Reparations are ‘fueling the spirit of republicanism’ in Barbados, poet laureate says

class=”MuiTypography-root-133 MuiTypography-h1-138″>Reparations are ‘fueling the spirit of republicanism’ in Barbados, poet laureate says

Esther Phillips, Barbados' poet laureate, talked with The World's host Marco Werman about the island nation's efforts to grapple with its brutal colonial past.

The WorldNovember 30, 2021 · 5:30 PM EST

Ingrid Thompson, chief archivist, visits The National Archives with Britain's Prince Charles, in Bridgetown, Barbados, Nov. 30, 2021, following a ceremony to mark the country's transition to a republic. 

Jeff J Mitchell/AP/Pool

At midnight, the Caribbean island of Barbados removed Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state and installed Governor General Sandra Mason as its first president.

Several leaders, dignitaries and artists, including Prince Charles and Rihanna, attended the ceremony that began late Monday in a popular square where the statue of Britain's Lord Nelson was removed last year amid a worldwide push to erase symbols of oppression.

Related: ‘It is up to us Haitians to find a solution’ Haiti crisis adviser says

Fireworks peppered the sky at midnight as Barbados officially became a republic, with screens set up across the island so people could watch the event that featured an orchestra with more than 100 steel pan players and numerous singers, poets and dancers.

It was also broadcast online, prompting a flurry of excited messages from Barbadians living in the US, Canada and beyond.

Barbados' first poet laureate, Esther Phillips, was there to take part in the ceremonious occasion. 

Related: 'Born in Blackness': A new book centers Africa in the expansive history of slavery

"To me, now, to see my island, my country coming to a place where we are confident enough to say we now want to move on, to chart our own course. That means a lot to me."

Esther Phillips, poet laureate, Barbados

"To me, now, to see my island, my country coming to a place where we are confident enough to say we now want to move on to chart our own course. That means a lot to me," Phillips told The World's host Marco Werman. 

She joined The World to talk about this historical moment and about the Caribbean nation's efforts to grapple with its brutal colonial past. 

Marco Werman: What did you not know about because of that colonial education?Esther Phillips: What I did not know about was that there was such a thing as West Indian history, that there was such a thing as African history. The erasure was so complete. I knew which king and which queen did what, when. But I had no idea of anything happening in the Caribbean. There was no concept that there was any such thing as the Caribbean, certainly not Barbadian history. And I think that that was a horrible thing, you know, to deny people of any sense of their origin, of their identity as a people. That's a horrible thing. So when you come to an understanding, then, that that was a deliberate act by the colonial people — and I should say as well by our own people — then, you come to a different kind of thinking and you want that to change because you want to establish and assert the right of who you are — authentically who you are. I mean, obviously, an independent Barbados is an important new chapter in history. How much of this move, though, is symbolic and what do you think the symbolism means? We have a younger generation now who is now globalized in thinking. So, you know, it is very difficult to hide the facts of history. It's very, very difficult to pretend that certain things did not happen.One of the traumatic imprints Britain made on Barbados was essentially inventing the system of plantation slavery there. Did that history come into the discussion about whether to make an official break from the UK? One of the things I think that is fueling the spirit of republicanism right now is the whole question of reparations, something in which I am intensely interested and which I am most definitely pursuing in my poetry, as well as in various articles that I am writing about Richard Drax. His ancestors were one of the first owners of plantations in Barbados and Richard Drax himself now is reputedly sitting on millions of dollars gained from the slave trade. I'm saying to people like Richard Drax, "We need those resources. And there's nothing we are asking for that has not already been paid for in the blood, sweat, tears and labor of my foreparents. So, the descendants of those people who now lie under the ground, they have paid." And I think that this is where being a republic is impacting the consciousness of people. I think there's a clearer vision now of what that link with colonialism really, really meant in the past. We can now say, "Look, these are the horrors that occurred. This is what we want as compensation — not only want — but this is what we deserve to have as compensation."Prince Charles is there for this important ceremony and milestone. I hear there are Barbadians, though, who are upset that he's there. Can you explain? It does seem to be a rather ambiguous thing, doesn't it? I mean, here we are, saying in one breath that we're turning our gaze away from the monarchy and then you bring a member of the monarchy right there in the case of all the people. But I think there's a way in which we're saying we do not want to be uncivil. We do not mind having an amiable relationship with Britain. We also have to be mindful that Britain is one of the largest of our tourist market sources, OK? So we don't want necessarily to be offensive.And yet, as I've been reading recently, the monarchy in England ran a lot of the trade in humans in the 18th century, the Royal African Company. I mean, how present is that history in the minds of Barbadians today? Very much so, especially with reparations. Very much so. Although I will say to you that there are some Barbadians, particularly among the older folk, who really would prefer to just forget about that history. You know what I mean?Are you saying those Barbadians actually wish this break with the monarchy is not happening?I suspect that there are some of them. For now, I think as a matter of making that break, I, as a poet, I'm writing that poetry. I'm speaking, I'm doing what I have to do.

