Letter of the Day | Happy Black History Month, Jamaica!
THE EDITOR, Madam:
The month of February is celebrated as Black History Month and for some persons, whenever the term black history is mentioned, invariably the word slavery comes to mind. However, black history did not start with slavery. Our history began before civilisation. In fact, civilisation started with the black race in Egypt long before white civilisation emerged. Black civilisation is responsible for many discoveries and inventions which are great assets to modern societies today. The black race has a lot to be proud of and we should never try to devalue ourselves or allow others to devalue us. In the words of national hero Marcus Garvey, a man “without a knowledge of his past is like a tree without roots” and racial pride forms part of our identity.
As black people we tend to celebrate our history as oppressed people, but our history goes way beyond white domination and oppression. Therefore, while we must highlight the atrocities and injustices of slavery, we must not create a picture for an ignorant mind to conclude that black history started and ended with slavery. Let us try to accentuate the positives within the black race and properly educate the nation about our history. We could start with the movies on TV showcasing some of the work of great black inventors and creators of extraordinary products and industries as well as highlighting great ancient Black civilisations like that of the Mali in Africa.
Let us not forget that for Black History Month, we are also celebrating our individual selves as part of a great black heritage and a special people. Let us be proud of our history and who we are as black people. Happy Black History Month, Jamaica! The word is always love.
ANDRE A.O. WELLINGTON, JP