Name of Endorsing Organisations and Individuals
The Confederation of African Nationals and Descendants (CAND)
Dr Osakwe Osifo firstname.lastname@example.org
The Black European Community Development Federation
Nubian Jak Academy
Nubian Jak Academy email@example.com
The Vince Hines Foundation
Afrikan And Diaspora Institute (AaDI)
“Cries of Our Kidnapped Ancestors”
In Honour of the Afrikan Ancestors
Cries of Our Kidnapped Ancestors
(Poem Memorial in Honour of our Afrikan Ancestors)
The Echo of our DNA witnessed the cries of our ancestors’
Tears like rain
Voices like the roar of the seas calling upon the Deities of their choice
What is this thing that fallen upon us?
We stumbled, bare feet, some clothed, along the long grass and unknown thorny paths,
Shackled with strangers, passing emptied villages we knew not
And yet black strangers became our brothers and sisters in bondage
The invaders came by sea and land, with their weapons, collaborators, chains, shackles and whips
They violated, chained, shackled and pulled our
Tired limbs, hastily away from our villages, under the tropical sun.
They visited first our neighbours
We did not hear our neighbours’ cries
And then it was our tern and no one heard our cries
Was it something we did unknown to us
Will you free us?
And if this must be Our Destiny
Will you travel with us?
If we should travel alone, who, Almighty One, will we call upon in strange lands?
Our Destiny unknown
We are swallowed by strange ship and existed in the dark bellies
We are herded like cattle as we herded our animals in our Land
Yet we received no compassion and care as we cared for our cattle
We are killed daily
We die from the diseases within the bellies of the slave ship
We cannot show our customary respect to our newly departed
Our bodies are food to the fish in the deep angry seas
Our women gave birth in chains amidst the stench and heat of the ship’s rocking bellies
We cannot initiate our newly born in accordance with ancient Alkebu-lan customs
We have not seen the night skies and the stars for many weeks
Only the strong among us are still alive
We no longer have our husbands
We no longer have our wives
We no longer have our mothers and fathers
We no longer have our sons and daughters
We no longer have our brothers and sisters
Our families have been broken, scattered and divided like
Spoils among the invaders, nameless barbarians.
And while we sailed the seas of the unknown
Navigated and guarded by barbarian slavers
They called and treated us as heathen savages
Yet we had not entered their lands and did them wrongs
We are thirsty and hungry
Yet our lands have plenty
Who will till and harvest our fields
Who will tend to our animals?
Who will attend our places of worship?
Who will support our young, old and sick?
Who will dance around the village fires?
Who will attend to the graves of our ancestors?
Pain, miseries and despair,
On our long, long sea-sick
Ocean journeys without privacy
The whip is still upon us
Our bodies have been taken
We cannot move freely
We are tightly chained and packed together
Our bodily functions flowed where we lay
Our daily wash at our village streams and rivers are no more
And when the stench of the ship’s bellies became unbearable to invaders and captives
Slavers and their collaborators doused our collective bodies with buckets of the Oceans’ salty waters
What is this thing that fallen upon us?
Was it something we did to the ancestors of our cruel kidnappers in distant times?
What will become of our Children in strange lands?
Will they return to the Land of their Ancestors without
The chains, pains and humiliations?
Will they return with the vengeance of the innocents?
Yes. We shall return!
Permission is given world wide for the non-commercial publication of the poem, “Cries of Our Kidnapped Ancestors”, by other media after release date on 1 January 2007 and during the 2007 Bicentennial Commemoration of the British Parliament passing the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act on 25 March 1807. Permission is given on the conditions that the Poem will be published in its entirety, with credit given to its author, Ba Afrika, mentioning, always, where it was first published, that is, ‘Self-Help News’ along with its internet URL – www.ubol.com.
Signed: Ba Afrika
1st January 2007
‘Cries of Our Kidnapped Ancestors’, By Ba Afrika, is nominated by a cross-section of the Black Community as a response by Europe’s Black Community to Britain’s official Bicentenary Commemoration of 2007, relating to the British Imperial Parliament’s passing the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act on 25 March 1807. The Poem, therefore, is intended to be one of our African Community’s anthems for 2007.
