By Shamar Blunt
Property earned through ill-gotten gains, must be returned to their rightful owners – this was the strong view held by local author Terry Morris, as he delivered one of his newest books, ‘Raped and Robbed Time for 21st Century Reparations’ to the National Library Service.
Morris, who is known as an author, civil rights activist, attorney-at-law and Professor, previously wrote books on important civil rights figures such as Emmett Till, as well as Rodney King, told media that Richard Drax, a British member of parliament who is the owner of Drax Hall Estate, should have his property seized from him because of its slavery ties on the island. Morris adamantly stated that such a move was long overdue, as any fortunes earned from slavery, had a duty to be returned to the descendants of the enslaved.
“I think it is incumbent on the Government to take hold of the properties that the oppressors control. If slavery was wrong then the whole thing was wrong. Nobody would make the case that the Nazis persecuted the Jews, and they had property they would [be allowed to keep them]. Why is it that we always have to be apologists for things that we do, we have suffered enough. “This man
Drax should not control property here on this island. His ancestors were slave holders… he should not be in a position where he can still reap benefits from it.”
With his latest entry on reparations coming at a heightened time of social awareness for black people around the world, Morris said though it was a topic that has and will continue to have various viewpoints, it’s a discussion that can no longer be avoided.
“It’s important because in the last 500 years of human civilization, nobody on this planet has been treated worse than Africans. It’s important that people who have been treated the worst, should now be treated equally, so we should reclaim what was taken from us. We have been oppressed, we have been abused, so it’s time we stand up and demand what is ours,” he said.
He explained that his new book touches on the history of segregation and enslavement in the United States, Barbados as one of the most priceless slave colonies during the 16th and 17th centuries, Haiti as the world’s first black-led republic and the first independent Caribbean state, as well as other notable instances in African and their descendant’s history.
Morris stressed that unlike previous works persons may have seen that addressed the controversial topic of reparations, his newest books aims to be an easy gateway for persons of almost any age, to seek to gain a greater understand in a topic that should be important to all Barbadians.
“A lot of times, people in higher education write books with a lot of footnotes and stuff, and for persons to do their own research. This book is written for the common people to understand… high school students and above can read and understand this book.”