Tag Archives: Emancipation

Buxton: Holding fast to its roots and boasting striking historical features

Welcome to Buxton

Welcome to Buxton

Buxton: Holding fast to its roots and boasting striking historical features

 To be honest with you folks, I was heading for a village I was very curious about, but I was doing so with mixed feelings.

 You see, the moment I mentioned that this village was next on my Village Focus list of places, some of my colleagues balked with fear, and told unpleasant tales with acute warnings to be extremely careful.

But knowing me, always loving a challenge, I set aside my misgivings and began my short journey to my destination. Readers, let me warn you to never listen to hearsay evidence; you must always ensure that you see something for yourself before you end up spreading wrong news.  Continue reading

Four Eras of Slavery, for the Benefit of Corporations

Four Eras of Slavery, for the Benefit of Corporations

By Paul Buchheit

David Horowitz, founder of an organization called the “Freedom Center,” argued that blacks should not be paid reparations for the enslavement of their ancestors. Among his reasons are that:

·       There Is No Single Group Clearly Responsible For The Crime Of Slavery

·       Most Americans Have No Connection (Direct Or Indirect) To Slavery

·       Reparations To African Americans Have Already Been Paid

But slavery, in its various forms of physical and mental torment, has been a part of U.S. history from the beginnings of our country to the present day. There are numerous modern-day corporations who profited immensely – themselves or their predecessors – from slave labor. Only token amounts have been paid back, along with a few scattered apologies.  Four eras of abuse can clearly be identified.

Continue reading

Emancipation – commentary



On August 1, 2013, it will be 179 years since slavery was abolished in this country – and in the rest of the British Empire, for that matter. As a national Public Holiday, we should be reminded that it is a day that should be commemorated by all Guyanese. Not only because we are citizens of this country but because we are the inheritors of the legacy of those who fought and died fighting that epitome of man’s inhumanity to man.

It was an institution of which the world had never seen before – and hopefully will never see again. There are those that like to mention that there was slavery before our “New World” slavery that dragged millions of Africans across the Atlantic and plunged them into a world in which even their humanity was denied.    Continue reading

Women’s contribution to emancipation struggle must be recognised

Women’s contribution to emancipation struggle must be recognised

MARCH 1, 2013 Georgetown, Gina, February 28, 2013

Women’s contribution to emancipation struggle must be recognised – Professor Verene Shepherd

 The Caribbean was urged to take action to honour women who contributed significantly to the fight for emancipation yet still remain unknown for the most part.

Speaking at the third in the series of commemorative lectures to mark the 250th anniversary of the 1763 Slave Rebellion, Professor Verene Shepherd, urged a correction of this lack of recognition and make history compulsory in all schools.

Professor Shepherd from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica said, “A Guyanese woman, Cecile Nobrega inspired the first public monument to a black woman in England, but we are not focusing on our own deficiencies in the area of symbolic decolonisation, and one of the reasons there’s no groundswell is that we don’t know who they are.”    Continue reading

Our Collective History – commentary

Our Collective History

Stabroek News – January 4, 2013 – Editorial – Comments

President Donald Ramotar’s statement in his New Year’s message that the 250th anniversary of the Berbice Slave Uprising, the 175th anniversary of Emancipation and the 175th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Guyana “are significant to all Guyanese,” is most welcome.

And if we might permit ourselves a burst of New Year’s optimism, we would like to think that the President’s affirmation that these anniversaries “must be used to allow us to foster a greater understanding of ourselves and a deeper appreciation for each other” might even hint at a resolution of the controversy surrounding the location of the 1823 monument.   Continue reading

Happy First of August – Eusi Kwayana

Happy First of August  – Eusi Kwayana

This is the Anniversary that marks the end, forty years after Haiti, sadly not of human bondage, but of the right to own human beings in the British dominated Caribbean. This outcome of the resistance of the Africans and their supporters meant that enslavement was outlawed in the hemisphere.  Continue reading

A Tribute to Philip Moore by Leonard Dabydeen

A Tribute to Philip Moore by Leonard Dabydeen

The passing of Philip Moore brings deep memory of our 1763 Berbice African Slave Rebellion. He was heart and soul as an artist and sculptor. Guyanese will remember him over time.

