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Great (deceased) Jamaicans

 
mikesiva 2016-05-14 07:51:46 

The list of 50 great Guyanese gave me this idea...but I thought I'd make this about Jamaicans who've passed away, simply living Jamaicans still have a chance to spoil their legacy!
smile
Rather than just name names, I thought I'd start with a little profile of them, one by one....

Let me start with Samuel Sharpe:

"Samuel Sharpe was the main instigator of the 1831 Slave Rebellion, which began on the Kensington Estate in St. James and which was largely instrumental in bringing about the abolition of slavery. Because of his intelligence and leadership qualities, Sam Sharpe became a “daddy”, or leader of the native Baptists in Montego Bay. Religious meetings were the only permissible forms of organised activities for the slaves. Sam Sharpe was able to communicate his concern and encourage political thought, concerning events in England which affected the slaves and Jamaica. Sam evolved a plan of passive resistance in 1831, by which the slaves would refuse to work on Christmas Day of 1831 and afterwards, unless their grievances concerning better treatment and the consideration of freedom, were accepted by the state owners and managers."

Feel free to add to the list....
cool

 
sudden 2016-05-14 09:44:04 

Shanique Myrie

 
nick2020 2016-05-14 09:46:58 

In reply to sudden

Behave sudden.

 
sudden 2016-05-14 09:48:27 

In reply to nick2020

How about JahJah

 
birdseye 2016-05-14 09:52:40 

Marcus Garvey

 
nick2020 2016-05-14 09:56:58 

In reply to sudden

He said deceased. Last time that was done to a poster on here...

 
birdseye 2016-05-14 10:02:01 

In reply to nick2020


He said deceased.
he might be more up-to-date that you are... wink wink wink

 
FanAttick 2016-05-14 11:06:40 

In reply to sudden

Did you notice that on Admin's thread about 50 great Muddies peeps were very respectful?

 
sudden 2016-05-14 12:05:35 

In reply to FanAttick

I didn't get in on the action early enuff big grin

 
JayMor 2016-05-14 16:44:54 

In reply to mikesiva

Dutty Boukman.

--Æ.

 
DukeStreet 2016-05-14 17:17:16 

In reply to mikesiva
Bob Marley

 
mikesiva 2016-05-15 04:40:17 

In reply to birdseye

"Born in Jamaica, Marcus Garvey was an orator for the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League. Garvey advanced a Pan-African philosophy which inspired a global mass movement, known as Garveyism. Garveyism would eventually inspire others, from the Nation of Islam to the Rastafari movement. Social activist Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr. was born on August 17, 1887, in St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica. Self-educated, Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association, dedicated to promoting African-Americans and resettlement in Africa."

More here
There's one little-known fact I read in one of Michael Manley's autobiographies...was it "Struggle in the Periphery"?

Norman Manley was a lawyer who represented some businessmen who were suing Garvey for fraud, and the two national heroes clashed inside a court-house, squaring up and threatening to settle the dispute with a fight in the car park!
smile

 
Ewart 2016-05-15 05:25:29 

In reply to mikesiva

"Father" Sherlock

Rev “Father” Hugh B. Sherlock

When the UWI appointed the great West Indian batsman and former captain Frank Worrell as Warden of the Irvine Hall residence at Mona, all Jamaica knew that the standard of their cricket was going to be lifted.

Worrell had led the West Indies to a moral victory over the Australians in the famous Tied Test series down under in 1960, and had followed up with the successful 1963 tour of England.

Now that he was coming to live in Jamaica, the Barbadian batsman was going to be playing cricket here. But which club would he join? Lucas, George Headley’s old club, was a possibility. So was Kingston Cricket Club, the top club in Jamaica. He could also play for the University.

But Frank Worrell, the man who had been forced to wait to become the first Black captain of the West Indies cricket team, chose to go and play at Boys’ Town, the home ground of West Indies all-rounder O’Neil Gordon “Collie” Smith; Boys Town, the candle of hope in the depressed working-class community of Trench Town.

Immortalised in song by its most famous citizen, Bob Marley, the neighborhood gets its name from its previous designation as Trench Pen, 400 acres of land once used for livestock by Daniel Power Trench, an Irish immigrant of the 18th century. The Trench family abandoned the land in the late 19th century.

Collie Smith who played for Boys’ Town in the Senior Cup competition died during a West Indies Test series in England in 1959 while he was sleeping in the back seat of a car driven by his friend Garfield Sobers, the great West Indies all-rounder. The next year, 1960, the West Indies Test captain Frank Worrell led Boys' Town to victory for the first time in the Senior Cup — the premier cricket championship in Jamaica. So Worrell joined Boys’ Town and it was his last club. His presence there stirred the imagination of the residents and indeed all Jamaica.

That candle of hope was lit by Methodist minister Hugh Sherlock, a lover of sports and a sportsman himself, to whom Boys’ Town owes its existence. Observing the plight of the under-privileged youths and the need for social advancement, he requested time from the Methodist church to address their needs.

