Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley wants to see the erection of monuments as a lasting reminder of the effects of the slave trade on African continents and across the Atlantic.
She is also suggesting that conversations and global strategic leadership on the issue must come from “both sides of the Atlantic”.
Addressing Ghana’s 65th Anniversary of Independence celebrations on Sunday, Ms. Mottley updated President Nana Akufo-Addo, other government officials and thousands of flag-waving citizens of Barbados’ plans to memorialise the slave trade.
Ms. Mottley asserted: “Those of you who lost brothers and sisters and those of us whose great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents suffered the indignity of being treated less than we would. We have come to this point today to say to these young people who sit opposite me that it must never happen … and we shall build monuments that you shall never forget.”
The Prime Minister continued: “And, it is therefore with pleasure that I share with you today that one of your own distinguished citizens, Sir David Adjaye, has been the person responsible for designing the monument in Barbados. The country that has had regrettably a relationship with racism that is a blot on our history. The Parliament that I lead, regrettably, was a Parliament that in 1661 passed the slave code that spawned all the other laws that govern slaves in the Americas. And, it’s for that reason that we as the children of Independence have an obligation to build a monument such that these young people never forget the scars of history.”
She added that the monument, to be erected at Newton Burial Ground – the site where the bodies of 570 slaves were buried, will also feature a genealogical research centre to allow citizens to truly understand their family roots.
Ms. Mottley stressed that Barbados had the second largest Transatlantic Slave Records in history, behind the United Kingdom, and it would be a place that honoured our ancestors.