Tag Archives: BOOK: ‘White Debt: The Demerara Uprising and Britain’s Legacy of Slavery’

BOOK: ‘White Debt: The Demerara Uprising and Britain’s Legacy of Slavery’

White Debt: Time for Britain to pay up for its legacy of slavery

Thomas Harding is author of ‘White Debt: The Demerara Uprising and Britain’s Legacy of Slavery’ published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson . You can order the book from One Tree Books in the UK, email sally@onetreebooks.com . You can follow Thomas on Twitter @thomasharding

It was a warm dry day in October when I visited Bachelors Adventure on the East Coast of Demerara. With me, just a few steps from the public road, was the poet and social worker Ras Blackman, who grew up in the village and was kindly giving me a tour.

On 20 August 1823, more than 4,000 enslaved women and men had gathered here, Ras told me, in what had been a cotton field. On the other side of the public road were assembled 200 members of the British militia, each carrying a rifle. I was suddenly overtaken by a sense of awe. Awe at the courage of the enslaved people. Awe at their remarkable organisational skills. Awe at the profound legacy of freedom they had left behind, including for me, a White person.  Continue reading

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