'Make Tacky a hero!'
PORT MARIA, St Mary:
Last week, as part of an ongoing campaign to canonise Chief Tacky, the leader of the Caribbean's first civil uprising, African history advocate Derrick 'Black X' Robinson commenced a walk that will find him journeying through every parish in the country.
Robinson believes Tacky, who led the Easter Rebellion in 1760, should be recognised as a national hero, and has conducted a series of marches over the past decade to raise awareness about the significance of the uprising.
Speaking to Rural Xpress a short while after he started the walk in Islington, St Mary, Robinson said: "Today is the start of the 10th anniversary of the Tacky Walk, which advocates for Tacky to be a national hero of Jamaica. When I came to St Mary 10 years ago, I tried to look at how I could contribute to the parish.
"I did a little informal survey, and the main things people said was that Tacky should be a national hero, and that St Mary needed to be developed. So I decided to promote Tacky and use that as a platform to advance the development of the parish because when I looked at the records and understood the scale of the rebellion, the calls were justified; he should have been made a national hero long ago.
SUPPORTING NATURAL PROGRESSION
"I started out supporting what was already happening. There's a high school that's named in his honour; a falls in Islington that is related to the folklore; and a monument to him on the grounds of the St Mary Parish library. Irie FM had also lent their support, so I started out supporting those initiatives."
Robinson plans to visit several relevant locations during his trip, which started in Islington and concludes 15 days later in Annotto Bay at dancehall star Capleton's charity show, St Mary Mi Come From.
He explained: "This year, we started at Tacky Falls in Islington because folklore has it that Tacky, riding either a horse or a mule, was being chased and jumped over the falls to get away, but only the horse's carcass was found afterwards. So the falls has become very popular because of that incident."