“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history”, George Orwell.
The Right Honourable Robert Nesta Marley said it so profoundly in his song titled “Buffalo Soldier”,”If you don’t know your history you don’t know where you coming from”. It would seem as if we waiting to read it in a book or see it on some media platform overseas to actually believe that there is some level of continuity of our legacy/history. Why wait for someone to actually do the research for us to believe? Can’t we take the initiative go on excursion and document all the historical stuff within Jamaica from past to present?
Jamaica has a rich history but to actually capture such we generally tend to wait until it’s August 1 or 6 to generate interest in all things historical within Jamaica. Why wait? History can be seen as a business and many who read this blog will be wondering what sort of business you talking about? First and foremost many don’t like to read your book won’t sell. No, I am not necessarily thinking of writing a book.
With the advent of technology, many of us can use our Jamaican history in a business form, by seeking funding to document various aspects of our history. Traveling through Jamaica be it work, school, church entertainment many really don’t have a clue as to why things really happen the way they do now.
My case in point there are several schools within the Caribbean region that wear plaid uniforms has anyone wonder why? That’s a history lesson in itself for us all. The 59-year-old institution Meadowbrook High School founded in
1958 wears what is known as the Black-Watch or Campbell Tarton originating out of the Scottish Clan of Colin Campbell who fought during the Wars of Scottish Independence the Campbells fought for Scotland against the English at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. During the 14th century, the Clan Campbell rapidly expanded its lands and power. It can also be noted that the Campbell Clan were merchants and members of the Church of Scotland hence the historical linkage with Meadowbrook High School being a United Church School and the significance of their school uniforms which the girls wear. But who knew all of this? There are our churches not looking at who has the largest congregation, the fanciest PA system or who can say praise the lord at the top of their lungs. It’s mainly why and who came to our shores why we find many churches of that nature in a particular location. For instance, it was on a family visit to Fairfield in Manchester with my Grandmother and mom, I was given a bit of history of where my family actually worshiped. In my mind, I thought they were all from the Church of Scotland but to my surprise, I have learned that they were all Moravian. The gentleman in question who relating my family history said they all worshiped at the Moravian Church here but due to the fact they migrated to other rural paths in Jamaica, they became members of the Church of Scotland now (United Church). Getting deeper into the conversation I realized there are 60 Moravian churches in the entire island with only 3 being in the Kingston Metropolitan area. Then again many would say of what significance is that to me? Well if you are interested in the continuity of your legacy/history one will be thrilled to know that back then when the missionaries were coming to Jamaica they were concerned about the various diseases such as Yellow Fever and found that if they were located on the hillside it would be harder for them to contract such illnesses which is why many of these churches are found in rural areas upon a hillside.
As a people, we need to make sure that there is much continuity of our legacy. As a people we say we have a vibrant music industry dating as far back as the 1940’s but how much of its is known. The area in Jamaica widely known as “Trench Town” is only seen as an inner city community with a lot of poverty. I’m happy to know that this island of mine has an area where many of the great musicians came out of called “Trench Town” the likes of Peter Tosh, Bob Marley Dean Fraser, Ernest Ranglin, Alton Ellis, Hortense Ellis, Winston “Flames” Jarrett, Delroy Wilson, Joe Higgs just to name a few. All these made it big time on the music scene both locally and international. There we go again a rich history which needs to be preserved.
Our food, dance art you name is found all over the island but how many of us really know the significance of them all. Let’s not wait for a non-Jamaican to be feeding us with information which we ourselves ought to be documenting for further generations to have a great legacy to share.
A Kumina Story: Queen of Kumina: Imogene Kennedy – ‘Queenie’ II
At the end of the day, it’s always important to document and share with our various institutions of learning our findings which help them to help us in better preserving our rich history of Jamaica. The best place to start is the National Library of Jamaica, 12 East Street Kingston Jamaica. or http://www.nlj.gov.jm.
Disclaimer: Blogpost was taken from my old blog site Nubienqueenb75.wordpress.com