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Lloyd’s of London apologizes for role in Atlantic slave trade

By | Rachel Brooks

Staff | Telegraph Local 

See | The New African Living Standard

Above, an outside view of the Lloyd’s of London Bank, created in 2013 by Elisa.rolle, CC By SA 4.0 International.

Lloyd’s of London insurance market has apologize for the “shameful” role the company historically had in the Atlantic slave trade. This was reported by Thomson Reuters and shared over wire services such as CBC.ca one June 18. The Lloyd’s company has stated that it will move to invest in programs that will attract African-descended and minority ethnic talent. 

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The role of Lloyd’s in the Atlantic Slave trade was also touched on at the industry-specific level when it appeared in such as the Insurance Journal. Lloyd’s made a note of its “shameful” practices that pushed Atlantic slave trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. Insurance Journal noted that this was but a fraction of a time that the major Atlantic Slave trade continued. 

Roughly 17 million souls of African descent, spanning both genders and all ages, were torn from their indigenous communities from the 15th to the 19th centuries. That is a span of approximately 400 years. Many of these millions of people died in the harsh conditions of slave transportation. Slaves were incarcerated in brutal conditions on ships. Most often, they were shackled aboard these vessels. 

The Lloyd’s of London insurance market grew out of Edward Lloyd’s coffee house in 1688. Lloyd’s is the headquarters of complex insurance contracts. It became the hub of the shipping insurance market. The shipping insurance market was instrumental in the enterprise of Atlantic slave trafficking. 

A brief account of this history appeared in the Insurance Journal. 

Thomson Reuters reports that the current management of the Lloyd’s of London market would seek to rectify the wrongs of its predecessors in the 18-19th centuries. 

“We are sorry for the role played by the Lloyd’s market in the eighteenth and nineteenth century slave trade — an appalling and shameful period of English history, as well as our own. Recent events have shone a spotlight on the inequality that Black people have experienced over many years as a result of systematic and structural racism that has existed in many aspects of society and unleashed difficult conversations that were long overdue,” said Lloyd’s in a recent statement, as the company was quoted by Thomson Reuters, shared via CBC.

The insurance firm is 334 years old and yet seeks to look forward to creating a better future, citing reports from the New York Post.

“At Lloyd’s we understand that we cannot always be proud of our past. In acknowledging our own history, we also remain committed to focusing on the actions we can take today to shape our future into one that we can truly be proud to stand by,” said Lloyd’s as the company was quoted by the New York Post. 

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The apology from the insurance giant comes at the celebration of Juneteenth, see History.com, a day honoring the freeing of slaves at Galveston, Texas. It also comes in the wake of protests that turned into violent riots following the murder of George Floyd by the former Minneapolis, MN police officer Derek Chauvin. 

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