Reparations for Slavery: Open Letter to the Head of the UK Government

Slavery Reparations

 

 

Memorandum: Remembering Slavery

To: Prime Minister – The Head of the UK Government
From: Paul Crooks – British Citizen

This a formal demand for reparations, restitution, and indemnification due to Ami Djaba ( 1777 – 1825) and John Alexander Crooks [born 1787] for their enslavement in Jamaica.

Formal Demand For Reparations

This a formal demand for reparations, restitution, and indemnification due to Ami Djaba ( 1777 – 1825) and John Alexander Crooks [born 1787] for their enslavement in Jamaica.

This demand is brought by me – Paul Crooks – on behalf of Ami Djaba and John Alexander Crooks against the British Government for their involvement in their enslavement and unjust use of profit derived from my generational forebears both enslaved in Jamaica by the start of the 19th Century.

The British Government and the legacy of slave ownership

The British Government has a case to answer for negligence, denial of rights including human rights, and careless conduct against John Alexander Crooks and Ami Djaba, both deceased and former slaves held in bondage at Cousins Cove Sugar Plantation, Jamaica.

The British Government has a case to answer for benefiting unjustly from money obtained through imposition oppression passing of unjust laws and policies and taking undue advantage of my ancestors and their descendants.

The British Government has a case to answer for reducing my ancestors status to slave which reduction of status has survived through subsequent to current generations, as disadvantage.

The British Government has a case to answer for the systematic removal of high expectations; and freedom to dream; the lack of any provision to help overcome the ensuing and enduring financial disadvantage; and for the consequential barriers to equality owed to
John Alexander Crooks’ generational descendants

  • William Crooks
  • Robert Crooks
  • Christopher Crooks
  • George Crooks
  • Paul Crooks.

The British Government has a case to answer for – implementing policies, which led to my ancestors being unjustly and inhumanely forced to migrate to Jamaica.

The British Government has a case to answer for
… forcing my ancestors into servitude and unwaged hard labour …
… for the human suffering caused to my ancestors as a result …
…for legislating for and implementing inhumane policies that directly impaired my ancestors intellectually …
… and, for prohibition of creative expression.

The British Government has a case to answer for –
… for the taxes it received as a direct result of my ancestors enslavement …
… for monetary “compensation” it paid to slave owners when it legislated to end slavery …
… for my ancestors social and financial hardship…
… for the social and financial disadvantage visited on my ancestors’ descendants down through the ages …

British agents of slavery named

British subjects known to have acted as agents of the British Government when capturing and enslaving my two ancestors are named:

  • William Samuels Esquire plantation owner (c 1800-1815) and resident in Great Britain at the time of my ancestors enslavement
  • Richard Dickson Esquire, Owner of the Cousins Cove Sugar Plantation, Jamaica (c 1817)
  • William Dickson Esquire, Owner of the Cousins Cove Sugar Plantation, Jamaica (c 1830)
  • Neil McCallum Esquire, Owner of the Cousins Cove Sugar Plantation, Jamaica (c1835)

Reparations: Why now and not before?

Due to the inherent denial of rights of slavery, I am the first person who could bring this case.

It is of paramount importance that the Government recognises why my ancestors were not able to present their case to be answered to the Government until now.

Ami Djaba was enslaved from her capture to their death and was therefore unable to present her case.

John Alexander Crooks was born in slavery and lived during the early post-emancipation period …
Though free from slavery this was a period during which the majority of the former slaves were cripplingly disadvantaged through inability to read and write.

He was also at a considerable psychological disadvantage; for his country – in his case, Jamaica – was ruled by white landowners, un by a British Government and all wealth, education and financial opportunities were reserved for the white British rulers. It was, for these reasons, impossible, for him to present his case.

William Crooks, his son, was born in slavery and lived during the early post-emancipation period.
He was a child during part of this period. Though free from slavery this was a period during which the majority of the former slaves were cripplingly disadvantaged through inability to read and write.

He would also have been at a considerable psychological disadvantage; for his country – in his case Jamaica – was ruled by white landowners, run by a British Government and all wealth, education and financial opportunities were reserved for the white British rulers. It was, for these reasons, impossible, for him to present his case.

Robert and Christopher Crooks were born post legal emancipation but lived during the post emancipation period.

Though free from slavery this was a period during which the majority of the descendants of people enslaved were cripplingly disadvantaged through inability to read and write, and at a considerable psychological disadvantage, for their country, Jamaica, was ruled by white landowners, run by a British Government, and all wealth, education and financial opportunities were reserved mainly for the white British rulers. It was, for these reasons, impossible, for them to present their case.

George Crooks was also born post emancipation but emigrated to England at the invitation of the British Government in the 1950s. This was pre Race Discrimination Act 1976 Britain.

Due to the great social disadvantage he suffered in Britain in 1950s and 60’s and the pervading discriminatory climate which he had to endure and survive, it was virtually impossible for him to bring his case to the British Government.

Indeed, when his generation confronted the British Government with demands for an end to racial discrimination, they had to fight for the Race Discrimination Act which has helped to benefit society as a whole.

Paul Crooks is the first descendant since slavery who could have brought this case to answer.

Why the UK Government should consider my claim

I accuse the British government of directly and unjustly contributing to the enrichment of the British people using tax monies paid by the proprietors of the Cousins Cove Sugar plantation this tax was accrued as a direct output from my ancestors enslavement. Perversely, the British Government took action to compensate two of the proprietors named above, for the loss of my ancestors’ free labour, but the British Government did not take any action to make amends, by providing payment or other assistance to my ancestors who had been wronged.

The benefit of compensation would have been to mitigate the financial disadvantage suffered by my ancestors, pre-emancipation and disadvantages visited on their descendants post emancipation. Nor was there any compensation offered acknowledging the harm that my ancestors experienced during their enslavement.

The British government did little to ensure my ancestors had adequate provision to maintain well-being and prosperity after their enslavement.

The Government is aware of the precedent set by other members of the international community when compensating Jewish people following World War II.

Notwithstanding this I – as the living representative of Ami Djaba and John Alexander Crooks appeal to the British government to compensate, indemnify and pay reparations specifically for the annihilation of my ancestors’ spiritual, intellectual, and creative forces.

I appeal to the British government to compensate, indemnify and pay reparations specifically for the human suffering and resulting early death of Ami Djaba.

I am aware of the Government’s stance when Ms Portia Simpson Miller, the Jamaican leader, raised the issue of reparations in a formal meeting with the then British Prime Minister David Cameron.

I am hoping the present day Government will engage positively and constructively with me on the issue of compensation.

If not, then the British Government must answer to the judiciary with regards the injustice of Britain’s slave ownership legacy and my rightful claim for compensation.

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