During this federal election, those vying for the office of Prime Minister and those political parties wanting to form the next federal government should commit to reparations for African descendants of slavery in Canada.
Raymond Sheppard: As African people we must write our own story and let our dreams and ambitions be greater than our fears and inhibitions. Let no one tell you that our history is not important and that we as African people should just get over it.
Savannah Thomas: “As I sat around the table listening to my Black friends talk about the importance of Emancipation Day, I couldn’t help but feel ignorant. Embarrassment flooded over me when I realized that as a Black woman I had no idea what this day meant and why it was so important to our community.”
Raymond Sheppard: Whereas all North American governments and others profited of the enslavement of the African, reparations to the descendants of those forced into slavery should be a no brainer.
Raymond Sheppard: “The first war that we must face as African people is the war on ourselves. The oppressors live inside us, they are in our minds and every piece of material we read including textbooks, reinforce their so-called superiority.”
Raymond Sheppard: “It’s hard to believe, but African people in North America and beyond are still in a state of slavery. For most of us the chains are gone, but the system of slavery is still intact, through power, control, privilege and profit. Slavery did not end; it merely morphed into a mental system, a planned system of limitation and falsehood.”
Elise Harding-Davis: “More times than I can count I have listened to and read, “Those were different or confusing times”, or, “Slavery wasn’t my fault, so why should I have to apologize for what my ancestors/others where responsible for that systemic racism”. You, I and the rest of the world now know better, but shameless buck-passing continues.”
The DPAD Coalition has created a petition requesting the House of Commons and Canada formally recognize their active role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, its legacy and apologize to Black Canadians.
As public debate rages about public space and memorialization, this is a chance to come and walk through the history together.
Raymond Sheppard: “The Canadian government, in concert with the African Canadian community, could establish the mandate and or purpose of the public inquiry, and provide the funds necessary out of the money it made from the historic enslavement of the African and the trillions that this wrongdoing generated and continues to generate.”