Welcome to this week’s I Feel Sooo....African newsletter. We hope that you are continuing to remain safe during this pandemic and that those of you in the United States are exercising your right to vote. This week’s topics include:
- Traditional weddings in Ghana
- History of headwraps
- Chief Nene Lanimo Opata in Pictures
- When Slaveowners Got Reparations
- Where I’m From by Halima Elbert
- Lesotho Independence
- Right to Abode
- New Music Alert
- Products of the Week
- Let’s Connect on Social Media
Reparations for slavery is the application of the concept of reparations to victims of slavery and/or their descendants. Throughout history, reparations for slavery have been both given by legal ruling in court and/or given voluntarily (without court rulings) by individuals and institutions. Reparations can take numerous forms, including individual monetary payments, settlements, scholarships, waiving of fees, and systemic initiatives to offset injustices, land-based compensation related to independence, apologies and acknowledgements of the injustices, token measures, such as naming a building after someone, or the removal of monuments and renaming of streets that honor slave owners and defenders of slavery.
Despite many calls for reparations, examples of international reparations for slavery consist of recognition of the injustice of slavery and apologies for involvement but no material compensation.
On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill emancipating enslaved people in Washington, the end of a long struggle. But to ease slaveowners’ pain, the District of Columbia Emancipation Act paid those loyal to the Union up to $300 for every enslaved person freed.
The act brought to a conclusion decades of agitation aimed at ending what antislavery advocates called "the national shame" of slavery in the nation's capital. It provided for immediate emancipation, compensation to former owners who were loyal to the Union of up to $300 for each freed slave, voluntary colonization of former slaves to locations outside the United States, and payments of up to $100 for each person choosing emigration. Over the next 9 months, the Board of Commissioners appointed to administer the act approved 930 petitions, completely or in part, from former owners for the freedom of 2,989 former slaves.
Although its combination of emancipation, compensation to owners, and colonization did not serve as a model for the future, the District of Columbia Emancipation Act was an early signal of slavery's death. In the District itself, African Americans greeted emancipation with great jubilation. For many years afterward, they celebrated Emancipation Day on April 16 with parades and festivals.
The UK government was far more generous in compensating British companies and families for the loss of the slave trade. The Slave Compensation Commission, which was formed after abolition in the 1830s, awarded thousands of traders a total of £20 million of public money—40% of the government’s annual budget at the time, which was not paid in full until 2015.
In 2014, a coalition of 15 Caribbean countries, where Britain took slaves and extracted resources, presented the UK with a plan for compensation; according to a survey at the time, nearly three-quarters of the British population opposed such payments by European countries for their roles in slavery and colonialism. The government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), which oversees diplomacy and international development, said in 2014 that reparations were off the table. “We do not see reparations as the answer,” an FCO spokesman said. “Instead, we should concentrate on identifying ways forward with a focus on the shared global challenges that face our countries in the 21st century.”
France went further by penalizing Haiti for the revolution that abolished slavery in its former colony St. Domingue. It levied a huge sum on the island, which crippled it in decades of debt. Former slaves were forced to pay indemnities to former slaveowners in exchange for official recognition as the first black independent nation-state in the Western Hemisphere.
"WHERE I'M FROM" BY HALIMA ELBERT
I’m country, straight out da the south right from the Carolinas.
I got a country accent and I say ain’t and y’all 100 times a day
And no matter where life takes me, whether I end up in another city big or small I’ll never forget where I come from.
This place is where I was born
Where I was raised
Where I started grinding
But this is a place that niggas be dying to get out of and some die trying.
Just like my niggas not too long ago, fighting for change
fighting for justice
Nearly dying to get out before you end up in the sunken place.
Stuck in this place dying and dropping like flies trying to make a way for the future generations of niggas...like my name MLK.
Starting a rebellion for change and a new way to live for niggas...like my name Nat Turner.
Screaming no justice no peace speaking out against police brutality...like Muhiyidin Moye.
Breaking Color barriers...like Barack and Jackie.
Showing niggas if they won’t put you on tv start yo own channel... like Oprah Winfrey.
Showing folks that my black mind is as beautiful as the night sky like...Catherine Johnson.
Proving to niggas that my blackness is the source to healing...like Henrietta Lacks.
We’re evolving everyday my nigga
Pushing and fighting hard for what we want cause of those before us, never forgetting the sacrifices made my nigga
My fellow king or queen
My fellow blacker than black brother or sister.
What the white man meant for evil, my blackness turned into good.
So never forget , you’re beautiful black and blessed.
You’re more than a stereotype.
You come from greatness.
Yo ancestors didn’t fight and die so you could forget .
They supposed to still be living through us .
My blackness is not a weapon but merely my truth and a great testament to how powerful we are as a race just because of who we are.
Dare not be afraid to embrace who you are, where you come from, and the true blackness that lies within.
May this word remind you of Africa and nurture your black souls.
For the culture please don’t forget! Stay woke✊🏽
Created with images by FirmBee - "facebook social media media" • Minakel2003 - "smartphone instagram phone"