Guyana: Cuffy’s 1763 Rebellion Monument by Philip Moore

Cuffy -1763 Berbice African Slave Rebellion



By Leonard Dabydeen

Close your eyes
go to sleep;
we shall not weep
but lift our heads
up high
to watch this monument
that you built upon
rocks of African slaves;

embellishment –
rising to emancipation glory,
Continue reading

The “Accidental Rudeness” of the British

From the Diaspora – Stabroek NewsAugust 15, 2011

The “Accidental Rudeness” of the British

By Melanie Newton  –

“… yet, sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often…
Best to say nothing at all, my dear man.”
     – (Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince)

We may never know the name of the person who recorded and uploaded an August 9 BBC television news segment, in which anchorwoman Fiona Armstrong interviewed the Trinidadian born journalist and black British community spokesperson Darcus Howe. Thanks to this anonymous person’s quick thinking, the full shame of Armstrong and the BBC is now available on Youtube for all the world to see.

Armstrong interviewed Howe – who has worked as a BBC journalist – at the height of the recent disturbances that swept the UK. Things went downhill immediately, when Armstrong introduced him as ‘Marcus Dowe.’ After that, more or less every word Armstrong uttered was offensive. When Howe said he was not “shocked” by the riots given what was happening to “young people in this country”, she asked if he “condoned” the riots. She interrupted him when he said that the police “blew [Mark Duggan’s] head off”, patronizingly stating that: “we don’t know what happened to Mr. Duggan.” Armstrong’s vehemence was remarkable, given that the police admit they shot Duggan – what is in question are the circumstances of the shooting.   Continue reading


Pioneers in post emancipation history

By: Eusi Kwayana

(Copyright – Part of a forthcoming book on the Village movement bu Eusi Kwayana)

This article was read in August 2010 at the celebration by Buxton villagers of the 170th anniversary of the village.

According to Allan Young, using and official estimates, during the first decade of the village movement  the land bought and the houses built and improved both in the Victoria type  25 collective  and in the Queenstown type villages made a total investment of some $2.5 million of African savings at a time when there was no lender. Collective labour for village purposes must have added another value to total investment.

There are mainly two ways of approaching and seeing village history in Guyana. One is to study villages one by one. We shall find that the oldest villages were those of the indigenous people whom we call Amerindians. Their names are often noteworthy, helping to preserve ancient languages. They are about the only villages with this cultural distinction.

There are a large number of African villages, the great a majority of which have Dutch, French or mostly English names which had some significance when they were chosen. There are lastly a large number of Indian villages, with names not far different from the African villages. If we taught history in our schools the finding of meanings of names and reasons for naming will be an interesting project for schools and pupils or students of all races and classes. It would be one step in the direction of a good place to go.

There are several villages over many years that have celebrated their anniversaries. The celebrations were either at home or abroad where our people have gone. Last year (2009) the first Village, Victoria, celebrated its birthday. There are three publications on this village one by a long gone schoolmaster Mr. Arno. The second is a booklet by Mr Rupert Dowden, “The First Village”, written in days of the PNC which had come out in favour of cooperatives. The third other was by this writer. They should still be available in Victoria.

My forthcoming book will approach village history, not village by village but by discussing the Village Movement.  It is my view and I have proclaimed it since reading Allan Younge’s “Approaches to  Local Self Government in British Guiana”, that the Village movement  was a period of,  about fifty years, during which Guyana went through its most significant period of lasting social change. This is part of the reason that some feel strongly about people who misguide themselves and violate the people’s reputation for freedom by using their inherited lands for purposes of unprovoked attacks, not against a hostile government, but against unarmed persons who might be its supporters. In carrying out these acts of brutality they also corrupted the village inwardly, holding the unarmed villagers under a rule of fear and every form of suffering which war imposes. The insanity allowed the expansion of a drug financed and government- backed force called the Phantom whose self-confessed leader has been convicted and jailed in the USA on drug charges.

That period roughly from 2001 to 2007 was an unnecessary and unproductive anti-development interruption of the history of at least a small number of villages, including Buxton and Agricola.

Read Full article here: Pioneers in post-Emancipation History

The Arrival of the Chinese in British Guiana

The Arrival of the Chinese in British Guiana

This article was published in the May 2010 edition of the Guyanese Online Newsletter.

Even though the planters in Guyana had expressed interest in introducing Chinese labourers since Emancipation, it was not until 1851 that such recruitment first began.

Because of the long travel distance from China, at first Chinese were not recruited since it was cheaper to transport Indians. While it cost a planter 13 British pounds to transport an Indian labourer from Calcutta or Ma-dras, the cost was 15 pounds to transport a Chinese immigrant from any of the Chinese ports. But because of the growing need for labourers for the sugar estates, some planters decided to recruit Chinese especially during the period between 1848 and 1851 when Indian immigration was suspended.   Continue reading