Passionate Caller Explains Powerful Story Behind Caribbean Carnivals

24 August 2019, 14:04

Sheba in Hackney explained to Maajid Nawaz the history of Caribbean festivals and their ties to the slave trade.

A caller has explained the history of Caribbean festivals and how they were born out of the "misery and trauma" caused by the slave trade.

Sheba from Hackney told LBC presenter Maajid Nawaz that because many black people were excluded from parades, they decided to make their own.

She said: "If your daily life is misery and trauma, the one thing that you will cultivate is joy.

"In 1783 King Carlos of Spain put out a shout to the neighbouring island (Trinidad), and he said that anybody could come and cultivate, and you'll get tax-free land but you must pledge allegiance to the Spanish crown and you must be Catholic.

"So the French went there and brought with them the Carnival which leads up to Lint.

"The Africans were not allowed to participate, so they watched as these processions went house to house in masks, all dressed up.

"So what they did is they made their own version, because they have masquerade characters from Africa, and they bought those characters back to life, they animated them, and made their own versions of Carnival which is what we know today.

The caller also thanks Maajid for talking about slavery after Glasgow University announced they would pay £20m in reparations to victims of the transatlantic slave trade.