Monday, May 21, 2007

The Jamaican - Sierra Leonian Connections

Just dragged myself out of bed to do some work and thought I should post a quick note. Have just started to read a book called ‘Middle Passages: African American Journeys to Africa 1787 – 2005’ written by James Campbell. Ok, so I am not African American but wanted to read other accounts and reflection on slavery.

Some interesting discoveries through my readings so far. Of the estimated fifteen million men, women and children that were shipped to the ‘New World’, few managed to return. I wonder how many Jamaicans know that in 1800, the British had re-located approximately 500 Jamaican Maroons to Sierra Leone. Apparently in the aftermath of the rebellions in Jamaica, ‘they had persuaded to lay down their arms in exchange of amnesty and continued independence’. The usual trickeries prevailed and instead they were betrayed, chained and shipped to Sierra Leone where they then went on to help the British suppress the rebellion against the Nova Scotians. Fascinating. Wonder how many of the connections remain.

It was also interesting to read just how much of a vested interest the African tribes that acted as the main ‘suppliers’ had in keeping the trade going. Now reading about the initial back to Africa push by the newly freed slaves in the US, and just how much support – for the wrong reasons – there was for this. Must get back to the bread and butter of living though, so will really make this a short one.

P.S. There was the most horrible accident about a week and a half ago, where forty people died in a seven car pile up. Have now opened - or should I say re-opened - discussions and debates about the general state of safety on the road. The victims were from eleven West African countries. A real tragedy.


saskia said...

hey dee
people keep asking after you here in Zambia..
what can I tell them about how you're doing? :)
sending much love, and anxious for updates

Denise said...

Do say hi for me as well. Also saw Moses and some others here at the E-Learning Conference and met this other guy from E-Brain.
Nairobi does remind me of Lusaka a bit, very green (even if not as laid back).