Boys’ Town was first located in a churchyard in Jones Town but later moved to Central Road in Trench Town, which was subsequently renamed Collie Smith Drive. Rev Sherlock employed sports at Boys' Town as the medium to instil discipline and motivate the boys into citizens. And he saw it as an opportunity for service. With the blessing of the government, the Methodist Church and the YMCA, along with gifts from a number of individuals, he secured some cricket gear and went to work with the boys of Trench Town.

In the process he was like a father to many of them and became known as “Father" Sherlock, although he was neither Anglican nor Roman Catholic.

The Boys' Town that he launched in 1940 became an inspiration for many of the young people there, serving as a leading institution in the development of youth and the community in general. It includes a basic school, an all-age school, and a HEART Training Institute as well as the cricket and football clubs.

Father had a special love for cricket and played with the boys himself in their competitions for many years.

He was not a slender man and when he went to bat and took his stance, he stood in front of the wicket, his large form obscuring it completely. It was an unspoken suggestion to the bowler that it was impossible to get him out bowled, although getting the umpire to uphold an appeal for leg-before-wicket was a distant possibility. And so he was able to produce long innings, much to the delight and inspiration of his Boys’ Town admirers. In later years, he embraced football, as it began overtaking cricket as the boys’ main sport interest.

Boys' Town produced outstanding individuals in many fields of sports, music, commerce, industry and the professions.

In addition to Collie Smith and Bob Marley, these include musician/singers Leroy Sibbles, Ken Boothe, and Tappa Zukie, along with nationally known cricketers and footballers Gladstone Robinson, Raymond Forrest, Churchill Neita, Locksley Comrie, Carl Brown, and Patrick Anderson. Collie Smith and Allan "Skill" Cole were among many who went on to represent the country.

Some players managed to secure international scholarships and player contracts through football while others who excelled in this area are now imparting their knowledge to others. Carl Brown was a former Technical Director of the Jamaican National Football team, the Reggae Boyz.

Father Sherlock was born in Portland in 1905 and was educated at Beckford and Smith School (now Saint Jago High School), Calabar High School and Caenwood Theological College in Jamaica. When he died in 1998 part of Boys’ Town’s soul went with him.

As the instigator and guiding light of Boys’ Town, Hugh Sherlock was one of the many who embraced the creative spirit of the National Movement, and he did so in a depressed urban area where the needs were sometimes greater. Later he was to write the words of the Jamaica National Anthem, which was set to music by Robert Lightbourne with orchestration by Mapletoft Poulle. He was the first Third World representative of the World Methodist Council to the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland.

His legacy at Boys' Town is formidable as hundreds of graduates continue to make contributions in various fields of endeavour.


- From my book


//

 
mikesiva 2016-05-16 02:02:44 

In reply to Ewart

Great one...thanks for that.
smile

 
ponderiver 2016-05-16 03:41:55 

In reply to Ewart

Nice Ewie ...... thanks for posting this

 
Ewart 2016-05-16 08:26:30 

Here is another...

Amy Bailey

When Labour Minister Jonathan Grant followed up on Premier Manley’s agreement with Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to admit young Jamaican women into Canada on a domestic helper scheme in the late 1950s, the first person he turned to was Amy Bailey and her Housecraft Training Centre.

An active supporter of Marcus Garvey, Amy Beckford Bailey (1895–1990) was one of the politically engaged voices of the 1930s to 1950s. She was widely known for her outstanding achievements as teacher, social worker, and feminist, and journalist. A strong, fearless Black woman, she felt that low wages and deplorable working conditions led many lower-class women to resort to prostitution, theft, and other vices, which in turn provided White Jamaican society with reasons to withhold full racial equality. Accordingly she believed that an improvement in the condition of poor Black women was a prerequisite for racial equality.

Like Una Marson, Amy Bailey was a writer for Public Opinion and her column Sweated Labour concentrated on the wages and working conditions of female factory workers who made up only a small percentage of the female labour force. She felt that the ten shillings a week that these women earned did not cover their basic necessities and she predicted that many would end up “in or pretty near the poor house (Public Opinion, May 15, 1937 and 5 June 1937). She focussed on the need for shorter working hours and a minimum wage. Because female factory workers were paid more on average than other working-class women, it was even more important to her that a minimum wage should be enacted.

She spoke out on the colour barrier and said that the position a Black girl could occupy in the labour market was determined not only by her education and thus class, but also by her gender and skin colour.

A forceful public speaker and organizer, Amy Bailey had a strong unmistakable voice. Like many of her colleagues, she embraced politics and deep involvement in social life as necessary co-partners with teaching.

The period of Jamaica’s history leading up to the labour disturbances of 1938 witnessed countless debates on the social, political and economic facets of life in Jamaica and she featured readily in many public meetings, debates and lectures. Venues like Ransom Hall, Ormsby Hall and Liberty Hall were popular for these public meetings and Amy Bailey could be seen and heard in all of these places.

