More detailed study of slave trade encouraged during Remembrance Day

Alvin Thompson

Alvin Thompson

NARRATOR: Why should the slave trade matter to us? What is taught in the classroom about the slave trade? These and other questions were addressed by Dr. Alvin Thompson during weeklong activities marking the International Day of Remembrance of Victim of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, March 21-25. Dr. Thompson is an author and a professor at the University of the West Indies.

TAPE: In my opinion, the study of the subject needs to emphasize that enslaved people lived in societies under the most volatile laboratory conditions, including the denial of basic human rights, the intense struggles for human dignity, the violence and counter-violence unleashed in the process, the corruption of the state apparatus and especially the judicial system, the destruction of the family, the corrupted influence of materialism and the toxic relationships that racism engenders.

NARRATOR: Dr. Thompson says it’s difficult, for example, to find literature on the resistance of enslaved people in the Americas or in the Caribbean. He has found no English speaking Caribbean school or curriculum that deals with the subject of enslavement throughout the Americas in any purposeful way.

TAPE: We find therefore that the distinctive features of slavery in Latin America and the United States are hardly known unless the student is doing a specialized course on the history of these regions. The result is scene for instance in students being completely unaware of Zumbi dos Palmares of Brazil, the most celebrated Maroon leader in the Americas; Sebastian Lemba of the Dominican Republic; Nat Turner of the United States; Gaspar Yanga of Mexico and Bani of Surinam. Still less is known about Queen Zeferina or Zeferino of Brazil; Carlot of Cuba; Lamulatra Solitud of Guadeloupe and Zabeth of Haiti. We need integrated texts and teachings on these persons and areas.

NARATOR: Dr. Thompson is an author and a professor at the University of the West Indies.
This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 2’39″

Filed under Caribbean News.
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