Wales & the History of Slavery
by Saki U.
I am interested in Africa, and I belong to the Africa research seminar. Also, I take some classes about Africa. In one of those classes, I watched the movie “Amazing Grace.” This movie is about abolitionism in the UK in the 18th century.
Until the 18th century, many slaves had been taken from Africa to the UK, especially by pirates. Some British people disliked slavery, so then they started abolitionism. The famous song “Amazing Grace” was written by the captain of a slave ship. He regretted his action (slave trade) and he wrote this song. This is the plot of the movie.
Some pirates had their base in Wales. Bartholomew Roberts is a famous pirate from Wales. He spent almost all his life on a slave ship. Some pirates heaped up wealth by piracy and the slave trade. The treatment of slaves was really bad, and many slaves died on the ship. It is an unbelievable historical fact.
I went to Uganda this summer for an internship. Uganda was once a protectorate of the UK. Now, many British people come to Uganda for tourism or volunteering. I wondered what they (British people) think about the history of slavery between the UK and African countries. Do they think it is just the past? They don’t care about it?
In my case, Japan once occupied China, Korea, and other countries. But I don’t have any idea about the history. So, I thought British people are the same as me. If there is someone who suffers from the effect of these historical facts, I feel really sorry. But we should make new relationships. Of course, we should not forget history.