When we arrived on the island, around 5pm in the afternoon, the first thing I felt was the cool ocean breeze. I smiled and turned towards a friend, saying “It’s just like home!” We left the airplane, entered Barbados, and for the next five days, I couldn’t shake this feeling of home away.
Being in Barbados reminded me of my island home, Cabo Verde. Both were slave societies, and although their developments were different, I saw the same faces in Barbados as I did in Cabo Verde. I saw the despair of my people in the faces of the locals, but I also witnessed their strength, perseverance, and vitality. As I further learned the history Barbados, specially as it pertained to independence, I saw the history of my people.
As I travelled throughout the island, learning the history from its land, its people, I realized how much of this information was missing from the books we read in class. The history portrayed in Barbados, in the museum we toured, the plantations we visited, and as told by the people, came alive to create a much better picture of what we learning in class. The connections some historians missed was available to us on the island. Since we got to view this information for ourselves, we were able to better understand the implications of a slave society, and witness its current state and development.
Through the help of Dr. Dennie, Dr. Bowles, and Jessica, this trip came to live. Dr. Dennie somehow put together this wonderful experience for this class of 15 women, and I can’t stress how much each of one us is thankful for her time and effort. Dr. Bowles and Jessica both contributed significant insights about history and its collection, making this a better learning experience overall. I would like to extend my many thanks to these teachers and the amazing women on this trip.