A people with a lost identity

Tuesday, February 04, 2014    

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Dear Editor,

It is Black History Month again. I wonder how many Afro-Jamaicans remember that or even celebrate it? Jamaicans must be aware of the fact that 95 per cent of the Jamaican population are of African descendant, which means we have "links" to Africa rather than Europe or Asia — from which many of us wish we came.

Due to this interesting fact, I thought that Jamaicans in this modern era of technology and inter-mingling of people of different race, religion and social standing, we would be more appreciating of the different cultures and peoples. However this is not so.

Many Jamaicans, like myself, are still criticised for our black complexion and are often asked if we are really Jamaican. Surprisingly the persons who ask are often black, however they consider themselves to be "brownings" — just to make them feel better.

As a lifelong student of history and sociology, I understand why so many of our people are 'white-washed'. They believe the white lie that "anything black nuh good". This is very heart-breaking to know that our people are stilling suffering from lost identity to consider themselves inferior to someone with lighter skin complexion.

We, as a people, must rise up and renew our minds and free ourselves from mental slavery. We cannot grow our economy when our people fail to love self first. We cannot make Jamaica crime-free if we do not build each other up by using supporting and encouraging words. Look at the Chinese and Indian communities, they are building each other up by first accepting self and history then growing their economics and families. Rise up you Mighty race (Marcus Garvey).

Roger Goodwill






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