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Public reaction

The following reactions are from members of the public visiting Parliament's exhibition on the slave trade in Westminster Hall and viewing the website.

Gloria Rafaelle, 01 Jun 2007

"I am of American Indian Ancestry. One of my ancestors was taken to Bermunda to work as a slave after a war with the English settlers in 1675 led by King Phillip.

I feel one of the greatest injustices, is that the people taken into slavery not only lost their freedom, they also lost their identity, as most, if not all of them were given the surname of their masters. Also there were a lot of children brought into the world that were not permitted to lay claim to their heritage as they were fathered by their masters.

So it has not ended with the abolition of slavery, it has taken away these Human beings 'Human Rights' for generations."


"I am a descendant of a white slave in America.
Yes, the first slaves shipped to America were white. Also, I have European ancestors that were sold into slavery to Africa.
So, since my white American slave relatives seem to owe the African American slaves, then England and Africa owes me."

 Sonia Brooks Morgan, 10 Sep 2007

"What a difference a name makes! I grew up in England within a strong Jamaican family with the surname BROOKS. I always knew the infamous slave ship to be named BROOKES, so not directly my family name.

Yesterday, however at the Houses of Parliament exhibition, I saw documentary proof that the most notorious slave ship was actually named BROOKS on a document dated 5th Jan 1791. I looked carefully over this document, reading the number of enslaved they carried to the Caribbean and also the bar chart on the wall showing the survival rate.

I was at first saddened by the confirmation of this fact and the realisation that my family's name will be for all time a symbol of the horrors of the trade. Then I reflected and became prouder of my Jamaican family identified by the name BROOKS, for facts like these show we are great survivors and builders.

From the middle passage, through slavery, to the Windrush generation years. The information and knowledge I have gained from this exhibition has made a difference to me."

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