The owner of The Guardian issued an apology Tuesday for the British newspaper’s founders’ role in transatlantic slavery. The Scott Trust published research that shows Guardian founder John Edward Taylor and investors gained much of their wealth from the cotton trade, after importing the cotton from North America, where it was cultivated by enslaved Africans on plantations. The findings came as part of an independent investigation commissioned in late 2020 by the Scott Trust. The Guardian also announced a 10-year, $12 million “restorative justice” program, which includes supporting Black journalists. British-Nigerian historian, and member of the Scott Trust, David Olusoga is featured in a video as part of The Guardian’s report, as well as a written piece, in which he describes how British ties to the transatlantic slave trade have been obfuscated.
David Olusoga: “The Guardian, like thousands of institutions in Britain, has direct financial connections to the world of slavery. That reality can’t be negotiated with. It can’t be explained away. This history can never be solved, can never be remedied, but it can be — something good can come from it, but it needs to be a dialogue.”