Jimmy Cliff calls for reparations
JIMMY Cliff has added his weight to the longstanding call for reparations from European countries which benefited from the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
The singer's support comes on the heels of a renewed pact by Caribbean leaders to seek financial compensation from eight European states — Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Denmark — which participated in the trade that captured Africans and brought them to the West Indies to work sugar plantations from the 16th to 19th century.
In an interview with Britain's The London Evening Standard newspaper, Cliff made his case.
"You know, you have all these bredren (sic), they were saying, 'Look, the Queen is supposed to pay us back.' There were lots of them who were very serious about it too and they have a logical point to prove. But look, the Jews have always highlighted what has happened, their plight, what has happened to them, and also say, 'Ok, you did that, you're supposed to pay us something back.' So why not other people, like my ancestors? I think it's a fair deal," Cliff is quoted as saying.
Cliff is no stranger to controversy and standing up on the grounds of human rights.
Though he performed in racist South Africa in 1980 he was one of the major acts to denounce that country's Apartheid system during that decade.
Along with Bonnie Rait, Bob Dylan, David Ruffin, Keith Richards, Hall & Oates, Eddie Kendricks, Big Youth and Run-DMC, Cliff vowed never to perform in the South African entertainment mecca, Sun City.
The group recorded the single Sun City and an album of the same name.