Barbados becomes a republic – and Britain faces a reckoning
On Tuesday, Barbados replaces Queen Elizabeth II with president Sandra Mason – and while some are celebrating the change, others ask if a symbolic shift is really enough to reckon with the legacy of colonialism. Michael Safi visits Bridgetown to ask if the country can free itself from the history that got it here – and what Britain owes to the people of its former colonies whose ancestors were enslaved
The first British monarch to claim Barbados was James I. At midnight on Tuesday, Elizabeth II became the last. At that moment, the country made a symbolic break that it hopes will help it take another step on a journey that began with emancipation but is still far from over.
Some see the establishment of a republic with a president instead of a queen as a profoundly important moment, but many are more sceptical and point to the day-to-day deprivations that are still part of life on the island as the far more significant legacy of colonialism. In this episode, Michael Safi visits Bridgetown to explore what might come next.Continue reading...