This interview was lightly edited and condensed for clarity. AP contributed to this report. 

Barbados freed from the queen and made Rihanna a national hero

The Caribbean state of Barbados has completed the process of abandoning the political system, according to which the Queen of Great Britain was the formal head of the country. Immediately after that, the authorities announced the singer Rihanna a national hero

Prince Charles, Rihanna, Sandra Mason, former cricketer Garfield Sobers and Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley (right to left)

Barbados officially became a republic on November 30 and was released from under the rule of the British monarchy, reports Reuters. The first elected President of Barbados, Sandra Mason, took office today.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles. & laquo; Creation of a new republic & mdash; this is a new beginning. The inhabitants of this island have made their way with extraordinary steadfastness from the darkest days of our past, the horrific and brutal slavery that has tarnished our history forever, '' & mdash; he said in his address, conveying best wishes from Queen Elizabeth II.

The Caribbean island state of Barbados, whose population now numbers about 300 thousand people, has been under the rule of the British crown since the 17th century. The backbone of the economy of this British possession were plantations on which slave labor was used. Slavery in the British colonies was only abolished in 1834. In 1966, Barbados gained state independence from Great Britain, but remained a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The formal head of state, as in a number of other former colonies, remained the monarch of Great Britain, who appointed his representative & mdash; Governor General. In fact, since the independence of such countries, governor-generals were appointed by the queen solely on the recommendation of local authorities, while the executive power remained in the hands of the national government.

In September 2020, the Barbados authorities decided to finally abandon this system and end the formal subordination of the British queen. “The time has come to completely leave our colonial past behind”, & mdash; said in a statement by the country's government. Buckingham Palace did not object to this decision, stating that the issue of choosing the head of state & mdash; it is an internal affair of the government and the people of the island. A BBC source claimed that such a decision by the Barbados authorities did not come as a surprise to the royal family and had been discussed several times before.

The first President of Barbados was the last Governor General Sandra Mason, she was elected by the country's parliament in October 2021. Mason held the position of the British Queen's representative since 2017. Her inauguration was postponed until November 30 due to the fact that on this date the country's Independence Day is celebrated.

One of the first decisions of the government of Barbados after the final exit from the rule of the British monarchy was the declaration of a “ national hero '' country of the singer Rihanna, who was born on this island. This was announced by Prime Minister Mia Mottley at the inauguration ceremony of the first president. Rihanna also attended the event. In 2018, the singer was awarded the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Barbados. “ We present to you the elected national hero of Barbados and the ambassador & mdash; Robin Rihanna Fenty (Rihanna's full name. & Mdash; RBK ). And keep shining like a diamond '', & mdash; the Prime Minister addressed her, making a reference to one of Rihanna's most popular songs, Diamonds.

Video

After Barbados renounced the monarchy, 14 countries remain in the world that recognize the British monarch as head of state … In all of them, this tradition remains rather a formality & mdash; Elizabeth II has no real influence on the policies of these countries. A similar principle is described by the formula “the monarch reigns, but does not rule.” A feature of this system is that being under the rule of the British Queen is not tantamount to state dependence on Great Britain, such countries remain officially sovereign. Among the states where the British monarch continues to be considered the head of state, there are, for example, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica.

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Waka Flocka Flame – Trap My Ass Off

[Intro]
Boy Brick Squad
This shit the mob, nigga
Cook! Bow bow
Louney G on the track
You know!

