Paul Jones

The Truth About England and Slavery

by Dr. Paul Jones Today is a day for celebration, not that you are likely to see a whole lot of widespread enthusiasm for it. It is of course St. George’s Day and should be a time for celebrating our country, its history and culture. No doubt there will be plenty of individuals out there who will jump all over the fact that St. George was not even from England but rather from what is now present-day Turkey. There will probably be even more who will express outrage over the idea of celebrating a country which has at one time or another been involved in committing terrible acts against other people. The former argument is rather irrelevant and those who use it as some way of deconstructing English identity should, ironically, perhaps be celebrating the fact that multicultural England embraced a non-English saint. Those who regurgitate the latter argument are at best indulging in ideologically driven pursuits to score political points or at worst deliberately constructing a narrative which, while not entirely false, is not completely honest and establishes misconceptions. This article aims to first identify some fundamental problems with people’s ability to critically engage with evidence before taking the established narrative of the slave trade and locating it within a broader historical and cultural perspective. The intention is to...

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July 2022
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