Since 2013, members of the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC) – a collective of scholars and activists representing CARICOM – have advocated for European nations to both acknowledge and commit to restorative justice for transatlantic slavery and colonialism. The 2019 US Congress hearings on reparations were a testament to the global reach of reparatory activism in the Caribbean and particularly the partnerships between the CRC and the National African American Reparations Commission. Now these relationships have been re-energized by the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the US, which have been embraced by reparatory activists like Sir Hilary Beckles (chairman of the CRC). The question that interests me as a geographer is how these movements for justice, which take on different modalities, can bring us to an Abolitionist Geography, which Ruth Wilson Gilmore identifies as a framework through which to imagine society and lived experience as alternatives to life under racial capitalism?
Zaira Simone (email@example.com) is a PhD student in Earth and Environmental Sciences (Human Geography) at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is interested in the discursivity of reparations for transatlantic slavery and colonialism. Her previous work has explored the politics of authenticity within Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival.
For more on Antipode’s “Conjunctural Insurrections” series – an experiment to amplify voices often unheard and invisibilised in politics, daily life, and academic discourse – see https://antipodeonline.org/2020/06/23/conjunctural-insurrections/