Kwame Kwei-Armah


Kwame Kwei-Armah, by Horace Ové, 2003 - NPG  - © Horace Ové / National Portrait Gallery, London

Kwame Kwei-Armah
by Horace Ové
2003
NPG x126728

Two hundred years ago a simple law, hard fought for by brave and humane abolitionists both here in Britain and equally notably by those enslaved by and in the very institution of slavery itself in the Caribbean, changed the fate of millions of young Africans. Millions no longer needed to fear that they would be bought and sold, reduced to the status of property, have their culture, language, names and Gods taken away so as to fashion them for the burden of enslavement.

As we commemorate this bold and great act, my thoughts fall upon the children of these brave ones, the children spread throughout the diaspora who may still carry the trauma of this experience - in the names of those who enslaved them, in behaviour patterns induced by centuries of servitude and placed notions of inferiority. I think of the mental legacy of slavery still prevalent in many members of that community, the community I hail from, and I pray for healing.

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