From his bungalow on the side of a hill in western Jamaica, Willie Thompson surveys the same lush valley that one of his great-great-grandmothers was forced to harvest for sugar cane more than 180 years ago.
“I am an African descendant,” he said, whippet-thin and grizzled at the age of 78. “She came here with the chains on her feet, on a slave trade ship”.
Mr Thompson knows that when Parliament voted in 1833 to abolish slavery in Britain’s colonies, Earl Grey’s government was made to pay out compensation worth almost £2 billion in today’s money.
And after an exhausting day spent scratching out a living by farming yams, he wonders what might have been if Nana Bracket and her comrades, rather than the ancestor of David Cameron who owned them, had received £4,101 of it - the equivalent of £415,000 today.
“The English made a lot of money back then. A lot of money,” he said, with a sigh almost long enough to reach Dudley, West Mids, where he worked as a labourer in the 1960s before returning home. “I think it is fair for we to get a bit of compensation for what all our people been through."
The sight of all the torture implements, death warrants, and solitary confinement cells tends to prompt an unexpected reaction from a lot of those who stop by, he said. “How could you possibly put a price on what was done?” they ask.
For Willie Thompson, though, it would be a start. “I don’t say that giving us money would make it all right,” he said. “What’s happened has happened already. But I think it is on the side of justice that we deserve something.”
Full story: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...parations.html