Barbados: The Harsh Truth Behind the Symbolism of an Emancipation Statue

Barbados Underground

Mohammed Degia

A few weeks ago, Barbadians erupted in nationalistic pride when a tweet from African American racial justice activist, Samuel Sinyangwe, about the Emancipation statue in Barbados went viral. Sinyangwe was in Barbados and posted two pictures of the statue commenting that he had never seen anything like it in America, this type of monument displayed prominently and designed specifically to symbolise the breaking of chains and the power of black liberation. In his series of tweets, Sinyangwe stated that the story of abolition in America is whitewashed, celebrating people who fought to keep black people enslaved and erasing the efforts of black people who dared to resist. He concluded that “the fact that the conversation in the USA is about keeping/ taking down pro-slavery monuments, not building anti-slavery monuments, speaks volumes”.

The tweet attracted significant attention with many people posting similar monuments from around the world…

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