The Celebration of Emancipation in Britain

27 July 2022

By Winston H. E. Suite


To the best of my knowledge, we in the Anglophone Caribbean islands today celebrate Emancipation Day and have a national holiday in recognition of that fact. On the other hand, Britain, as a society, in fact as the principal slave trader from the early sixteenth century up to 1807(officially)and as enslaver in-chief, up to 1834(officially) did not publicly and officially acknowledge the full implications of emancipation to the emancipated nor the crime that it had committed against the generations of African people. Up to the present moment, within British society, sadly, there is not a national day of official recognition of this crime of the millennium. Britain officially would claim that the law in Britain never in fact permitted slavery within Britain itself even though historical records testify that slaves brought to Britain by their enslavers were known to have been treated by them in the same manner as if they were enslaved. Several slaves, the records testify, successfully had recourse to the courts to settle this question of their status and freedom. Nevertheless, there is no holiday, bank or otherwise designated, in recognition of this historical moment particularly in British history. If Britain should seek full absolution and reparations at this eleventh hour, then this public recognition and designation would be opportune.