Cultural anthropologist, Dr. Andoni Castillo, spoke to Black Britain about Britain's slave colonies in Latin America and why Afro descendants are establishing a reparations committee. Dr Castillo, who is a member of the Garifuna community, insists that the Garifuna are African descendants of the Mandingos from Mali in West Africa, who migrated to South America 200 years before Christopher Columbus in 1302. The Garifuna fought against Spanish and British chattel enslavement in order to preserve their freedom, language and culture. "Spanish American societies have consciously and unconsciously continued this process and sought to support 'emblaquecimiento' or 'whitening' of their populations. This is an elevation of all things white and European, whilst denigrating and excluding other non-white cultures and races," the report states.
In September 2006, a black student at Jena high school asked permission from school administrators to sit under the "white tree." School officials advised them to sit wherever they wanted. They did. The next day, three nooses, in the school colors, were hanging from the "white tree." The message was clear. "Those nooses meant the KKK, they meant 'Niggers, we're going to kill you, we're going to hang you till you die,'" Casteptla Bailey, mom of one of the students, told the London Observer. The Jena high school principal found that three white students were responsible and recommended expulsion. The white superintendent of schools over-ruled the principal and gave the students a three day suspension saying that the nooses were just a youthful stunt. "Adolescents play pranks," the superintendent told the Chicago Tribune, "I don't think it was a threat against anybody."
The nooses were hung after a Black student asked permission to sit under a tree that had been reserved by tradition for white students only. In response to the three nooses, nearly every Black student in the school stood under the tree in a spontaneous and powerful act of nonviolent protest. The town's district attorney quickly arrived, flanked by police officers, and told the Black students to stop making such a big deal over the nooses, which school officials termed to be a "harmless prank." The school assembly, like the schoolyard where all of this had begun, was divided by race, with the Black students on one side and the white students on the other. Directing his remarks to the Black students, District Attorney Reed Walters said, "I can make your lives disappear with a stroke of a pen."
Let me just keep this real clean for you: we were not NIGGERS until we went thru the process of Niggerization at the hands of white supremacy. We were not even BLACK until we encountered white-men. The same goes for bywords and proverbs like NEGRO, COLORED, JIGABOO, SAMBO, BUCK, etc. Before we discovered white-men we donned the names of our ancestors, ancestral place or places of origin. Lack of identity has caused divisions along frivolously superficial lines amongst a people who know not from whence they came. Dr. Bobby Wright said that "if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there." So, when you ask your seven closest black friends "what's your nationality?" you'll more than likely get seven different answers: "I'm Black" or "I'm African" or "I'm African-American" or "I'm Christian" or "I'm Muslim" or "I'm a Blood" or "I'm a Crip" - everything from colours to religions.