1857: A group of enslaved Africans on parade in Fort Augusta, Jamaica, after the slave ship they were imprisoned in was captured by an English destroyer. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Illustrated London News/Getty Images)
According to the National Library of Jamaica, about 600,000 Africans were shipped to the Caribbean nation and exploited in dire conditions as money was funneled to wealthy plantation owners living in Britain.
“We are hoping for reparatory justice in all forms that one would expect if they are to really ensure that we get justice from injustices to repair the damages that our ancestors experienced,” Olivia Grange, Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture, told
“Our African ancestors were forcibly removed from their home and suffered unparalleled atrocities in Africa to carry out forced labour to the benefit of the British Empire,” she added. “Redress is well overdue.” It’s estimated that a total of 20 million African people were enslaved during the slave trade.
The petition will be submitted to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and is connected to a motion filed by Jamaican lawmaker Mike Henry to seek more than $10 billion. The figure is Henry’s estimate of how much slave owners were compensated when slavery was abolished in Britain in 1834 and approximately 800,000 enslaved Africans were freed. Britain only finished paying off the interest on the loan used to cover the payments to slaveholders in 2015.