The Bank of England along with other companies recently apologized for its involvement and historic ties to slavery.
Many UK companies apologized publicly for ties to slavery and pledged to financially support black and minority ethnic businesses and communities. The British slave ownership of these companies which are listed in a University College London database, contributed to the country’s wealth.
According to Historic England, Britain enslaved and transported around 3.1 million Africans between 1640 and 1807. The African slaves were transported to colonies around the world. Many of them were sent to the Caribbean to work on sugar plantations. The export of the sugar, molasses and rum, made the owners very wealthy.
Slave Owners were compensated with millions
In 1833 when colonial slavery was abolished, the British government compensated the slave owners with around 25 million dollars. Today this equates to around 20.6 billion, according to Historic England. On the other hand, the enslaved received nothing.
In recent times, Black Lives Matter protests have erupted over the death of George Floyd, an African American who was killed by a white police officer. The demonstrations are calling for the removal of monuments associated with racism and slave ownership. Many demonstrators have already took to removing the statues themselves, such as that of seventeenth century slave trader Edward Colston.Also Read- Another confederate statue torn down by protesters in Richmond
The University of College London said, “The slave-owners were one very important means by which the fruits of slavery were transmitted to metropolitan Britain.”
Many former governors and directors of The Bank of England were slave owners who were compensated to freeing their slaves. These individuals received a large sum of money when slavery was abolished.
Becky Clark says racist monuments need to be removed “legally and safely”
Becky Clark, a director of cathedrals for the Church of England said the removal of the monuments should be done “safely and legally”.
“Slavery and exploitation have no place in society,” said a spokesperson for the Church. “While we recognise the leading role clergy and active members of the Church of England played in securing the abolition of slavery, it is a source of shame that others within the Church actively perpetrated slavery and profited from it,” the spokesperson added