First African Americans, now Afro-Caribbeans demand reparations for the treatment their ancestors suffered during the time of slavery. The ongoing poverty in the majority of the Caribbean and the concentration of resources, opportunity, and education to a small privileged few helped fuel the campaign for reparations in the Caribbean.
Reparations continues to be a very sensitive topic. Even though it can be a highly charged discussion, there are historical issues that proponents on both sides of the debate agree need to be dealt with. Caribbean countries have joined the fray and are making a strong push for reparations. Whenever the issue of reparations is brought up, it is usually from an American context. The Atlantic Magazine and New York Times writer Ta-Neisi Coates wrote an article for The Atlantic in 2014 titled The Case For Reparations, which was widely praised and helped push forward a discussion on reparations for African Americans. In that same year, Caribbean countries also started pushing for reparations for Afro-Caribbeans and other affected communities during the time of slavery. In the past, there have been attempts to seek reparations, but according to several news reports about the campaign, this time there will be a more concrete and focused approach.
Caricom is an organization consisting of 15 Caribbean countries, whose main purpose is to develop and promote cooperation between its member countries in sectors like the economy and foreign policy. There are different levels of membership, with some countries that have full membership and others having associate and observer status within the organization. In 2013, the organization published a press release that detailed some general areas where those reparations can directed to. They include public health, education, cultural institutions, cultural deprivation, psychological trauma, scientific and technological backwardness. There have been some regional conferences on the topic, special declarations, and now the countries have hired some human rights attorneys to litigate the issue on their behalf in court. As the campaign advances in the courtroom and through activists, the issue is sure to pick up momentum.