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Published Book or Work by:

Elaine Foster

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: FROM SLAVERY UNTO NATIONHOOD

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: FROM SLAVERY UNTO NATIONHOOD
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Published by Writers.net
February 28, 2006
World renowned North American historian and educator, Dr. Carter Woodson designated February as the month for Black History; to remind Afro-Americans of their historical background. It is the birth month of two great American abolitionists, Abraham Lincoln, and Frederick Douglas. How do Caribbean counterparts in the Diaspora commemorate this aspect of our heritage? Jamaica has not official commemorated Black History month in our 42 years of independence. However, our heritage along with that of the continent of Africa’s, North America’s, has been highlighted in the local mass media of print, radio, and television. Other sources of interest, the National Gallery of Jamaica, the Palace Amusement Company (1921) Limited will not be outdone. Over the years, televised documentaries have focused our attention on Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King, et al. Mandela spent 27 years imprisoned under the South African repressive government of apartheid; he went on to become South Africa’s first black premier, with the abolition of apartheid system. Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, have contributed greatly to the civil rights movement in North America. There violent death is reflected in there respective Islamic, and Baptist influence. Dr. King’s famous Montgomery speech has often been aired on radio. Paul Robeson - lawyer and opera singer, is remembered for his Negro spirituals; his rendition of “Ole Man Rivers” was often aired in my mother’s mediation hour on a Sunday afternoon. ‘The Amistad” by Steven Spielberg, has been the most significant movie of noteworthy over the past twenty years. If it had evoked so much painful emotions from the cast, and crew; you can best imagine the effect on the amusement of local cinema lovers. We are long over due for an “Amistad 11”. A young generation’s civic mind is captivated by the National Gallery of Jamaica’s artistic display of local and international reggae icon, the Hon. Robert Nesta (Bob) Marley. The print media will not be outdone for they have doggedly featured historical role models who have also contributed to the advancement of the welfare of the human race. Black history will always recall Marcus Mosiah Garvey. The roles of women from slavery, through emancipation, colonialism, independence, and unto nation building have often been underscored. Their courageous acts of service will also motivate, and inspire us, when we are faced with life’s trial, struggles, and journeys. Harriet Tubman operated a syndicate that led slaves across the Niagara Falls into free Canada, Rosa Parks captured the all white North American bus when she refused to give up her seat, and go sit at the back. Our local heroine, Mary Seacole is viewed as a nurse on the front line, bootlegger, and entrepreneur. Dame Mary Eugenie Charles was the first female Prime Minister in the Commonwealth Caribbean. If she were not single and childless, she would not have persevered 25 years as Dominica’s Prime Minister. Her perspective was of a partner and grown children who would have beseeched her to get out of this ungrateful class race in which nothing good could be said of her, but vile lies. There are occasions when a governor general is trusted to act impartially in the best interest of a country. Dame Neita Barrow not only fulfilled that role of being the first governor general of Barbados, but she was also ambassador to the United Nations, and Member of the Commonwealth Group of Eminent Persons appointed to promote the process of dialogue for ending apartheid, and the establishment of democracy in South Africa. At home, Portia Simpson-Miller has become the first female president of a major political part, the People’s National Party (PNP), and the first female Prime Minister designate for Jamaica. There is no doubt that Ms. Portia Simpson will bring to the government’s table her own brand of velvet in steel in a democratic society that is struggling with extremes of poverty, wealth, civil unrests, and a failing economy...
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Feminism , Government/Politics , History , Women's Issues/Studies
 
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