Marking 400 Years Since American Slavery

“We are long overdue to have a conversation about how these actions have disadvantaged the African-American community and fueled racial disparities.”

The CaribPress backdrop for the We Forward Triumphantly after 400 Years of History Cannot Be Erase So Easily Event

The CaribPress backdrop for the We Forward Triumphantly after 400 Years of History Cannot Be Erase So Easily Event

CaribPress has long believed that Americans need to have a discussion about how to address the legacy of slavery and systematic discrimination in North America. In line with those goals, we held an event in Los Angeles during Black History Month to address those concerns.

The event was entitled, “We (Move) Forward Triumphantly After 400 Years: (Our) History Cannot be Erased So Easily.”

The event was created and presented in the form of a festival celebration. One of our objectives was to enlighten the community and our readers at large regarding the contributions of African-Americans to the American economy over the last 400 years. At the same time the event was designed to promote awareness and encourage a dialogue regarding the post-slavery healing process.

On August 20th, Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer’s press office sent out a statement addressing these same issues. We believe that it will resonate with many of our readers.

Here is an excerpt of what Tom Steyer said:

“Four hundred years ago today the first slave ship arrived in Virginia, carrying more than 20 Africans, thus building the foundation of the United States on the subjugation of race of people. Centuries of forced labor, horrific violence, and constant dehumanization ensued, culminating in a nation wrenched apart by a Civil War, yet to be fully stitched back together.

The 246 years of free labor from the arrival of the first slave ship to the abolishment of slavery with the ratification of the 13th Amendment, and the subsequent decades of oppression made the United States the most economically prosperous country in the world. And it is time for America to truly acknowledge the debt that is owned to the descendant of those enslaved Africans – a debt we must settle.

Institutional racism, discriminatory government policies, and unequal treatment have robbed generations of African-American families the ability to acquire economic wealth and deprived them of justice and equality for all. We are long overdue to have a conversation about how these actions have disadvantaged the African-American community and fueled racial disparities.”

Presidential candidate Steyer concludes, “There are still outstanding questions about what form of reparations program would take, who would benefit, and how it would be financed. Still, I support the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act, to tell the truth about the impacts of slavery, analyze its lasting effects, and determine how to provide redress for the centuries of forced free labor, oppression, rape, torture, and murder inflicted upon African-Americans. This conversation will be difficult and the work challenging, but it is absolutely critical – only then will we all be free.”

CaribPress encourages other presidential candidates and public figures to continue this discussion. As Marcus Garvey said a long time ago, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”

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