Members of the Black Community in their citation said that “Ba’s Poem Memorial was suitable as an anthem not only for 2007; but also beyond. It was a fitting and collective tribute to a People who suffered 500 years of slavery and colonial barbarity, during the second millennium of the Christian Era. That happened to the African People precisely because of the colour of their skin, peaceful way of life, their physical prowess and geographical wealth.”
The List of endorsing groups and individuals is shown below and will remain on this site throughout 2007.
More names will be added as more groups and individuals submit them.
‘Cries of Our Kidnapped Ancestors’ is a rallying point of Unity and Solidarity for the Black Community, given common experiences.
Slave Trade Abolition Bicentennial Commemoration Collective
Euro-centric accounts often ignore the role of African freedom fighters in the struggle to end the trafficking of Africans, and enslavement. One of the first documented African revolts was in 1526 in San Miguel de Gualdape (a Spanish colony possibly in present day South Carolina), but in order to put the facts on one sheet, this account starts with 1720. The list is not exhaustive, and others are welcome to improve on it.
1720:1739 Nanny of the Maroons leads revolts in Jamaica.
1763: Kofi (Cuffy) leads a revolt in Berbice (former Dutch Caribbean colony), present day Guyana.
1783: Quakers sponsor an anti-slavery petition in Parliament.
1787: Ottobah Cugoano, a former enslaved African, publishes ‘Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil and Wicked Traffic of the Commerce of the Human Species’, which stirs public opinion in England. He demanded the abolition of the slave trade and the freeing of the enslaved.
1787: Quakers help form the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. Founding members include Granville Sharp and Thomas Clarkson described as the architect of the campaign and founding father of the anti-slavery movement in Britain.
1787: British Parliamentarian William Wilberforce is persuaded to join the campaign for the abolition of the ‘slave trade.’
1789: Wilberforce makes his first Parliamentary speech against the ‘slave trade’.
1789: Abolitionist Olaudah Equiano publishes ‘The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano’, which provides a first hand account of the horrors of enslavement and vital information to the anti-slavery movement.
1791: Toussaint Louverture’s Haiti revolt shocks Britain which had wanted to seize Haiti. (Haiti was under French rule).
1792: Abolition bill passed by House of Commons but rejected in House of Lords.
1792: Denmark passes a law abolishing the slave trade.
1794: French National Convention abolishes slavery in all its territories (law repealed by Napoleon in 1802).
1804: Dessalines declares Haiti a free republic.
1807: Wilberforce writes in pamphlet which states that: "It would be wrong to emancipate (the slaves). To grant freedom to them immediately would be to insure not only their masters' ruin, but their own. They must (first) be trained and educated for freedom…”
1824: Robert Wedderburn, a lifelong campaigner against enslavement, whose mother was an enslaved African, publishes a book entitled ‘The Horrors of Slavery’.
1824: Elizabeth Heyrick, a key figure in the women’s Anti-Slavery Societies, publishes a pamphlet entitled ‘Immediate not Gradual Abolition’. Wilberforce opposes her.
1825: Wilberforce retires from Parliament.
1831: Sam Sharpe leads the greatest Jamaican revolt against enslavement.
1831: ‘The History of Mary Prince’ is the first account of the life of a former enslaved African woman to be published. It galvanises the anti-slavery movement.
1833: The revolts of enslaved Africans were costing the British government heavily, and this coupled with the growing industrial revolution, made enslavement less profitable. The Abolition of Slavery Act is passed in March 1833 and ‘slave owners’ are given twenty millions pounds compensation.
Compiled by Ms Serwah: http://newafricanperspective.blogspot.com
Comments by readers
Deliberate Media Confusion or Genuine Mistake ?
“I am amazed at the confusion as to whether Britain is commemorating 200 years since the passing of the Act that abolished the slave trade or 200 years since the passing of the Act that abolished slavery. Some sections of the press appear unaware that the Abolition of Slavery Act was not passed until 1833” - Ms Serwah. Read full text here
Black Children and Their Behaviour
“Does the way Black children are behaving have anything do with the slavery of their ancestors and their own achievement? With Britain currently commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade, it got me thinking about the real legacy of slavery on Black people, particularly in how we perceive ourselves, the names we use and the way our low self-esteem affects our children.” Read the Response [full text here]