GRENADA- In an apology to Grenada’s community, an aristocratic British family that once owned over 1,000 slaves will donate £100,000 to community projects.
In 1833, after slavery was abolished in the Caribbean island, the British government compensated the Trevelyan family for their six sugar plantations.
Laura Trevelyan, a BBC reporter who visited the country in 2022 to film a documentary regarding her family’s murky past, was shocked to learn that African slaves weren’t financially supported after they gained their freedom.
According to the BBC, she said: “It was really horrific… I saw for myself the plantations where slaves were punished, when I saw the instruments of torture that were used to restrain them.”
“I felt ashamed, and I also felt that it was my duty.
“You can’t repair the past – but you can acknowledge the pain.”
An apology will be issued to the public later in February and a fund for economic development will be established with a budget of £100,000 by seven members of the family.
The British government created the scheme in 1834 to persuade landowners to give up their lucrative slave trade by paying them around £34,000 for losing their slaves.
The inflation-adjusted value of £34,000 is approximately $3 million today.
“For me to be giving £100,000 almost 200 years later… maybe that seems like really inadequate,” Ms Trevelyan said.
“But I hope that we’re setting an example by apologising for what our ancestors did.”
Grenada’s National Reparations Commission described the gesture as commendable and well-received.
Following the recent deaths of African Americans by police officers, Ms. Trevelyan, who covers US news for the broadcaster, decided to visit the country.
The murders sparked the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S., which has been adopted worldwide and calls for reparations for historical injustices.
In light of its historical links to the slave trade, the Church of England has apologized.
It was revealed on January 11 that Church of England commissioners, including Justin Welby, apologized for the “great dismay” and “shameful and horrific sins” committed by the institution before the horrific trade in people was abolished in 1865.
In its latest apology, the church headed by King Charles has pledged £100 million to invest in research, an expression of regret that hasn’t been seen before.
Funding for the project will run until 2032 and it is hoped that it will enable further research into the church’s slavery connections and be used to positively impact communities where slavery was a major issue.
As chair of the Church Commissioners, Welby expressed “deep regret” for the church’s involvement.