She was a powerful and impressive feminist who proclaimed the need to enable young women through skills training. At the time, domestic helps and catering provided two of the few outlets for employment for young women. As a conscientious social worker, Bailey hounded friends and foes and put together some money for a large place at 4 Rosedale Avenue in Kingston. There she started the Housecraft Training Centre in 1945. The Jamaica Social Welfare fostered the venture and except for a housemother and a watchman it was not heavily staffed. The rooms upstairs were available to persons visiting Kingston and the place was operated as a training centre not only for domestic helpers but for women who would go on to work as chambermaids and cooks in the hotel industry.

Many young women benefitted from this institution. Those trained at the Centre learnt housecraft and grew to be respected. The graduates from Rosedale Avenue were to be found in many institutions, proudly practising what they learnt at the Centre. They never figured themselves as maids; they learnt self-esteem and held themselves as citizens of worth equal to anyone else. The Centre became an oasis for breakfast and luncheon meetings as well as an important forum where many of the politicians of the day gathered. The rates were good and so was the service.

Amy Bailey was born in Walderston, Manchester, the daughter of William Frederick Bailey, educator, and Anna Louise Beckford, his wife. Receiving her early education at Mount Olivet Elementary School, she went on to Shortwood Teachers’ College in 1915, excelled in her studies, debating and leadership, and graduated in 1917. She then held several teaching positions in schools in Kingston and Saint Andrew and became widely known for her outstanding achievements as teacher, social worker, and feminist, and as a Justice of the Peace. She was president of the Shortwood Old Students’ Association in 1936 and 1937, secretary of the Jamaica Save the Children’s Fund from 1938 – 1944 and vice-chairman (1944-45), and served as an executive member of the School Children’s Lunch Fund.

She also taught Commerce at the Kingston Technical School from 1920 to 1936. She gave much of her energies to the Jamaica Women’s Federation which had as its objective the general improvement and welfare of the women in Jamaica.

Not surprisingly, she was instrumental in the formation of the PNP and was elected to the party executive at its second conference in July 1940. In the same year she became treasurer of the Jamaica Poetry League, and was committed to the JUT, serving on the executive of the union and championing successfully the presidential campaign of Edith Dalton-James.

Between 1942 and 1944 she was deeply involved in the running of the Jamaica Women’s Liberal Club, which functioned as a political organization. Her other outstanding achievements included the distinction of having lectured at the Peace Conference, Glasgow and Oxford Group Conference held in Interlaken, Switzerland, in 1951. She also lectured in the United States in the same year on Jamaica’s educational and social history.

Jamaica has always been a land of strong women. Amy Bailey was one of the strongest.


//

 
birdseye 2016-05-16 09:39:06 

In reply to Ewart

From my book
Wow! An Author….fabulous……
as an under 12 year old grammar school student - I thought I was going to be an Author. – I had a teacher that literally killed us with English literature – I was particularly drawn to the English Poets, Percy Shelley, John Keats, Lord Byron and William Wordsworth…..
Shelley’s “To a Skylark” was a fav

Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from Heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

My folks had this pimento tree that the picherie birds use to make their nest in – the birds were fiercely protective of their nest with young ones - ---- I use to go sit under the tree for hours on end documenting all the bird’s movement , trying to synergize John Keats "Ode to a Nightingale" and Shelley’s “To a Skylark” ----- I had notebooks full of stuff that I would write and rewrite as I watched the birds behavior ------------of course the poems were much more than about birds – but I took it literally……..
Those were wonderful times though – my imagination was my reality----AH WELL.....

 
Ewart 2016-05-16 12:56:19 

In reply to birdseye

There was a time when I knew every line in the Skylark poem by Shelley (who is my fave). Loved Keats, Wordsworth Byron and Coleridge but cherished Shelley.

Also loved the great deceased Jamaican poets Vivian Murray, Philip Sherlock and Claude McKay, who was a strong inspirer of the Harlem Renaissance in the mid 20th century. His "If we must die" is a powerful and celebrated work...


//

 
mikesiva 2016-05-17 02:07:41 

In reply to Ewart

Amy Bailey...another good pick. A lot of young Jamaicans now might know the name, but can't tell you much about the great woman.
cool

 
Ewart 2016-05-17 08:59:28 

In reply to mikesiva

Bishop Gibson – “Percival Jamaica”

Known to all Jamaica as “Bishop Gibson” and to thousands of Kingston College (KC) boys simply as “Priest,” Anglican Bishop Percival William Gibson made a strong impact on Jamaica.

In a country where both social and political power were being devolved to the Black population, Percival Gibson stands out. He looked at the existing high schools and saw the need for a school for poor Black boys. The high schools had high fees and some even had high colour.

A Black son of Jamaica, he showed his people that they too could have access to education. He started out as just an ordinary priest at Saint George’s church on East Street, but he used his position to be a change agent in the complexion of Jamaica. He had the vision that through education there was a way out for the population who could neither go to the Myrtle Bank Hotel nor afford the fees at Jamaica College. Not only did he straddle positions of poverty and power, but he was a path breaker in both.

