Well known for backing reparations for slavery, Kamala Harris has yet to acknowledge her own slave-owning, human-trafficking ancestor.
Last week, at the Democratic debate in Miami, Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala [D-CA] stirred up a racial hornet’s nest against former Vice President Joe Biden for his past pandering to segregationist senators decades ago.
“I do not believe you are a racist and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground,” Harris said, publicly chastising Biden at last week’s debate, “but it’s personal and it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States Senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country.”
To date, however, no one has asked Harris about her own Jamaican family tree, which goes back to Jamaican plantation and slave owner Hamilton Brown.
Earlier this year, Harris’ father, Donald J. Harris, reportedly stated:
“My roots go back, within my lifetime, to my paternal grandmother Miss Chrishy (née Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown’s Town) and to my maternal grandmother Miss Iris (née Iris Finegan, farmer and educator, from Aenon Town and Inverness, ancestry unknown to me). The Harris name comes from my paternal grandfather Joseph Alexander Harris, land-owner and agricultural ‘produce’ exporter (mostly pimento or all-spice), who died in 1939 one year after I was born and is buried in the church yard of the magnificent Anglican Church which Hamilton Brown built in Brown’s Town (and where, as a child, I learned the catechism, was baptized and confirmed, and served as an acolyte).”
Hamilton Brown (b. 1776, d. 1843) was an Irish rags-to-riches immigrant to Jamaica who became a wealthy sugar plantation owner—at one point owning nearly 130 slaves—and founder of Brown’s Town on the British island colony.
- Big League Politics has obtained the English registers of Brown’s slaves here.
Although slavery was outlawed by Britain in 1833, as a wealthy plantation owner, Hamilton Brown needed laborers to continue working his fields.
At that point, Brown turned to his native Ireland to recruit poor “Irish slaves” with some success.
“The first vessel known to have done so is the James Ray, a brig belonging to a Mr. Hamilton Brown, an extensive property owner, planting attorney, and Member of Assembly for the parish of St. Ann. In December 1835, the brig left Belfast with one hundred and twenty one Irishmen and their families from Ballymoney, County Antrim, and on arrival in Jamaica they were located on estates and pens in Hamilton Brown’s parish. Some of these immigrants certainly absconded from their locations and enlisted in the police, and on one estate about forty of them chased Hamilton Brown and narrowly missed giving him a sound beating. Undaunted, in late 1836 he despatched his brig to lreland once again; it returned with at least one hundred and eighty five lrish for St. Ann.”
Due to a public outcry in Ireland, the practice of recruiting “Irish slaves” ended a few years before Brown’s death in 1843.
That Democratic primary candidate has injected racism as a weapon against her opponent is not at all surprising.
What is surprising, however, is that while Kamala Harris is attempting to portray herself as a victim, she has yet to acknowledge her own slave-owning, human-trafficking ancestor.