By Thomas L Blair © May 2024

Black Britons Challenge Slavery-benefiting UK Churches to right the wrongs of the past and their continuing effects today

Black Britons of Caribbean and African heritage have opened up a new reparations frontline, the nation’s Protestant churches.

In their sights is the United Reform Church a major African enslaver in their ancestral homelands.

The reparations issues are clear in both a historical and contemporary context. The Church prays forgiveness for its debt to Jamaica, the wider Caribbean, and Africa for its past and its continuing complicity in the legacies affecting Black Britons today.

Reparations activists challenge church apologies

However, many Black Britons say holy amens are no excuse for “past sins”.
“Time to Pay Back” Jamaican Minister Olivia Grange told celebrants at the Webster Memorial church service in St Andrew, reports The Jamaica Star and Black Britain’s Voice newspaper.

The reparations movement widens

Caribbean and African governments and institutions agree.  The Reparation Commission of CARI-COM, the leading regional group has “outlined the path to reconciliation, truth, and justice for the victims of slavery and their descendants in the diaspora”.

The African Union partnered with Caribbean countries to form a “united front” to persuade European nations to pay for “historical mass crimes”.

The reparations debate in post-apartheid South Africa outlined recommendations for reparations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC.

Black Briton’s must get involved

Therefore impacted Black Britons — Caribbean’s and Africans in the Diaspora — have every reason to join reparations movements in the UK, their ancestral homelands and the Black World.

They can draw on the strenghts of their forebears who made London a hot-bed of antislavery, reparative justice and pan-Caribbean- African political activity.

 Trinidadians CL R James and George Padmore were influential spokespersons. Kwame Nkrumah planned restorative justice in founding independence for Ghana.

Bernie Grant MP and many others were co-founders of the African Reparations Movement (ARM) UK.

Keep your eyes on the goals

Black Britons, ancestral homelands and governments must be more militant. Reparations for the centuries of hurt is long overdue.  Repairs of the lingering effects of slavery to this day — racism, discrimination and barriers to achievement are urgent.

Why? Because post slavery- negrophobia continues to blight Black lives in Britain and abroad and bar their development.

Therefore the challenge to the slavers, religious or not continues. Because Reparative Justice has tangible value for Black Britons in four distinct arenas.

  • Improving their economic social and opportunities,
  • Advancing their educational and technological capability
  • Compensating  the ailing Windrush  generation that restored post-war British industries, and their heirs
  • Forcing the reduction of restrictions to citizenship, commerce, trade and freedom of movement.

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