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Are we truly emancipated?

Published:Tuesday | July 29, 2014 | 12:00 AM


For many, Emancipation for the people of Jamaica came on August 1, 1838. However, for me, it is yet to arrive. While many seem to be free, they do not understand the very essence of freedom. To be free - truly free - one must have knowledge of how life works, how society works.

To truly understand society, one must seek to be educated. When I speak of education, I do not only speak of the formal education system, but also of the informal.

How many of us listen to the news to fully grasp what is happening in Jamaica? How many of us have passed on the very culture of Jamaica to our children, grandchildren, younger siblings, nieces, nephews or friends? How often do we seek to understand government policies and how they will affect us in the long run? How can we be truly free when we have allowed ourselves to be improperly governed?

It was the late Marcus Garvey who said, "Our success, educationally, industrially and politically, is based upon the protection of a nation founded by ourselves. And the nation can be nowhere else but in Africa." But while Garvey believed that we ought to have had an exodus, the truth is that we are Jamaican. Bearing that in mind, we ought to protect Jamaica - protect her from cultural dilution and bad governance.

"I pledge my heart forever, to serve with humble pride ...." Have we been serving?

To be truly emancipated, we must protect the homeland and help her to achieve greatness. We must serve by participating in the political process; by becoming active in our communities; by raising our children in the proper way; by making savvy decisions that will help to alleviate poverty; by standing for liberty, equality and fraternity. "Up, you mighty race, accomplish what you will." Only then will we have truly achieved emancipation.


Greater Portmore,

St Catherine