White Anglicans had ruled the church from the time the British came to Jamaica. While they also invariably taught school, Gibson made it his business to be the centre of a school for the upliftment of Black boys. He used the model of English clergy, but he anchored himself in a system that catered mainly to boys of a lower social rung, and set lower school fees for them.

This was an intrusion into a school system where you had to be White… or rich Black. He made the Blacks appreciate that education could really be within their grasp, and he moved it even further when he gave boys spaces at KC by arranging scholarships from Kingston and Saint Andrew churches.

As Bishop of Jamaica he rose to the pinnacle of church power not by church politics but by sheer weight of who he was and his clearly defined role in the church by then. He carpeted a walkway, and others tried to imitate but not necessarily with the same supreme sense of service beyond self.

A man of the people, he was certainly a man for the people. His dream was to build a new Jamaica by developing Christian character in its future leaders. He looked at the work of Norman Manley, the visionary and incorruptible socialist statesman as he went about building the National Movement, and found much to admire. Not surprisingly, it was at Chief Minister Manley’s suggestion that as Bishop he was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1954, and there “he was most lucid when he was most angry” as Robert Moore tells it in his Audacious Anglicans. His voice was never silent. During his five-years on the Council, his chief concern was getting the government to improve the appalling housing and sanitary conditions of the poor in the slums of West Kingston.

Born in 1893 to a lower middle class Black Anglican family, Percival Gibson went on scholarship to a Jesuit high school before entering Saint Peter’s College, the Anglican seminary in Kingston, and then made himself Jamaica’s most learned Anglican cleric. He studied externally with the University of London and gained three degrees, BD, BA Hons, and BD Hons.

He became a priest in 1912 and Curate of St George’s Church in Kingston. Moore depicts him “with fire on his tongue and public and private morality on his mind, his Sunday night sermons attracted large crowds ready to be inspired or chastened by this prophetic young priest whose head could barely be seen above the pulpit.”

Nothing, no-one, was spared. Even the Mighty Sparrow, Calypso King of Trinidad and the World, felt his sharp tongue.

When Bishop Gibson spoke trenchantly about the doom and damnation that would attend Sparrow’s visit to perform in Jamaica and called for him to be banned, it left the exasperated Calypso King fuming that he would eschew his Jean & Dinah and May-May calypsos, and sing Onward Christian Soldiers instead, if that was what the Bishop wanted. In the event, Sparrow did arrive and perform at the Courtleigh Manor Hotel. He did not sing Onward Christian Soldiers.

In 1925 Gibson got the imprimatur of the Bishop of Jamaica and founded a downtown school for boys. KC opened with 49 students and this young Black headmaster at a time when secondary school principals were almost all White Englishmen or women.

It was the adventure of his life. He saw KC as an antidote to the post-emancipation vacuum for it offered poor Black boys a secondary education, “admitting any boy – Black or not, illegitimate or not,” who met the entrance requirements and could pay the very affordable fees. He held an unswerving belief that, given the right opportunity, poor Black Jamaicans would prove themselves equal to or better than the best of the British.

Several alumni remember that when their financial circumstances could no longer keep them at the school, he paid their fees out of his own pocket or got a sympathetic businessman to do so.

Gibson wanted KC to be more than just an equalizer of opportunity. With the challenging motto Fortis cadere cedere non potest (The brave may fall but never yield), it was dedicated to the making of well-balanced Christian gentlemen, at home in the arts, the sciences and the humanities, au fait with the world as it is, but committed to the world as it ought to be.

So it is not surprising that he would use the priests purple shirt as a model for the KC colours of purple and white. And, like priests, the boys should show their love of God not just by their worship but by their compassion for the under-privileged, their active concern for justice in society, their critical love of Jamaica; and above all, by their incorruptibility in public life.

As headmaster of KC Bishop Gibson was a strong disciplinarian and expected very high standards of behaviour. But his charisma persuaded the boys that nothing less would do them justice. They knew that he was the soul of compassion and that he cared deeply about them.

In particular he was very concerned about the limiting domestic environment of the poorer boys, often seeing to it that his sympathisers in business fitted them out with the requirements for school. He usually found a way of providing a midday meal for those who could not afford one. And when he found he could no longer keep a boy at KC, as sometimes happened, he would take him up to Calabar and intercede on his behalf. Nevertheless, Bishop Gibson was a man who knew his people’s idiosyncrasies and language, and he had a sense of discipline and humour as the following stories will illustrate.

It was a Monday morning and the principal was issuing an ominous order to the boys assembled in the Augustine chapel. All the boys who attended the dance at the Saint Hugh’s High School for Girls on Saturday night were to stand.

When they did, they were all suspended, including several star players of the KC Gibson Cup tennis team which was poised for a repeat victory. The irony was that the cup they could now no longer win was donated by their own principal, Bishop Percival Gibson.

It was not the first or last time “Priest” would be giving his students a lesson in values. He did the same thing with the entire Manning Cup football team once. And then he went further. Calling the members of the KC Second XI to the field, he stood near the penalty spot, got each of them to take shots at goal, and from that exercise selected a team to replace the suspended boys for the next Manning Cup match.

