Britain’s Prince Charles has guest-published an edition of the country’s only black newspaper to mark his 40th birthday, commemorating the contributions of African-Caribbean communities to the arts and society.
The Voice newspaper mentions Charles’ “long association with black leaders,” his office said, as the royal family is increasingly concerned with the British legacy of slavery and the country’s colonial past.
“Over the past four decades, with all the massive changes they’ve gone through, Britain’s only surviving black newspaper has become an institution and a crucial part of the fabric of our society,” said Charles. “That’s why I was so moved that I was invited to edit this special edition.”
Britain’s history is marked by its pivotal role in the slave trade and colonial rule over much of Africa and the Caribbean. Charles, who is the heir apparent, has expressed his deep sorrow over slavery.
The so-called Windrush generation of post-war migrants from the Caribbean, named after the first ship that brought them, continues to suffer injustice. In 2018, Britain apologized after thousands were denied basic rights, despite having lived in Britain for decades and dozens were wrongfully deported.
The paper features a piece about an art exhibition to mark the 75th anniversary of Windrush and an interview with Doreen Lawrence, the mother of a schoolboy murdered by racists in 1993, who has set up a commemorative partnership to provide art grants supported by the Prince’s Foundation.
“Our readers may be surprised at the parallels between the issues The Voice has been campaigning for for four decades and the work The Prince of Wales (Charles) has been involved in during the same period, often behind the scenes,” said Lester Holloway, editor of The Voice.
Last year, Charles traveled to Barbados for a ceremony where the Caribbean nation dumped Queen Elizabeth as head of state and forged a new republic while rethinking its relationship with its former colonial power.
Charles’ son William’s own tour to the Caribbean in March was overshadowed by protests over Britain’s role in slavery, and criticism that the trip reflected a return to colonial times.
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