Thursday 23 January, 2020

PM: Slavery has left many a black person scarred

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says slavery has left many a black person scarred.

In his Emancipation Day message to the nation, the Prime Minister said slavery has long been recognised as the sad, dark side of human existence, in that almost every people and race across the world has had this ‘wretched’ experience.

However, he noted that those from West Africa have suffered the most.

“Slavery has left many a black person scarred and denuded of basic values. In the eyes of some the perception remains that blacks have been placed at the bottom of every “good” list, and the “top” of every bad one. Despite, their strengths, resourcefulness and intelligence, they are forced still to cry out to the world that “Black is beautiful, too”, he said.

The Prime Minister added that recent studies in social psychology now suggest that the scars and oppression of slavery are lodged - generations after - in their Collective Unconscious i.e. in the minds of Africans in the Caribbean and the Americas.

“In short, theirs, as we say, is a double whammy: Institutionalised racism on one hand; and the mental chains of pain and suffering -- held within their own psyches.”

Rowley also called on all African people in T&T to acknowledge their past.

“He said they must remember the struggles of their fore parents on and off the plantations. 

Remember the struggles of the fore parents on and off the plantations to the birth and growth of this nation. Then let us find ways to unlock, and emancipate ourselves from the mental chains, and, finally, embrace the opportunities of the 21st century -- with an understanding that Trinidad and Tobago will only achieve the future which we all, as citizens, create for our generations to come,” the Prime Minister stated.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: