Cannot be forgotten; the legacy has continuing repercussions!
Stephen McLaren’s article in The Guardian last week (Friday, 13 January ‘The slave trade made Scotland rich. Now we must pay our blood-soaked debts‘) is a timely reminder of the enduring legacy of the transatlantic slave trade that made Britain ‘great’. Two hundred and ten years (25 March 1817) ago the mother of all democratic parliaments passed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, although it did not abolish slavery itself. It remained legal in most of the British Empire until the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.
McLaren cites a more potent event that took place 235 years ago last month, reminding us of the insidious evil that was inflicted upon black Africans within the British Empire. The captain of the slave ship Zong, Luke Collingwood decided to “jettison” 132 sick and dying slaves into the mid-Atlantic waters so that he could make a insurance claim on their loss.
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