The descendants of a British aristocrat are to apologise to the people of Grenada for their family’s role in the enslavement of Africans on the island, and pay some measure of reparations.
Laura Trevelyan, a reporter with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), told the publication that the apology is to be issued later this month when seven members of her ultra-wealthy family visit the country.
The family is to give ?100,000 to establish a community fund for economic development in Grenada and the eastern Caribbean.
Trevelyan visited Grenada last year to film a documentary.
One of the places she visited was a plantation once owned by her ancestors.
She was shown the instruments that were used by the plantation’s overseers to punish the enslaved people.
Of that experience, Trevelyan said: “I felt ashamed, and I also felt that it was my duty. You can’t repair the past – but you can acknowledge the pain and I want to do something to make it better.”
Trevelyan acknowledged that the family’s compensation is a drop in the bucket to what is needed to right the wrongs of history.
In 1834, the Trevelyans received about ?34,000–the equivalent of about ?3 million in today’s money–as compensation for their over 1,000 slaves.
“I completely understand that this can seem like an inadequate gesture… So for me to be giving ?100,000 almost 200 years later for a fund that is gonna look at economic development in Grenada and the Eastern Caribbean, maybe that seems like it’s really inadequate. But I hope that we are setting an example by apologising for what our ancestors did by enslaving the people of Grenada, and I also hope that we are looking at solutions,” she said.