[Pre-Chorus]
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Right next to the money counter
Right next to the police scanner
Paid a nigga just to watch the camera
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Bustin’ bags down on the counter (you know)
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Right next to the money counter
Right next to the police scanner
Paid a nigga just to watch the camera
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Bust-bustin’ bags down on the counter (you know)

[Chorus]
Trap, trap my ass off
Trap, trap my ass off
Trap, trap my ass off
Trap, trap my ass off

[Verse 1]
Yeah, you know
When the junkie hit the rock, glass jaw
Migo called my phone, said I need a fuckin’ mental [?], yeah, yeah
I’ll get a nigga poked up for some honey buns, yeah, yeah
Trap spot got plenty guns
Sold a hundred pounds, that’s a home run
Bust his head for a dirty bird
Charge him 37 for a whole one
Switch his spot, 6 month run
My flag bleedin’ like a nose run
‘Bout to crank up a new trap spot
[?] lil’ rock ’cause that [?]
And if a nigga play with my money
Then my young niggas on his ass, duck huntin’
Bringin’ quarters back like Andrew Luck
Gotta charge extra if we cook it up
Strippin’ bitches countin’ money naked
That Lamb’ truck, bitch, I gotta have it
Flex! Flex!

[Pre-Chorus]
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Right next to the money counter
Right next to the police scanner
Paid a nigga just to watch the camera
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Right next to the money counter
Right next to the police scanner
Paid a nigga just to watch the camera
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Bust-bustin’ bags down on the counter (you know)

[Chorus]
Trap, trap my ass off
Trap, trap my ass off
Trap, trap my ass off
Trap, trap my ass off

[Verse 2]
Say it twice Clayco
I got that Spanish cocaine, call it J. Lo
We flip that work, take a trip to Barbados
We dropped that lean in the Faygo
You got that lean with the karo
Make that ho leave with a bankroll
I’ll put the beam on the k hole
I trap my ass off like Stoney and Hundo
Get off that work like I’m down in Diego
Clayco Clayco, Flocka connected like Lego
Hit up my migo, no Quavo
They send a mill if I say so
Play with the work, gon’ be fatal
Hole in your head like a bagel
Residue all on the table
Tourin’ and trappin’, trappin’ and tourin’
Trap house bring in what you pay for that foreign
Made junkies jump from the free throw like Jordan
Watch what you say ’cause you know they recordin’
These roosters I’m servin’ don’t chirp in the mornin’
Get rid of these babies like we do abortions
I just bought a morgue, I put bricks in the coffin
That’s on my flag, nigga
Flocka!

[Pre-Chorus]
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Right next to the money counter
Right next to the police scanner
Paid a nigga just to watch the camera
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Right next to the money counter
Right next to the police scanner
Paid a nigga just to watch the camera
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Bustin’ bags down on the counter
Bust-bustin’ bags down on the counter (you know)

[Chorus]
Trap, trap my ass off
Trap, trap my ass off
Trap, trap my ass off
Trap, trap my ass off

[Outro]
Say it twice [?]
I got that Spanish cocaine, call it J. Lo
We flip that work, take a trip to Barbados
We dropped that lean in the Faygo
I’ll put the beam on the k hole
Flockaveli 2

Chris Brown – Sensei (Remix) Lyrics

[Intro: DJ MLK]
MLK, fatality

[Chorus: Chris Brown & A1]
Sensei, yeah, ooh, ooh, sensei, yeah
Sensei, yeah, ooh, I’m your sensei (Whoo Kid)
Yeah, sensei, yeah, ooh, ooh, sensei
Sensei, yeah, ooh, I’m your sensei

[Verse 1: Chris Brown & (A1)]
Hold it down, don’t never get caught out of bounds (down, brrr)
Get dope, lost Jose, I’m out of town (brrr, brrr)
Pay the price, good deal, pay the price (price)
Where the vibe? White girl singing like she Kelly Price (vibe, ooh)
Up and down, ass jumping up and down (down, down)
Blue flame, strippers in here dolling up (flame, yah)
Beat the case, yesterday I beat the case (case, beat the case)
Your mistake, judge made a big mistake (mistake)
Bitch, I’m your

[Chorus: Chris Brown & A1]
Sensei, yeah, ooh, ooh, sensei, yeah
Sensei, yeah, ooh, I’m your sensei
Yeah, sensei, yeah, ooh, ooh, sensei
Sensei, yeah, ooh, I’m your sensei