KC old boys tell yet another story about their principal. With the form master away from the classroom two friends were horsing around when one said, "cho man, you is a rass!" One boy who was looking out the window saw the headmaster approaching and shouted, “Priest!” as everyone scrambled to their seats. To their astonishment the passing headmaster, a Bishop, looked in the window and said in a firm tone

Josephs! ‘You is? You is?’ No, you are!

An alumnus lends credence to this with the following anecdote. Priest, he said, was teaching a sixth form history class one day about an issue of public policy that could cause Sir Thomas More some difficulty. He cast his gaze momentarily across North Street towards the Roman Catholic Saint Georges College and, after a pregnant pause, and with a twinkle in his eye and tongue firmly in cheek, added,

… and what is more, he was a RC!

In 1947 Bishop Gibson was consecrated as Suffragan Bishop of Kingston, at which he declared himself married to the City and began signing himself “Percival Kingston.”

For the first time in British West Indian history, a descendant of Black slaves had become an Anglican bishop. Not that Priest was ready to give up his headmaster’s role. He remained both Suffragan Bishop and headmaster, much to the delight of the alumni and the students who could hardly imagine the school without him. Having previously declined an effort to elect him to the office, he became Bishop of Jamaica in 1955 amid much rejoicing, and now he declared he was married to Jamaica and signed himself “Percival Jamaica.”

The educator in him prompted a vigorous programme to renovate and expand existing Anglican primary schools and to create two high schools in the interior of the island as well as an Anglican Teachers’ Training College. He was determined to win the nation back to Christ and, like the Jesuits, he believed that education was one sure way.

Bishop Gibson put justice at the centre of his social thinking. He spoke out openly against injustice wherever he saw it and he came to be known as the conscience of the young nation. A little man, his voice was big and he never hesitated to use it fearlessly to condemn wrong and promote the morality he believed in. He retired in 1967.

When he died three years later Jamaicans felt his loss keenly, even his long-standing critics admitting that the country would always need a figure like him. He nurtured a strong resolve in an important part of Jamaican society to bring Christian principles to bear on the development dilemmas facing a small society struggling to throw off the culture of the plantocracy and the chains of colonialism in the mid-20th century. A genuine Jamaican treasure, he wore the unfilled shoes of a colossus.

 
ray 2016-05-17 13:54:16 

for ah minute, I thought it was diseased Jamaicans lol

 
mikesiva 2016-05-18 04:30:58 

In reply to Ewart

This one touches me personally...I grew up alongside Bishop Gibson's daughter-in-law and his grandson, Peter.
cool
He was certainly a man of the people...his daughter-in-law came from very modest circumstances.

Another of my nominees - Tacky!

'In 1760, some fifteen hundred enslaved black men and women— perhaps fewer but probably many more— took advantage of Britain’s Seven Year’s War against France and Spain, to stage a massive uprising in Jamaica, which began on April 7 in the windward parish of St. Mary’s and continued in the leeward parishes until October of the next year. Over the course of eighteen months the rebels killed as many as sixty whites and destroyed many thousands of pounds worth of property. During the suppression of the revolt over five hundred black men and women were killed in battle, executed, or committed suicide. Another 500 were transported from the island for life. Colonists valued the total cost to the island at nearly a quarter of a million pounds. “Whether we consider the extent and secrecy of its plan, the multitude of the conspirators, and the difficulty of opposing its eruptions in such a variety of places at once,” wrote planter-historian Edward Long in his 1774 History of Jamaica, this revolt was “more formidable than any hitherto known in the West Indies.”'

More here

Up to then, that was the greatest slave revolt in the history of the British empire....

 
JahJah 2016-05-18 05:24:22 

In reply to mikesiva

Technically, isn't Tacky a Ghanaian or whatever? lol

 
Ewart 2016-05-18 10:14:02 

In reply to JahJah

Hmmmmmm....

Interesting technicality.


And when would you make a person a Jamaican?

1834? Abolition & Apprenticeship?

1838? Full Freedom?

1938? Islandwide uprisings?

1944? Full adult voting rights?

1957? Internal Self-Government?

1962? Independence?


//

 
Priapus 2016-05-18 10:24:33 

Vybez Kartel?
I heard somewhere that he revolutionized dancehall music? BTW i heard that a BIM politician has called for the banning of dancehall music over the airwaves. Claims that it contributes to the moral decay of society?

Oh wait...my bad. He is still alive....if only behind bars.

 
JahJah 2016-05-18 11:27:53 

In reply to Ewart

Me nah know. You'll have to ask Tacky himself. lol lol

 
granite 2016-05-18 14:18:45 

Some ah de bess Jakans are deceased. lol lol lol
Please doh get uptight me honly joking.

 
Ewart 2016-05-18 18:07:26 

In reply to JahJah


lol lol lol


... and who do you suggest I should check for dat?


wink


//

 
Ewart 2016-05-18 22:36:21 

Mary Morris Knibb

An educator, benefactor, teacher, social worker and pioneer, Mary Morris Knibb rose to become the first elected woman representative of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the first female councillor of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC).

