Monument to be Built at Waterfront to Memorialize Slaves


The Jamaica National Bicentenary Committee has allocated $10 million for the construction of an arrival point monument on the Kingston waterfront. This will serve to memorialize the experience of African slaves, who were brought to Jamaica during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade over 200 years ago.
Chairman of the Committee, Professor Verene Shepherd, who made the announcement at the launch of Opposition Senator, Anthony Johnson’s ‘City of Kingston Souvenir’ book (2nd edition), at the Bank of Jamaica auditorium on May 8, issued an invitation to the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) to collaborate with the Committee to make this happen before the end of the year.
“We need an arrival point monument to mark the spot where so many of our ancestors came on shore, with a sample of the name of the ships on which they came, as well as a sample of the names of the many who arrived, for we must learn their names and stop referring to them collectively as slaves. Let us not allow this year to end without constructing such a marker, so that our people can have a spot for an annual pilgrimage to memorialize their past,” she implored.
Professor Shepherd called on the Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie to work with the Committee in memorializing the trauma of the victims of the transatlantic trade in Africans, “in a tangible way.”
“Let us endeavour to leave a marker on Kingston’s landscape to mark the Bicentenary of the abolition of the trans-Atlantic trade in Africans. I want you to meet with us soon and work with us as we try to ensure that our ancestors did not die in vain,” she said.
In his reply, Mr. McKenzie indicated that the KSAC was willing and ready to assist, noting that a Resolution had been passed unanimously that same morning, “committing the KSAC to the erection of such a monument.” He added that a sub-committee had also been formed at that meeting to undertake the project. “I therefore welcome the $10 million. We have the land, we have the technical staff and we will work together,” he responded.

JIS Social