[Verse 2: T.I.]
Hustle Gang nigga
Kinky shit, shit, yeah, yeah
All the way in Barbados
Ho we lit, uh huh, yeah
Got 5 or 6 in my pay roll, check it
See your bitch with me, ain’t no tellin’
150 with me, ain’t no debit
I’m the shit nigga, let your ho tell it
Never seen the crib, we just hotel it
If I tell her come in the slow store
For the dick nigga, she a moped it (Whoo Kid)
Call me so petty, cry nigga, cry on my path you gon’ regret it
A mandatory demonstration for a violation
Consequences, teach lessons
Pray the strip dancer, God keep blessin’
Like thick bitches in sundresses, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

[Chorus: Chris Brown & T.I, A1]
Sensei, yeah, ooh, ooh, sensei, yeah
Sensei, yeah, ooh, I’m your sensei (MLK)
Yeah, sensei, yeah, ooh, ooh, sensei
Sensei, yeah, ooh, I’m your sensei

[Bridge: Chris Brown & A1]
I got something that I need to show, babe
You gon’ learn today, I’m your sensei, sensei
Just follow my lead
Let me bend that ass-

[Outro: T.I.]
Hustle Gang nigga

Chaz French – Hol Up (feat. Shy Glizzy)

[Intro]
Did you put that shit on it?
Can you turn the beat up too?
Yea yea yea yea yea yea
This the soundtrack to my life
Yea this the soundtrack to my life take a trip
You ain’t got to hold me down I hold my own in this bitch
Shit kept my word stayed true you know how this can get when it’s real
One thing just don’t count me out yo just don’t count me out

[Hook]
Yea said this the soundtrack to my soul take a trip
You ain’t got to hold me down
I hold my own in this bitch
Kept my word stayed true
You know how this can get when it’s real
One thing just don’t count me out
Yea just don’t count me out
Hol’ up say hol’ up, Hol’ up say hol’ up, Hol’ up say hol’ up

[Verse 1]
Look I did this shit for the hoes, I did this shit for the youth
I did this shit for the gang gang, I did this shit for the wave
All of you new niggas sound the same you cannot say this don’t sound the same
When they hear this they gon feel a way unless I add a xan or lean and 100K
Money, money, money piling 20’s, 50’s, 100’s got em heard it all
I just might buy me an island
Horsing around in Ferraris let set it off
You and your bros flying privates
All of your hoes on my private they finna ball
Ima finesse it through college long as she keep them toes polished
Problem solved like ohhhh
Out with the old and in with the new
Yea it’s a goal messie with the goals
Man this shit ain’t you
It ain’t the same nothing was the same I’m Drake with the views
It’s outta control you can’t control while keepin it true

[Hook]
Yea said this the soundtrack to my soul take a trip
You ain’t got to hold me down
I hold my own in this bitch
Kept my word stayed true
You know how this can get when it’s real
One thing just don’t count me out
Yea just don’t count me out
Hol’ up say hol’ up, Hol’ up say hol’ up, Hol’ up say hol’ up

[Shy Glizzy Verse]
I’m rappin and trappin, I’m trappin I’m robbin
While you niggas acting I’m about that action
Boy you ain’t about nothing, my nigga what’s happening
Know that they napping, let’s flip up the mattress
We gon wake em and slap em
All of this gold, can’t wait to go platinum and see they reaction
New Gucci on me these niggas look bummy
Boy go spend some hundreds go buy your bitch something
Go buy that bitch something before she run up under me
She gon come andalay she gon come andalay she know I’m the money man
We come from nothing we don’t ask for anything
We got more juice than Minute Made
We laid up in the shade we counting this cash my bitch she so bad
Trips to Barbados we sit in the sand and we listen to Jazz
Getting this bag I kick it with Chaz, bitch look at my swag
I’m in my G-Wag, my moms got a beamer and my bitch got a Jag

[Hook]
Yea said this the soundtrack to my soul take a trip
You ain’t got to hold me down
I hold my own in this bitch
Kept my word stayed true
You know how this can get when it’s real
One thing just don’t count me out
Yea just don’t count me out
Hol’ up say hol’ up, Hol’ up say hol’ up, Hol’ up say hol’ up