Hello. It looks like you’re using an ad blocker that may prevent our website from working properly. To receive the best Tortoise experience possible, please make sure any blockers are switched off and refresh the page.

If you have any questions or need help, let us know at memberhelp@tortoisemedia.com

From the file

Future of history | We consider what history should look like in the 21st Century – as a subject of study, but also an area of action and protest.

Britain and slavery: Who profited and what should they do now?


About this ThinkIn

What should companies that profited from slavery do now to make amends?

Our daily digital ThinkIns are exclusively for Tortoise members and their guests.

Try Tortoise free for four weeks to unlock your complimentary tickets to all our digital ThinkIns.

If you’re already a member and looking for your ThinkIn access code you can find it in the My Tortoise > My Membership section of the app next to ‘ThinkIn access code’.

We’d love you to join us.

In the early 1800s, Benjamin Greene was running his own brewery and managing of a number of sugar plantations in the West Indies. When the British government abolished slavery in 1833, he was paid the equivalent of almost £500,000 in today’s money to compensate him for the loss of his ‘property’ – that is, men, women and children who had been kept as slaves on the plantations.

Greene’s brewery is now the highly successful Greene King brewery chain, just one of 43,000 UK companies – including several major banks – named on a database at University College London to have directly or indirectly benefited from these compensation payments. What can and should these companies do now to make amends?

Editor: James Harding, Editor and Co-founder, Tortoise

How does a digital ThinkIn work?

A digital ThinkIn is like a video conference, hosted by a Tortoise editor, that takes place at the advertised time of the event. Digital ThinkIns are new to Tortoise. Now that our newsroom has closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, we feel it’s more important than ever that we ‘get together’ to talk about the world and what’s going on.

The link to join the conversation will be emailed to you after you have registered for your ticket to attend. When you click the link, you enter the digital ThinkIn and can join a live conversation from wherever you are in the world.

Doors open at 6:25pm for a welcome and briefing. Come early to get settled, meet the team and chat to other members. ThinkIn starts at 6:30pm.

Members can enter their unique members’ access code to book tickets. Find yours in My Tortoise > My Membership in the Tortoise app.

If you have any questions or get stuck, please read our FAQs, or get in touch with us at memberhelp@tortoisemedia.com

Read our ThinkIn code of conduct here.

What is a Tortoise ThinkIn?

A ThinkIn is not another panel discussion. It is a forum for civilised disagreement. It is a place where everyone has a seat at the (virtual) table. It’s where we get to hear what you think, drawn from your experience, energy and expertise. It is the heart of what we do at Tortoise.

In the early 1800s, Benjamin Greene was running his own brewery and managing of a number of sugar plantations in the West Indies. When the British government abolished slavery in 1833, he was paid the equivalent of almost £500,000 in today’s money to compensate him for the loss of his ‘property’ – that is, men, women and children who had been kept as slaves on the plantations.

Greene’s brewery is now the highly successful Greene King brewery chain, just one of 43,000 UK companies – including several major banks – named on a database at University College London to have directly or indirectly benefited from these compensation payments. What can and should these companies do now to make amends?

Buy Kehinde’s book here


Watch Now

Read up
Editor and invited experts

James Harding
Co-Founder and Editor

Sir Hilary Beckles
Chair of the CARICOM Reparations Commission and Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies. CARICOM is a regional body created to establish the moral, ethical and legal case for the payment of reparations by the governments of all the former colonial powers.

Professor Kehinde Andrews
Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University. His research focuses on resistance to racism and grassroots organisations. His latest book Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century was published in 2018. He is also editor of the Blackness in Britain book series. His next book, The New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism still Rule the World will be published in February 2021.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy
Labour Member of Parliament for Streatham, her home constituency. In her maiden speech, Bell called for the United Kingdom to reckon with its imperial past in order to tackle racism in the present, citing the government loan taken out to compensate slaveholders and calling for reparations.

Promise Frank Ejiofor
Doctoral researcher and graduate in social anthropology and political science from the University of Cambridge and the Central European University (Austria), respectively. His research interests span constitutional politics, nationalism studies, moral and political theory.