It was March 8, 1939, that she won the by-election for a seat in the KSAC, taking 1,231 votes, which was double the votes of both her rivals combined – an accomplishment attributed to her record of civic leadership and commitment to excellence.

That record was established on two strong foundations – a preparatory school which bore her name and prepared students for high school, and her membership and leadership of two social organisations – The Women’s Liberal Club (WLC) and the JFW which exerted lasting impact on the country at large. She played leading roles in both. But first, the preparatory school.

Morris Knibb established the school at 5 Hector Street in 1928.

At the time the gateway into secondary education for elementary school children was extremely narrow, and parents who wanted their children to have a good chance of getting into one of the existing high schools were prepared to extend themselves and pay for that chance. With smaller classes and devoted teachers, the preparatory schools began opening the gates a little wider.

Morris Knibb’s school was one of the earliest of its kind, and one of the best, and many still sing their pleasure at their experience there. Among its most famous students are noted surgeon John Hall and entertainer Harry Belafonte. Today the school is located at 1 Miraflores Drive in Saint Andrew.

The WLC was established in 1936 and it comprised middle-class Black women, many of whom were teachers.

The organisation devoted itself to the social uplift of poor Black women, advocated for strengthened participation of women in politics, and attempted to foster racial pride and national spirit.

As President of the WLC – which included outstanding women including Edith Clarke, Amy Bailey and Lady Huggins, the wife of Sir John Huggins the Governor – Mary Morris Knibb organised a Deaconess fund for the Moravian church which was designed to promote leadership among girls.

Her leadership aspirations propelled her to become the co-founder and vice-president of the Moravian Women's Fellowship, and founder of the Shortwood Teacher's College Alumni Association.
She was a champion of women's rights and was an active part of the National Movement’s promotion of suffrage since she was at the forefront of women's struggle for the right to vote.

However, while her greatest achievement was as the founder and manager of the preparatory school, her other great passion was her role in the assault on common-law relationships through mass weddings which were promoted by the JFW.

Born in 1881, Mary Morris Knibb was a foundation member of the JFW which put sound planks in the foundation of the emerging middle class. The JFW was really a social welfare organisation founded by Lady Allan, Lilly Mae Burke, Mary Morris Knibb and other Jamaican women and supported energetically by Molly Huggins, wife of the Governor, Sir John Huggins.

Soon, almost every senior female teacher and principal became a member, evidence of which was a round button they wore with the words Jamaica Federation of Women encircling a map of Jamaica.

Many men and women had been living together in homes and were bringing up families but had not entered into marriage. Mary Morris Knibb took note of that and started the idea of mass weddings. Lady Huggins, having attended a mass wedding soon after her arrival in December 1943, endorsed Morris-Knibb’s initiative and assumed the position of a spokesperson.

By 1944 there was a mass wedding committee in place which Lady Huggins chaired as president and patron. She once brought back 900 gold rings for mass weddings from a women's conference in the United States. By the end of the 1940s, the JFW had taken over the organisation of most of the mass weddings.

The mass weddings caught on, and Mary Morris Knibb took up the cause with zeal. While the idea of the JFW was to provide a social outlet for women and to organise them as a social force in a country where they had no real voice, the mass weddings of Miss Married Knibb, as Louise Bennett dubbed her, was the method by which she tried to replace illegitimacy and concubinage with marriage.

In mass weddings, the gold wedding rings were made available free by the JFW, and several couples would be married at the same place and time to reduce expense.

City Mission Bishop Mary Louise Coore, who was one of the earliest ordained female ministers in Jamaica and – it appears – the island’s first female marriage officer, and Bishop Delrose Lucille Walters joined forces with the JFW in organising mass weddings in Kingston's inner cities.

The first mass marriage recorded was held at the City Mission in July 1939. Many of these ceremonies were held at the headquarters of the City Mission churches at 15 Blount Street in Hannah Town, West Kingston.

In Montego Bay, forty-one couples were married, kick-starting JFW's home-building concept. The popularity of these weddings gained even more support when Louise Bennett promoted them in her poem Mass Wedding, excerpts of which follow:

[i]Me meet one boonoonoonos man
At Matches Stick last night
As me clap me y'eye upon de chile
Me head begin get light.
De ongle time him look pon me
Me heart dis go buff-bim
Him nice an 'tall soh tell ah hooda
Go into jail fe him.
Me want go fine out wey him live,
So afta pickcha dun,
Me meck afta him, but crowd so tick,
Me noh see weh him tun.
Soh me goin' to de lady name
Miss Married Knibbs to see
Ef she can fine him an fix up
One mass wedden fe me.[/i]

Mass weddings were spectacular public rites of accessing citizenship in the 1940s and 1950s and constituted a campaign to reduce high rates of illegitimacy.

These weddings were attended by prominent public officials, social workers and members of the community. In a 1941 wedding in Kingston, 36 couples were married at the City Mission, in two ceremonies to accommodate the large numbers, and the officiating clergy came from several denominations.

