AFRICAN LEGENDS 4-BY DOTUN OYENIYI



 Among the enslaved,there were remarkable acts of resistance before and during transit as well as at the final destinations.Some bolted from the forts while awaiting transportation,others fought while in transit and the more daring confronted their masters at the plantations.


 The bravery and leadership of Nanny was originally born in Ghana in 1686,captured,sold into slavery and taken to Jamaica where she was sold further to a plantation in Saint Thomas Parish.Together with her brother,Cudjoe,and others,they freed the other enslaved and ran away from the plantation,hid in the mountainous forest where they split up,attacked more plantations to free the enslaved and defeated the British in the latter's desperate struggle to reclaim the freed.

 We must also remember Kofi Bada (aka ''coffy''),our Akan man who was also captured and sold into slavery from Ghana and taken to work as a house slave for a barrel maker in the Dutch colony of Berbica in today's Guyana.On 23 February 1763,Coffy led around 3000 slaves whom he organized into military units in an uprising to protest harsh and inhumane treatments by their masters.The uprising lasted over one year and it sparked and rekindled the fire of slave revolts across the Caribbean and North America.

 Memorable also were Quamina Gladstone and his son,Jack Gladstone who led one of the largest ''slaves revolt'' in British colonies-the Demerara rebellion,in 1823.The trio of Coffy and the two Gladstones are considered,deservedly,as national heroes in Guyana till date.

 Deserving of permanent place in the history of Barbados and the black men in general is the story of Bussa.He was believed to be Nigerian Igbo descent and had been captured and sold into slavery in West Africa in the 18th century and transported to Barbados to work in plantation.


 Between 14th  April and 16th April 1816,Bussa led a massive revolt against the Barbadian elitist which turned out to be the largest slave revolt in Barbadian history.He was killed in the rebellion but his fighters continued until they were subdued by the superior firepower of the colonial military.Bussa's statue now stands in Bridgetown,Barbados;and in 1998,Bussa has been named as one of the national Heroes of Barbados by the Barbadian parliament.

 The Jamaican Baptist war was an eleven-day rebellion that started immediately after Christmas in 1831.Led by Samuel Sharpe,a black Baptist preacher who was also a slave from Craydon Estate in St.Jame parish.Supported by about 60,000 slaves,they were galvanised into action when their hope that papers granting them emancipation from King William in England would be brought by Thomas Burchell,a missionary who had traveled to London on Christmas vacation,was dashed a Thomas returned to Jamaica emmptyhanded.They attacked 250 estate and destroyed properties worth 1 million Euro before the British troops crushed the rebellion brutally by killing around 900 protesters.Samuel Sharpe was tried in April 1832,found guilty and hanged on 23 may 1832.

                                  TO BE CONTINUED    

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