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Bahamas DNA Project

NEWSLETTER March 2011

Next Meeting: Thursday, 7th April at 6pm

Dion Hanna - "Land and Freedom: One Bahamas and a Tale of Two Cities."

At the BHS Museum (corner of Shirley St and Elizabeth Avenue)


Arthur Dion Hanna, Jr. - Director, Legal Aid Clinic Eugene Dupuch Law School

This talk explores the plural realities of African diasporan social relations of family and land tenure and the imperative for distributive justice as an essential for sustainable social development in the Bahamas. Of necessity, this entails an examination of the confluence of race, class and gender at the epicenter of Bahamian family and related patterns of land tenure engendered by slavery and colonialism, and in the dynamic interaction of the official common law legal system, or state law, on the daily lived experiences of those ordinary, everyday Bahamians who are descendants of Africans involuntarily brought to the coral crested archipelago in bondage and enslavement and who have sustained and preserved many of their traditional customs and legal practices, including the traditional African legal concept of land tenure, known in the Bahamas as Generation or Family property, brought by their ancestors in the bowels of slave ships across the infamous Middle Passage. In this regard, our exploration engages interrelated patterns of cohabitation and kinship engendered by the Bahamian and wider Caribbean colonial experience and the dynamic interaction of the official common law legal system with the social and cultural norms and realities of many ordinary, everyday Bahamians and their customary law concepts of land tenure, family and inheritance.

Kind regards,

Jim Lawlor,
President.

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