Point A to Point B is rarely a straight line. This is especially true when looking at the past.

In a previous post, we shared a story about the Maroons, the freedom fighters of the Jamaican island who fought hard to maintain their spirit of independence against the British colonists. Many of their actions were admirable, and from their group arose several heroes of prominence, including Captain Kojo and Queen Nanni. The Maroons were a force to be reckoned with, and tales of their exploits and bravery were the stuff of legends.

This was a victory for some, however. Not all.

The British, sensing the tenacity and determination of the Maroon people, reached a peace treaty with them, allowing them to remain free and self-governing. Unfortunately, this agreement came with a caveat in the form of a promise to help British forces “take down slave uprisings and return escaped slaves to the plantations.”

Despite their own fight and demand for freedom, they became willing participants in the enslavement of others. Why?

Who’s to say? As we said, that journey from Point A to Point B isn’t always a straight path, and sometimes it’s paved with regrettable decisions that have long-lasting impacts on future generations.

But we can always learn from the past and pledge to do better in the future. Just last month, after nearly 300 years, a formal apology came from the Queen of the Maroons Gaamang Gloria “Mama G” Simms, the woman now occupying the seat once held by Queen Nanni.

“We realise that we cannot undo the past, but we can remedy the situations through reconciliatory actions that will repair the damage and rebuild trust so that these behaviours will not be repeated.”

Still, not everyone was convinced this was the right course of action to take.

“Personally, I would ask for forgiveness rather than issue an apology because what the Maroons were doing was what they agreed to. They were tricked and it has caused a rift between the Maroons and the rest of the African community for over 200 years.” (Colonel Lloyd Lattibeaudiere of the Scott’s Hall Maroons)

Despite which “side” you would agree with,  we can all agree Mama G’s words hold merit:

“Let us, as liberators and freedom fighters, take responsibilities for what our ancestors have done. Let us move to heal the rifts.”