Black history and black heroes?


Black history and black heroes?


Friday, October 25, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

Developing a nation is requires risk-taking people. We in Jamaica have been at tipping point and have been failed by people — both leaders and followers — so let's dive deep and ask why?

Economists have reasons, but the common view that slavery colted our 92.1 per cent, was unproductive, and prone to crime is not proven, but after 57 years we can't ignore it.

Black history on media revives slave alibis (waste the master's time), discontent, entitlement, and the Broadcasting Commission should rule, because fake content is worse than false advertising. Whites did not go to Africa for slaves, and Africa exported slaves long before they arrived. Yet, our thought leaders target descendants of white buyers and excuse African sellers — a money business dat! To feed a stereotype of “oppressed blacks fighting the man” wastes energy, stirs race hate, and may destroy tourism and “out of many”.

Cordel Green, who vouches the truth of history content?

Heritage Month should be a context for Heroes' Day, with facts on Jamaica, Wales, China, Ghana, Nigeria, England, India; not race history. African and West Indian history is written by whites and others using European or Arab sources, so we know Africans exported slaves to Berber and Arab for millennia and to whites 1400 to 1800, but illiterate in both patois and English our masses are exploited by fake oral history.

Why no textbooks? History is what happened, when, and, crucially, why? Whites first landed in Africa by accident on the way to India to buy spices. They saw Africans selling their kin and bought some to sell to cane planters. This was for big profit! Wouldn't you do the same?

Marcus Garvey said, “A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” He had read histories of Europe and America, and knew Africans had written none, so why the parable? October is Black History Month in Britain and Hispanic Heritage Month when Caribbean people celebrate Spanish heritage, but both are different. The former is thinly veiled resentment of English; the latter joyful celebration of Spanish heritage.

Our diaspora contends that black history should be in United Kingdom schools, but no race history is taught here, so why not Ghana's, Jamaica's, Nigeria's? Fake black history abounds and a radio preacher rants at a slave's chains cutting flesh, but he says the same of Satan and Hell on Sunday.

You must be mental to not grow your economy but live off white folk. Do you truly think Jamaicans who rob, murder, rape kids they know care for dead folks they didn't know?

Black history UK is reggae, patois, food, slavery, Mary Seacole, and now Windrush to taunt the British whose welfare state they love. Slavery was not illegal in Africa, Britain, or Jamaica back then, but they never teach that. British Asians do not support black history, save for politicians seeking votes as many are ministers, diplomats; how many blacks? Africans buy Rolls-Royce cars (consumption); Indians buy the Rolls-Royce factory (production); they know success is the best revenge. Selah!

Black history is based on Europe's archives which activists use to condemn them. But if whites felt they did wrong why would they keep them? Where are Africa's archives? Talk of black inventors of elevator, reefer, iPhone is positive, but all are of USA culture and education. What traffic light patents does Congo have? Some Pharaohs were black; so what? Barack Obama was president of the US, so ask Donald Trump if America is black. Our intellect is affirmed by Nobel laureates Arthur Lewis, Derek Walcott, and many daily; not by fake history and sweet music for dancing. So how do other Caribbean states deal with these?

Hispanic Heritage Month is also October and celebrated by black, white, brown, mestizo, and Taino. They have no self-loathing but revel in Spanish heritage as history is history. Black history dishonestly omits African slavery today or sale of Albino body parts for ju-ju. Jesus wept!

After the American wars blacks did not take autonomy in even one state a la Quebec; why? They will be a minority forever; not like us or Africa, even with 60-plus black nations. Canada's black history is also Jamaican-led. The Jamaican Chinese pay the freight but do not identify.

I am no pessimist, so let's act. First, Cabinet must commission history textbooks 1900 to 2000 as light chases darkness. Second, let's celebrate all our ethnic groups. Three, have money power run businesses and produce; one has people power, elects governments, and underperforms. Like China, empower proven winners!

What of heroes? Moravian missionary John Lang and William Knibb the Baptist were heroes to our ancestors, so why no white hero? Why no Taino hero when Ameyro the cacique of east or Huarea of west are on pole? Do we truly honour ancestors or our own self-importance? Viva Tainoland!

Franklin Johnston, D Phil (Oxon), is a strategist and project manager; Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK); and lectures in logistics and supply chain management at Mona School of Business and Management, The University of the West Indies. Send comments to the Observer or

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon