Cats Go to Barbados

My name is Amaya and I have recently been given the amazing opportunity to go to Barbados with my Africana class, Women and Slavery in the Black Atlantic. This has been my first experience abroad in another country and I could not ask for a better one. This is all because of my professor, Dr. Dennie. I would like to thank her for all of the time, effort, and hard work she put into planning this amazing trip! I would also like to thank Dr. Bowles and Jessica for everything they did to help put together this trip and teaching us more about archives.

On our first full day in Barbados we went on an amazing tour around Bridgetown, with a historian from the University of West Indies as our tour guide. This tour took us through the Garrison of the old British army, to a burial site for enslaved peoples on a working plantation, an old plantation house, and many other incredible places. These places gave me a huge insight to how space in Barbados is still influenced by the time of slavery. For example, the Garrison still held relics of old cannons and barracks that were used by soldiers, as well as an old secret tunnel system underground. The plantation house had many windows that allowed constant vision of enslaved people in the fields. These impressions of slavery made me compare how the United States and Barbados display their past.

Since we were studying slavery in Barbados, things got intense sometimes. The burial ground on the working plantation left me a lot to think about. There were no markers or recognition of any kind of the many, many bodies that were under us. The lone sign at the beginning of the clearing was easily overlooked, as we learned people sometimes drove over the area. It was hard to imagine places with such significance to not be respected as they should because of a lack of knowledge about the area.

Another aspect of our trip was the multiple museums we went to. Each museum gave us different perspectives on how slavery is portrayed in their country and through their history. There was even a man we met that had opposing views on the history of Bridgetown, which we had just learned by the historian tour guide. These differing perspectives on history has made me think more critically on the history that I am presented with, and whether there are other perspectives out there that I am not acknowledging.

This trip has been one of the most thought provoking and meaningful experiences I have ever had in my life. What made it even better was our amazing group of strong, powerful women that came along and brought so many different thoughts and ideas to what we did. It was truly one for the yearbooks.