March 15, 2023

BBC correspondent quits following family’s role in historic slave trade

BBC correspondent quits following family’s role in historic slave trade

By Biodun Busari

BBC World News anchor Laura Trevelyan announced her resignation on Tuesday, weeks after apologising for her family’s historic role in the slave trade.

According to the Independent, the aristocratic Trevelyan family was in possession of more than 1,000 slaves in Grenada in the 19th century.

In a tweet, Trevelyan revealed that she would quit the BBC after 30 years to work on getting “reparatory justice for the Caribbean”.

“A new chapter is starting for me. After 30 incredible years at the BBC, I’m leaving tomorrow – to join the growing movement for reparatory justice for the Caribbean,” she wrote.

“Thank you to my beloved colleagues and to our amazing audience. I couldn’t be more grateful to you all.”

The move emerged after the New York-based journalist announced that several members of the Trevelyan family would travel to Grenada to issue a public apology.

“The Trevelyan family is apologising to the people of Grenada for the role our ancestors played in enslavement on the island, and engaging in reparations,” Trevelyan said.

The family intends to donate £100,000 to establish a community fund for economic development on the island, based on reports from BBC. 

Trevelyan revealed that her family had received about £34,000 from the British government in 1834 as compensation for the abolition of slavery. The sum is thought to be the equivalent of about £3m in today’s money.

She acknowledged that giving £100,000 almost 200 years later could seem “inadequate”, but added: “I hope that we’re setting an example by apologising for what our ancestors did.”

“You can’t repair the past – but you can acknowledge the pain,” she added.