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Barbados Demands Benedict Cumberbatch To Pay Them ‘Reparations’ For His Slave-Owning Ancestors From The 1700s

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Barbados Demands Benedict Cumberbatch To Pay Them ‘Reparations’ For His Slave-Owning Ancestors From The 1700s

“Any descendants of white plantation owners who have benefitted from the slave trade should be asked to pay reparations.”

Benedict Cumberbatch is under pressure from Barbados as his seventh great-grandfather appears to be a plantation owner that hired 250 slaves. In 1728, his forefather bought the Cleland Plantation in St. Andrew, Barbados, and it was closed down over a century later after slavery was abolished.

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Cumberbatch’s family received £6,000 in compensation for their “human property” loss. It is worth £3.6 million today with inflation calculated.

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Barbados’ government is currently fighting to demand money from families whose ancestors were slave owners for “reparations.”

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The British Government had only managed to pay back the loan they took out to give slave owners compensation for closing down their businesses in 2015. One of them is conservative MP Richard Drax, who inherited his family’s ancestral 250-hectare sugar plantation, Drax Hall plantation, in a prime location on the holiday island.

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Mr. Drax is among the first people pressured to “return” the land to the country as one of the descendants of slave-owning families if the legal ruling goes in the island’s favor.

The Oscar-nominated star acted as the slave owner William Ford in “12 Years A Slave” and in real life, his family inherited the plantation.

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The general secretary of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration spoke with The Telegraph, “Any descendants of white plantation owners who have benefitted from the slave trade should be asked to pay reparations, including the Cumberbatch family.”

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Barbados’s ambassador to the Caribbean community, David Commisiong, chimed in, “A lot of this history is only really coming to light now.”

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Cumberbatch first revealed about his ancestry in 2006 when he took the role in “Amazing Grace.” He half-joked that the role of William Pitt was some “sort of apology” for his ancestry.

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Later, he shared that his actress mom, Wanda Ventham, had advised him not to use his real surname professionally to avoid the reparation campaign.

With that said, Cumberbatch’s family soon sold the plantation in the 1800s and only received compensation then. It is currently owned by a man with no relation to the Cumberbatch whatsoever.

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