Education

I am the Dream of My Ancestors

Part 1 “ The Premise”

I am the Dream of My Ancestors

Part 1 “ The Premise”

My name is Haneef and I am 16 years old. Three years ago, when I started my secondary education in Jamaica, West Indies, my perception of the world was limited and carefree. After my exposure to subjects like Social Studies and History I now understand how historical events and society’s norms and values can help shape my perception of my present and my future. I can now relate and have a deeper affinity to a quote made famous by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan a founding father of the United Arab Emirates, “He who does not know his past cannot make the best of his present and future, for it is from the past that we learn.”

Jamaica was once a colony of Great Britain, the United Kingdom and is still part of the Commonwealth. Like many other islands in the Caribbean such as Montserrat, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados, their history and development wreaks from the blood, sweat and tears of my ancestors. The history of these islands is deeply seeped in the exploitation of people of African descent for the betterment and enrichment of Europeans and their allies.

The profitability from sugar pushed a one cash crop economy that through mercantilism created dependent economies for the mother country or State that accepted these raw goods and by-products.

The impact of the Sugar Revolution gave rise to the plantocracy social system that dehumanized non-Caucasians and established a political atmosphere of great dependence by British colonies on Great Britain / the State. The British Commonwealth is a constant reminder of the far-reaching effects of colonialism and the extent European countries and monarchs went to control the world’s resources at the expense of others.

Mercantilism was an economic policy and doctrine that was supported and protected by the State. It oversaw the influx of raw goods being exported from colonies to the State, that was regulated, taxed, and sent back as finish products to the colonies. (Heller, 2011). To maintain the success and riches of the interests of the growing bourgeois class, colonialism and slavery were two of its most successful features of mercantilism backed and protected by the State. (Heller, 2011). The Sugar is King phenomena created the plantation complex in the Caribbean, that limited creativity and diversity in technology and other meaningful institutions. Most notable sugar cultivation created a cycle of human trafficking and the enslavement of Africans under dehumanizing conditions. The enslaved Africans was destined to be in a perpetual cycle of poverty and degradation doing menial and backbreaking work.

It is my goal to show in this featured article how the reliance on sugar changed many islands’ infrastructure and the continued impact these practices in the 17th Century now have on the lives and policies in the 21st Century. The Sugar Revolution was rapid and decisive. Due to the nature of the work involved, the reliance on sugar caused a forced mass exodus of Africans from Africa that were captured, kidnapped, commercialized and severely punished under the Caucasians’ generational, subjugated enslavement, penal policies, codes and laws.

Treating human beings as chattel for profit since the landing of Christopher Columbus in 1492 to the Emancipation Declaration in 1838, continues to affect the many generations of the descendants of the enslaved Africans. I want to highlight how the impact of sugar created a transatlantic trade that desecrated lives, growing and thriving African civilizations and contributed to the current categorization and horrid depiction of third world countries that are mostly inhabited by Africans and other Nubian descendants.

The sugar is king phenomena perpetuated and deepened the scars of the institution of chattel slavery which has given way to many social injustices practiced against groups of people today.

My name is Haneef Piaubert and I am the Dream of My Ancestors.

Work Cited

Embassy of the United Arab Emirates. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,
Founder of the UAE. Web. https://www.uae-embassy.org/about-uae/history/sheikh-zayed-bin-sultan-al-nahyan-founder-uae. Web 9th September 2020.
Heller, Henry. “Political Capitalism” From: The Birth of Capitalism: A 21st Century Perspective. Pluto Press (2011)

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