Today was “International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.” For over 400 years, more than 12 million men, women and children were the victims of the tragic transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history. The Caribbean was especially victim of this genocide and atrocity. Of the 12 million slaves brought to the America’s “only” 500,000 were brought to the United States., the remaining 11.5 million were shipped to the Caribbean and South America. Brazil was the largest importer in the Americas, with 5.5 million African slaves imported, followed by the British Caribbean with 2.76 million, the Spanish Caribbean and Spanish Mainland with 1.59 million Africans, and the French Caribbean with 1.32 million.

The Nicaraguan islands and Caribbean coast that my family and I hail from were emancipated from English slavery on August 27, 1841. The Nicaraguan islands of Big and Little Corn Island celebrate this event every year on August 27 in an event called “the Crab Soup Festival.” Huge pots of delicious crab soups, stews and chowders along with all the merriment that accompanies the meal, like the crowning of Miss Corn Island, Miss Coconut, and Miss Photogenic and a huge parade are all parts of this festive festival.

*Photo: Emancipation Day Statue @ the Culture House on Big Corn Island, Nicaragua.

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