By So long, Men on the Go

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is predominantly a black coloured country and from time immemorial, black history and culture was the way of life. This was so even under colonialism. There were several dates, events and activities that were synonymous with the black population.

These dates meant a lot to the black population because they identified with the achievements, rights and protection of black people. These were the foundation where the average black person got knowledge and inspiration. One such date was May 25, African Liberation Day.

Now, one might be asking, what is the importance and significance of African Liberation Day? As a man of African descent, it is important to know as much as one can about their origin. As Marcus Garvey states, “A people without knowledge of its past is like a tree without root.” The roots are the foundation such as historical knowledge of who we are as a black race.

Jews will never forget the Holocaust or what they went through as a people from the time in Egypt under Pharaoh up to the present time. As a nation, they are proud and strong, whereas, in the case of the blacks, we are struggling for identification even more so than ever. As calypsonian Shaunelle said, “We don’t like we, we are bleaching our skin, shrinking and straightening our hair and do all manner of things to change from who we are. As if we are ashamed of who we are.”

Then those who used to educate, inform and enlighten us — the days of Forum, Black Power and Black Consciousness — now that they are affluent they forgot about the cause because it is no longer their duty. All other races and people can celebrate their heritage and call their heroes’ names and what they have done to ensure the longevity of their race/people. In the situation of the blacks, we are not proud of who we are, and we do not even want to associate with anything black. We have been so brainwashed that anything black means bad, not good.

It is time to debunk that myth and let us celebrate with pride, pump and glory African Liberation Day. Let us beat drums, dance and celebrate our black heroes who fought and continue to fight for on behalf of the black people. Up you might race and take your place.

Dr. Adrian Fraser, Philbert John, Curtis King, Kennie Baptiste, Cecil Ryan, Mike Brown, Jomo Sanga Thomas, Patches Knight. Let us start to debate, let us not forget Jim Maloney, Caspar London, Earlene Horne, Oscar Allen, all those who have gone who have gone to the great beyond. It is not too late.

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com.