Historian and UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles presents copies of book: King Cuffee’s Kingdom – First Barbados Freedom Plan: 1675 Anti-Slavery Strategy, to Labour Minister, Colin Jordan and Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, at Ilaro Court recently. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has underscored the importance of strong relations between Barbados and the African continent.

Ms. Mottley remarked that the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been affecting the world for nearly a year, has impacted some of Government’s plans, but gave the assurance that Barbados’ relationship with those countries would be strengthened.

She alluded to the advanced plans to establish high commissions in Kenya and Ghana, and build out relations with Morocco.

Ms. Mottley emphasised this point recently before being presented with the book: King Cuffee’s Kingdom – First Barbados Freedom Plan: 1675 Anti-Slavery Strategy, by its author Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, historian and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies. 

The presentation was made at Ilaro Court and witnessed by Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, and officials from the St. Peter Parish Organising Committee and the Parish Independence Committee.

The publication is the outcome of a lecture Sir Hilary delivered as part of the We Gatherin’ month of activities in February 2020, where he presented From Cuffee to Owen, chronicling the struggle of Black people in St. Peter to assert themselves and be leaders.

The book’s preface explains that in Barbados, “in 1675, the 32,500 enslaved Africans made a major military plan to go to war against their 21,700 heavily armed English enslavers”.

Cuffee, an enslaved elderly man, the book states, “was the paramount leader of the island-wide Freedom Plan, and if victorious, he was to be the King of Barbados. He was a ‘Coromantee’ from the ‘Gold Coast’, known today as Ghana”.  

However, information on the plan was leaked, ‘King Cuffee’ and his comrades were charged with sedition and most of the leaders were burned alive in the centre of Speightstown.


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