In the second of three interviews with leading Pan-African scholars, Apeike Umolu sits down with Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, Historian Sir Hilary Beckles, to discuss his contribution to the 2021 collection of essays, The Pan-African Pantheon, edited by Professor Adekeye Adebajo of the University of Johannesburg.
‘As you can imagine it is an immense honour to have the opportunity to sit down with Sir Hilary to discuss a cause that has been at the forefront of his advocacy for a long time’, says Umolu, ‘the conversation about reparations often gets reduced to one of practicality. I hope to also be able to open the conversation up to discuss the issues of psychological liberation and identity that are tied to a material accounting of Europe’s past transgressions against Africans, on the continent and in the diaspora’.
Beckles has been one of the leading voices in calling for Europe to make reparations to Africans and Caribbeans. His academic work has covered a variety of areas within the broader topic of Afro-Caribbean history, with works covering early slave rebellions in Barbados, the role of women in the slave trade, and the greater effects of colonialism on present Barbadian society.
Umolu previously chaired a conversation with Professor Kweku Ampiah discussing the Pan-African thought of Professor Kwame Appiah.
Umolu will be holding a similar conversation on Wednesday 11 August with the eminent Professor Barney Pityana to discuss his important contribution to Adebajo’s book in which he discusses the life, work and legacy of Steve Biko and the Black Consciousness Movement.
About the African History Project
The African History Project is a specialist liberal arts school of Black history, political thought and culture. Our world-class programme includes public lectures, workshops, short courses and foundation certificates in all aspects of Black political and intellectual history and thought. Through this innovative programming that seeks to centre the Black experience, we aim to inspire students, spark debate and champion Black history.
We work with historians, educators, writers, poets and artists based across the world. Drawing on our shared expertise, our courses allow students to understand more about Africa, her ideas, her politics, her religions and above all her people, both on the continent and in the diaspora.
Connect with us