Spectators gathered early to watch, but only those with invitation cards were allowed inside; these could be purchased for a small cost to defray the expenses of the public weddings. The WLC provided gowns and rings and paid for the celebrations.

The brides were led down the aisle by a member of the Club who, as their sponsor, gave them away in marriage. The men were escorted by Jim Russell, the Civil Registrar of births, deaths, and marriages, and a central figure in the movement. He boasted that mass weddings had significantly reduced illegitimacy in Jamaica.

By the mid 1950s, however, the numbers of couples who could be encouraged to undergo these ceremonies had dwindled, as had the public interest. In addition to promoting marriage, the JFW began promoting the registration of fathers on a child’s birth certificate, and was one of several groups that waged campaigns against bachelor fatherhood. This led Louise Bennett to write the poem Registration, some lines of which follow:

[i]For it eena newspapa
Sey ooman Federation
Dah-pass law fe all fada name
Go dung pon registration![/i]

Mary Morris Knibb died on September 21, 1964 at her home in Woodford Park, St Andrew, at the age of 83. She was honoured when the church hall at the Redeemer Moravian Church was named after her. The church hall and the Extension College on the grounds of the preparatory school are seen as edifices to her philosophy of self-reliance and development.

The headquarters site and building adjacent to the preparatory school were bequeathed to the Moravian Church by her. As part of its 250th anniversary year celebrations in collaboration with the Postal Corporation of Jamaica, the Church launched a commemorative stamp series to honour her and two other of its stalwarts.

From: We Come From Jamaica: The National Movement 1937-1962


//

 
mikesiva 2016-05-19 06:04:32 

In reply to Ewart and JahJah

Yes, Tacky's what they called a Coromantee, and they originated in what's now Ghana.
smile
For this thread, I've defined a Jamaican as either someone who's born in Jamaica, or someone who died in Jamaica. And Tacky died in Jamaica....

Good one on Mary Morris Knibb....

 
Ewart 2016-05-19 15:19:04 

Cedric Titus -- gave leadership of the Cane Farmers Association to small Black sugar-cane farmers.


//

 
mikesiva 2016-05-20 04:20:26 

In reply to Ewart

'Ottawa: Ewart Walters (Editor), Boyd McRubie Communications, 2010. 1st ed. 8vo, wrps, 141 p., photos. New Paperback 9780981250403 "Cedric "Sugar Boy" Titus emerged in the parish of Trelawny which was the centre of sugar-cane operations in Jamaica. It was a time when sugar was supreme and ruled by the plantocracy—a ruling class formed by the White owners of the sugar-cane industry. Sugar Boy brought fundamental change to the industry. Speaking truth to power, he secured a better deal for the Black cane farmers who grew sugar cane on their small plots.Sugar Boy was a giant who played a major role in breaking down mental slavery and building the new Jamaican nation in the early part of the 20th Century. The untimely death of this trailblazer in a bizarre traffic accident blighted the bright promise of even greater achievement for the country he loved. But, thanks to his family, his legacy is secure, captured for posterity in this book."'

Link Text
big grin

 
Ewart 2016-05-20 07:25:57 

In reply to mikesiva

Heh heh. big grin big grin big grin


Sugar Boy sells for $20.00. They have a mark up of $25.00 and they do not even have the book!

rolleyes


//

 
Drapsey 2016-05-20 08:18:30 

In reply to Ewart

In Montego Bay, forty-one couples were married, kick-starting JFW's home-building concept. The popularity of these weddings gained even more support when Louise Bennett promoted them in her poem Mass Wedding, excerpts of which follow:

What about Miss Lou herself, no love for the 'great' one?

 
Ewart 2016-05-20 09:48:02 

In reply to Drapsey

All right then... Here she is:


Louise Bennett – The Soul of Jamaica

[i]Evening Time, work is over – now is evening time…
Ress yuhself at ease, feel the evening breeze[/i]

– Louise Bennett, Busha Bluebeard Pantomime 1957

Louise Bennett-Coverley, “Miss Lou,” died at her Toronto home on July 26, 2005 and was honoured with an official funeral in Kingston, on August 9 at National Heroes Park. Writer, actress, poet, singer, folklorist, comedienne, queen of culture, and Soul of Jamaica, she lived in Canada for the last decade of her life, and built up a wide following of Jamaican nationals in Toronto and across Canada.

Born in Jamaica on September 7, 1919, Miss Lou was an international figure. Her obituaries appeared in several of the world’s major media including the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the London Times, The Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, the Sun Sentinel, the Scotsman, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Dallas Morning News, the BBC, the CBC, the Victoria Times Colonist, the Gleaner, the Jamaica Observer and the New York Times.

Miss Lou’s father owned a bakery in Spanish Town but died when she was only seven. Her mother, an accomplished dressmaker, instilled respect (“everybody was a lady — the fish lady, the yam lady, the store lady, the teacher lady”), and nurtured her, unknowingly setting the stage for the most influential figure in Jamaican culture.

