Sunday, October 2, 2011

October is Black History Month in the UK

The African Princess:Sarah Forbes Bonetta

At the age of five, Sarah Forbes Bonetta Davies, born into a royal West African dynasty, was taken to England and presented to Queen Victoria as a "gift" from one royal family to another. A unique and admired figure in history, she spent her life between the British royal household and her homeland in Africa.

In his journal Captain Forbes gave an account of his mission with relation to Miss Bonetta.

"I have only to add a few particulars about my extraordinary present The African child". In a former portion of this journal I have mentioned the Okeadon war; one of the captives of this dreadful slave-hunt was this interesting girl.

It is usual to reserve the best born for the high behest of royalty and the immolation on the tombs of the diseased nobility. For one of these ends she had been detained at court for two years: proving, by her not having been sold to slave dealer, that she was of a good family.
So extraordinary a present would have been at least burden, had I not the conviction that, in consideration of the nature of the service I had performed, the government would consider her as the property of the crown.
To refuse, would have been to have signed her death warrant which, probably, would have been carried into execution forthwith. Immediately on arriving...
Of her own history she was only a confused idea. Her parents were decapitated; her brother and sisters she knows not what their fate might have been .
For her age supposed to be eight years. She is a perfect genius; she now speaks English well, and has a great talent for music. She has won the affections, with but few exceptions, of all who have known her, she is far in advance of any white child of her age, in aptness of learning, and strength of mind and affection."

For more features, accounts and info see bhm The Guide To Black History Month

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