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Timeline Of Five Centuries Of Black History In Bermuda

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Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda [CURB] has released an online publication — Black History in Bermuda: Timeline Spanning 5 Centuries — which provides a comprehensive overview that aims to “provide people with a greater understanding and perspective.”

A spokesperson said, “Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda [CURB] is excited to announce the online publication of Black History in Bermuda: Timeline Spanning 5 Centuries and is grateful for the Office of the Human Rights Commission’s support and assistance with the production of the Timeline.

“CURB acknowledges the former Commission for Unity and Racial Equality [CURE] for their foresight in 2003 in printing the first timeline entitled Bermuda Timeline: Significant Events in the History of Bermuda’s Race Relations from the 17th Century to the Present; and in 2009 providing an expanded version in a series of three booklets entitled 400 Years of Bermuda’s Race Relations.

“Over the next 10 years CURB gathered and compiled further research, incorporating new research from contemporary Black historians. Over the years much of this work featured in CURB’s various research papers, submissions to Government, and included in CURB’s History of Racism and Structural Racism workshops. As the Timeline developed, it became an important resource and one that the CURB Council, and the Human Rights Commission, felt was important to be shared with the public.

“CURB is thankful to those Bermudians who have researched, written and collected the history of Black Bermudians, many of whom are cited in the Bibliography and the Acknowledgements. With a project of this magnitude it is likely something or someone is missed out or overlooked, and we are grateful for those who provided additional information and/or peer reviewed the draft manuscript to ensure the Black History in Bermuda Timeline is as complete as possible.

“The Timeline is a living document and a constant work-in-progress and has been published online where it will be updated regularly. A limited number of printed copies will be available for purchase, and we ask that you email admin@uprootingracism.org if you wish to purchase the book. We also ask the public to contact us if you notice an error, omission or can provide research and citations for new material. Please notify CURB so that changes and additions can be made in future publications.

“CURB hopes this extensive Timeline will provide people with a greater understanding and perspective of the history of Bermuda and Black Bermudians and the extraordinary courage, fortitude and persistence in not only facing and resisting the trauma of the past in overcoming the barriers and obstacles placed in their way, but continue to face due to the historical efforts to marginalise and malign that continue to impact and impede equitable access today.

“Brutal laws and punishments were imposed from the beginning of enslavement in 1616 and throughout the subsequent 218 years of chattel slavery. Post-Emancipation in 1834, laws and sanctions were imposed for a further 137 years of Segregation, systematically ensuring one group stayed on top and the other in subservience and disenfranchised.

“By the 1970s, Bermuda had accumulated a succession of laws, policies and social rules that marginalized and disenfranchised Black Bermudians across multiple spheres of life. These were laws and policies that sanctioned racial segregation and discrimination in hotels, restaurants, employment, hospitals, maternity wards, theatres, funeral homes, home ownership, and churches.

“Today, that history of oppression has serious legacy issues for Bermuda with social, political, health and economic ramifications, continuing inequality and inequity, identity conflict and the tragedy of collective and intergenerational trauma.

“Despite this oppression, The Black History in Bermuda Timeline celebrates those Bermudians of African descent who fought countless battles to overcome their oppression to achieve and excel. This timeline honours those ancestors and is dedicated to their fight for freedom and racial justice.

“Black History in Bermuda Timeline can be found on CURB’s website www.uprootingracism.org or direct PDF link:  or on the Human Rights Commission website at www.humanrights.bm or by direct link.”

CURB’s Black History in Bermuda follows below [PDF here]:

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