Newton Slave Burial Ground

My favorite moments at Barbados is when we visited the Newton Slave Burial Ground, a plantation that was used as a ceremony to bury an estimated 570 enslaved people. It was a vast plantation that has no sign or statues to honor the deaths. Without knowing about the history of this plantation, there is no way that ones could imagine the horrific acts that happened here and the tremendous number of enslaved people buried here. During the trip, Dr. Carter mentioned that archeologists found a huge amount of poisonous chemicals in the bodies of these enslaved people who were buried here. Since the majority of them were enslaved in a rum plantation, their bodies over the years contained a lot of chemicals from the materials that were used to make rum. Their bodies were buried on top of each other. For each burial ground, it was estimated that ten slaves were buried there. Because of the lack of fundings, there was only one sign that mentions the history of the Newton Plantation, one of the biggest plantations in Barbados. Meanwhile, there are no memorial sign nor statues commemorating the deaths of these enslaved people. As a result, during the day, people drive over this plantation like it was nothing. The violence continues even after the deaths of these enslaved individuals. As of now, their deaths go unrecognized and unmentioned. The thought that I could have stepped on their bodies during my visit is unbearable and overwhelming. However, I told myself as an Africana Studies scholar, it is important for me to have this experience where I have an opportunity to reconnect with enslaved people, whom I studied every day at school. As a privileged person, I could never understand what it means to walk through their shoes; however, the easiest thing I can do is to visit the place where all the horror of slavery happened. This trip has made me a better human being and Africana scholar where I had an opportunity to learn about the enduring legacy of slavery and the struggles of enslaved people who were abducted from their continent and forced into enslavement. The struggles of the past still exist in the present, and I think it is important that us scholars experience first-hand the impacts of slavery. In reality, products of slavery such as racism still subordinate Black people today.