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  • Writer's pictureAlice Kilroy

The Chains of Slavery

Updated: Jun 10, 2019

The Bussa emancipation statue sculpted by Karl Broodhagen was unveiled in 1985 in Barbados to symbolise the “breaking of the chains” of slavery at emancipation. Bussa was born in Africa captured and brought to Barbados to work as a slave on the Bayley Plantation. He led and was killed in what is considered the longest slave rebellion in Barbados.

In 2007 I was asked to make a banner for South Connections a Notting Hill Mas band. The presentation that year was one of remembrance. “De Journey Now Start” to mark the beginning of the end of the trans Atlantic slave trade. At least two of the costumes included chains. I had to find a symbol to represent this to put on the banner.

Unison were one of South Connections sponsors. They objected to the image being on the banner so I had to remove it. I seem to remember something about objections to the chains. Slavery involved capturing and chaining up people to transport them across the Atlantic. The Bussa statue which had been unveiled 22 years previously of course features chains and at least two of the costume designs included chains.

I did find the person who had objected and all he did was look very embarrassed and apologise but he didn’t explain himself.

To this day there is a lack of recognition of the history of the trans Atlantic slave trade. This is really well explained in this article

31st March 2019

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