Archive for October 13th, 2015

“Move on” from painful slavery legacy, Cameron tells Jamaica

Embedded image permalinkWhen people think about the history of the slave trade they commonly think only of the US slave trade. Less well known is the history of the British slave trade. Jamaica’s intervention has just changed all that.

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent visit to Jamaica proved a humiliating experience not only for him but for the entire British establishment. It was the first visit to the former British colony by a prime minister in fourteen years, and given how it turned out it’s a fair bet it will be at least another fourteen years before a British prime minister visits the Caribbean island again.

Cameron’s visit kicked off with his announcement that Britain is to invest £25 million in building a new prison on the island; so that Jamaican nationals currently being held in British prisons can be deported home. However, his announcement was overshadowed by a demand for reparations from Britain by Jamaican campaigners and politicians over Britain’s role in a slave trade which decimated

Jamaica and the wider Caribbean; and which has been a factor in the region’s economic and social dislocation and retardation since.

Britain’s slave trade lasted from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century. Research reveals that 10,000 ships were sent from Britain to Africa over the course of the British slave trade, from where they carried slaves to work on British slave plantations in the Americas, including Jamaica. Professor and historian, David Richardson, has calculated that a total of around 3.5 million African slaves were transported on these slave ships.

Also known as the ‘triangular trade’, ships transporting slaves to the Americas were then loaded with the sugar, tobacco, and other goods produced on the plantations, before being carried back to Europe where they were sold to finance sending said ships to Africa again for more slaves, thus repeating the cycle.

In the early 18th century the slave trade was the most lucrative part of Britain’s economy. Without the huge income it derived Britain would never have been able to develop the industrial and military strength responsible for forging its empire and, with it, the political, cultural, and social institutions that helped cement its status as the most powerful country in the world during the 18th and 19th century.

This power and economic might was built on the backs of the savagery and barbarity of human slavery, during which millions of men, women, and children suffered and endured unimaginable cruelty. Countries such as Jamaica were de-developed, their societies, histories, and cultures scarred beyond measure. Those scars are yet to heal.

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Black women get lower standard of breast cancer care – study

© Stringer

Minority women, especially African-Americans, are more likely to be diagnosed later in the disease than white women, and are also less likely to receive recommended treatments, according to researchers.

The largest study to ever look at the disparities in breast cancer treatment in the US was released Tuesday by the American Cancer Association. It confirms what other reports have said before: Black women are more likely to have larger tumors, to be diagnosed later and to receive wrong treatment than white women.

“We found that there is a consistent pattern of late diagnosis and not receiving recommended treatment for some racial and ethnic groups across all breast cancer subtypes,” the study’s lead author, Lu Chen of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, said in a statement.

Chen’s team looked at data on more than 100,000 American women listed in the National Cancer Institute’s cancer registries. Researchers concluded that other groups of minority women, such as Native Americans, are more likely to be diagnosed with more advanced stage breast cancer.

African-American and American Indian/Alaska Native women in particular had the highest risk of being diagnosed with stage IV triple-negative breast cancer,” the study said. Black women had a 40 to 70 percent higher risk of having stage IV cancer – the stage at which the disease spreads throughout the body and can no longer be cured.

African-American and Hispanic women were also consistently at higher risk of not appropriate treatment across all subtypes of cancer. In other words, they are getting poor care, leading to worse outcomes with the disease, researchers found.

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