The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 51, Issue 1

Article 4
The Caribbean Reparation Movement and British Slavery Apologies: An Appraisal

Gelien Matthews


For more than forty years, historians have historicized reparation demands for Europe’s involvement in transatlantic slavery. This scholarship has highlighted, among other issues, slavery’s devastating legacies. Despite the vigour of this research, little attention has been directed to European apologies for slavery. Yet, an interrogation of these apologies is vital considering the specific manner in which Caribbean descendants of the formerly enslaved have called upon former European enslavers to apologize. Consequently, this article, using as its main point of reference the Ten Point Plan of the Caribbean Reparation Justice Program (CRJP) launched in 2014, scrutinizes the five slavery apologies and statements of regret which the United Kingdom issued from 1999 to 2007.