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Bussa’s Rebellion in 1816 Helped Bring About the Abolition of Slavery

Bussa was an African-born slave who worked at Bayley Plantation in St. Philip on the island of Barbados, which at the time was an English colony. The British Parliament passed a law to end slavery in 1807 but slaves later realized they might never gain freedom.

Bussa was a head officer among the slaves and managed boundaries and fences. He also had to deal with day-to-day business between the estates. Due to this factor, he could move throughout the estate and gain a good understanding of the area. He had the respect of many slaves, plantation owners, and workers.

Bussa planned one of the first major uprisings with people from other estates. The enslaved people attempted to change Barbado's society. They believed Barbados was theirs and wanted to be free from the plantation owners. Bussa led about 400 women and men during the uprising. They fought together against armed and trained troops of the colonial militia.

Unfortunately, Bussa was killed while fighting for what he believed, but his followers continued to fight until their defeat. Many slaves died, some died in battle, some were sentenced to death, others were taken to Bridgetown for trial and executed, and others were sent to another island.

Bussa wasn’t the only one to lead a rebellion in the Caribbean region. He was one of several people to lead a rebellion for centuries in the region. This shows how passionate Black people were to fight for the right to their freedom. This ultimately influenced the abolition movement and the civil rights movement.

[Source: blackpast.org; sciencedirect,com; BBC News; The New York Times]

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