Barbado'ed and The Redlegs

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Barbado'ed and The Redlegs

Postby bimjim » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:08 pm


The fascinating story of the descendents of Scotland's sugar slaves how they came to be and the nature of their existence as but poor whites eking out a subsistence existence.

Known as the Redlegs, they are the direct descendants of the Scots transported to Barbados by Cromwell after the Civil War. Scottish author and broadcaster Chris Dolan went to meet them to discover why they are still here 350 years later, what they know about their roots, and what their prospects are today when they are the poorest community on the island.

Chris speaks to leading historians in Barbados and Scotland about how their ancestors were treated when they first arrived. Was their plight as severe as that of the black slaves from Africa? Nearly two centuries after emancipation, this Redleg community has yet to find a role on the island, where it is damned by association with the days of slavery, even though many of its forbears were victims themselves. In recent years, it has begun to come out of its racial isolation; could there yet be a hopeful future for this lost Scottish tribe?

The Redlegs

When Cromwell transported fifty thousand Irish slaves to Barbados during an unprecedented act of ethnic cleansing they disappeared from the history books. In a one hour documentary we uncover the facts of the “Barbadosed” Irish and discover whether the island’s Redlegs, a small reclusive community made pallid and weak from 300 years of inbreeding, strong rum and insufficient food is the living legacy of those white slaves.

In a one hour documentary in Irish we explore this neglected episode in Irish history and unravel the mystery of these forgotten people by reconstructing the conditions which greeted the Irish when they arrived in Barbados, the horrific labour they had to perform in the sugar fields, the branding irons with which they were labeled like chattels, and how they had to build their own shelters or perish.
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