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Letter of the day: Use Emancipendence for empowerment

Published:Thursday | August 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM


One of the issues we must review and reframe is that of who is a Jamaican. We can be dual citizens and contribute and benefit in two societies as the Jews, Indians, Chinese and Europeans do regularly.

We can buy both, according to the advertisement. We really have to advance our thinking on migration, globalisation and diaspora.

So I read the comments about Emancipendence published in The Gleaner on Independence Day and many seemed despondent and disappointed. While I acknowledge the hardships which many are experiencing, I would like us to remember that, if we start with ourselves and our families, many have advanced over the period. Imagine Mrs Ivy May Grant who founded Camperdown High School on her veranda. That school is celebrating its 85th anniversary.

Independence is as much about individuals, communities and nations figuring out what their strengths and weaknesses are and addressing the problems.

I have been enthralled by the advance of 100 children from Balmagie, Seaview Gardens, Duhaney Park and George Headley Primary who have been part of the Dream a World Cultural Therapy Programme led by Frederick Hickling of CARIMENSA. Their performance of a show titled 'Render Me Visible' on Emancipation Day at the Courtleigh Auditorium thrilled an appreciative audience of parents, teacher, businesspeople, artists, mental health workers and the children.

Over a two-year period, their academic and behavioural problems have been transformed. Not only has their talent been unfurled, their self-confidence and self-control increased. We are proud of them and they are proud of themselves.

What are people expecting from Emancipendence? This must be the empowerment that allows people to do what they can on their own behalf. Anyone who believes that being colonised is a good thing must understand more about their history and must pay attention to what is happening to people of colour like them in the metropoles.

Celebrate our achievements and even our reversals and take action to build this rock. That is our task.


UWI, Mona

* Editor's Note: The author is married to Frederick Hickling.