African American News and Genealogy

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Borough to say sorry for slavery

Published on 28/02/2006 THERE will be a formal apology for slavery, made on behalf of the people of Copeland, to mark the Wilberforce bi-centenary next year.The 2007 event will mark 200 years since the historic Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, introduced into parliament by William Wilberforce. The gesture has been prompted by the introduction of Copeland Council’s own equality and diversity policy which requires the authority to commit itself to certain actions to help promote this.Coun Geoff Blackwell, portfolio holder, told Tuesday’s Executive meeting that the port of Whitehaven had been used for slavery. “Now with our enlightened age we can say sorry to all those families and people who were involved, transported to other countries to act as slaves.’’Sugar was the driving force in the slave trade, as was the rum distilled from it. It was the need for labour to service this business that led Whitehaven to join with London, Bristol and Liverpool merchants in the triangular trade taking tools and fancy goods to bribe slave traders in West Africa. These traders supplied slaves to be shipped to the Caribbean. The same ships then loaded up with sugar and rum before returning to Britain. Full Story: http://www.whitehaven-news.co.uk/news/viewarticle.aspx?id=334551

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