EMBRACE News 2007
EMBRACE AGM considers the shadow cast by slavery
The Keynote speaker at the EMBRACE AGM 2007 was Arlington Trotman, the Moderator of the Churches Commission for Migrants in Europe. He said that African descendants are always aware that skin colour is at the heart of the matter. Africans were deemed to be inferior and European enslavers superior. This was used to justify the horrific slave trade, and was reinforced by Enlightenment thinkers. The slave trade was economic and made huge wealth for Britain and Europe, all at the expense of enslaved Aficans traded in America and the Caribbean. Even Christian themes were used to justify enslavement: One of Sir John Hawkin’s slave ships commanded by Francis Drake and owned by Queen Elizabeth was ironically called The Grace of God.
Today, some 10.5 million people exist in various forms of slavery, including bonded labour and sex exploitation. The systematic extraction of mineral resources from Africa and Asia over the centuries has contributed to abject poverty in those continents, and deep mental slavery. The Bible challenges dehumanisation but proclaims the oneness of the human family. We have to strive together to confirm the equality of all human beings, and to reunite humanity socially, economically and politically.