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African Diaspora

African slave ships arrived in Montserrat in the middle 1600’s bringing their human cargo as the sugar plantation system took root in the island as it did throughout the Caribbean. The importation of slaves from Africa continued until the abolishment of the institution of slavery in 1834 on the island.

The brutality and injustice associated with the enslavement of Africans led to several rebellions including the major slave uprising that occurred on St. Patrick’s Day in 1768. Montserratians still mark this event as part of the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration on the island.

Natural disasters and the decline in the price of sugar led to the collapse of the sugar plantation based economy on Montserrat by the late nineteenth century. By that time the descendants of Africans formed the majority of the inhabitants of the island.

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