from rebellious mountain people to be acknowledged as a sovereign state within Jamaica that has autonomy over their affairs. And for their self-governing ways of life to be respected as such.
Update all educational and public works infrastructure
Building of additional Psychiatric clinics to aid with moving the mentally ill from living on the streets.
Access to therapy and free mental health assessment in schools and mountain communities.
Equip every public educational institution with basic sanitation and a lunch program to facilitate students living below poverty.
Minimize class sizes from the minimum of forty students per teacher /classroom to the maximum of twenty-five or less for each class.
Create vocational schools for those wanting to learn a new trade.
Create an effective income assistance program that benefits all Jamaicans living in impoverished conditions.
Release lands held in trust by the British Royal Family.
Use these lands to create housing complexes to house Jamaicans who cannot afford proper housing.
Eliminate Bauxite mining and its continued degradation of farmlands islandwide.
Create Golden Age homes with adequate medical staff for elders.
Repay in entire Jamaica’s debt to The World Bank and The International Monetary Fund.
15% Yearly Gross Revenue payment from international hoteliers who benefit from Jamaica and its tourism is to be made out to the Maroon people to continue to fund the education and infrastructure building in their local community.
Fierce, Milfred C. “The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Case for Reparations.” Negro History Bulletin 35, no. 2 (1972): 44–47. http://www.jstor.org/stable/24766476.
DUNKLEY, D.A. “Hegemony in Post-Independence Jamaica.” Caribbean Quarterly 57, no. 2 (2011): 1–23. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23050526.
Mutabaruka. “Weh Mi Belang?” BOMB, no. 14 (1986): 62–62. http://www.jstor.org/stable/ 40423266.
Blake, Lady, and Edith Blake. “The Maroons of Jamaica.” The North American Review 167, no. 504 (1898): 558–68. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25119093.