She was a model professional on stage, radio, and television. In her many roles she demonstrated that Jamaican Creole could be the medium of significant art. She began performing at church concerts, around campfires and for her school friends at an early age. But she knew she wanted to write.

Her early attempts were in Standard English. Then, one day, as a well-dressed teenager boarding a tramcar, she heard a market woman at the back say to another, “’Pread out yuself, one dress-ooman a come!” The remark grabbed her attention and became the basis of her first dialect poem, Spread out yuself Liza.

She began to wonder why more Jamaican writers were not writing about local realities and in the language many people spoke, instead of writing in the same old English way about Autumn and things like that. Later in her career, she would write in defence of Jamaica talk. In her poem Bans a Killin, the persona enquires with wicked wit:

[i]Meck me get it straight, Mass Charlie,
For me no quite understan —
Yuh gwine kill all English dialec
Or jus Jamaica one?[/i]

[i]Dah language weh yuh prou o’
Wha yuh honour and respeck
Po’ Mass Charlie: Yuh noh know sey
Dat it spring from dialect![/i]

Louise Bennett was a teenager when she first appeared at a 1936 Christmas Day concert at Coke Hall, reciting a poem in dialect.

She received a prize of two guineas from impresario Eric Coverley and bought a pair of shoes with the money. Following in the footsteps of Jamaican poets Claude McKay and Inez Knibb Sibley (great grand-daughter of Baptist missionary William Knibb who authored a number of books including one in dialect called Quashie’s Reflections), she continued to write in dialect. Not surprisingly, she was ostracised by the educated in what was yet colonial Jamaica.

But the people loved her and brightened up whenever they heard their language in her skits, her songs or her poetry. She saluted this love in return by fashioning her costume after that of the traditional Jamaican market woman. The fabric, she explained, was not African but originated in India – as did many residents of Jamaica.

She performed in her first Christmas pantomime in 1943, and she and Ranny Williams quickly became the leading duo of Jamaican theatre. They wrote many pantomimes, in the process converting the pale imitation of English pantomime into the vibrant Jamaica Pantomime. They also created the popular Lou and Ranny Show for JBC radio.

Her most influential recording is probably her 1954 rendition of the Jamaican traditional song Day Dah Light, which was recorded by Harry Belafonte as Day O, also known as The Banana Boat Song. Belafonte's famous version was one of the 1950s' biggest hit records, leading to the very first gold record ever awarded.

In 1945 she won a British Council scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and was the first Black student there. She then hosted a BBC radio show, Caribbean Carnival, and worked with repertory companies and revues all over England. On her return to Jamaica two years later she taught drama to youth and adult groups in social welfare agencies and for the Extra-Mural Department of the University College of the West Indies.

More to the point, she threw herself fully into her work with Jamaica Welfare as a devotee to and emissary of the National Movement, working through organisations like the Jamaica Federation of Women, the Jamaica Agricultural Society, and the 4-H Clubs to help create the new Jamaica.

This took her to schoolrooms all over Jamaica at night, teaching the people through poetry and song about their mores, who they were and how they should aspire to live. Her poetry then was not the tour de force it became later. It was her singing in that infectious style of hers that endeared her to people.

And what was she singing about? I first heard two of those songs in the Mannings Hill schoolroom one rainy Saturday night in 1949. One proclaimed the virtues of courtesy:

[i]Treat everybody good and square
Gi’ horse him grass, gi’ puss him pear
Mine yuh manners, don't forget
Howdy and tenky bruk no square[/i]

[i]Cho: Howdy, howdy do
Tenky, thank you’
Beg yuh pardon, excuse me
Practise up yuh courtesy[/i].

The other encouraged people who could not afford beef, to “cook a chicken” which they could easily raise in their yards.

[i]Cook a chicken
Cook a chicken
Take my advice there is nothing nicer
Cook a chicken[/i]

But Miss Lou was finding it hard to make a living and so she returned to England for a time and then went to New York where she and Eric Coverley directed a musical, “Day in Jamaica,” which opened at Saint Martin’s Little Theatre in Harlem and moved around church halls in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

They soon got married and returned home where she was appointed drama officer with the Jamaica Social Welfare Commission and ultimately its director from 1959 to 1963, one year after the change of government. From 1966 until 1982 she composed and delivered Miss Lou's Views, topical four-minute radio monologues.

I had the honour of sharing the stage with Miss Lou in two pantomimes in 1957 and 1958.

You hear about prima donnas, and you know Miss Lou was the first lady of stage. But the prima donna thing was not for her; she never displayed those qualities. She was just Miss Lou.

And therein lay her great charm. When she died, I reflected briefly on Jamaica’s national heroes. If Garvey's mission was Black pride and pan-Africanism, and Bustamante's was to launch a labour movement, the mission of Norman Manley was to forge a national identity.

Post emancipation, Norman and Edna Manley were the hand that rocked the cradle of Jamaican culture. For they gathered around them artists, writers, sculptors, musicians, actors and singers – including Louise Bennett. And they stoked the flame of nationalism which she caught and spread far and wide with her songs, stories, poems and performances.

Miss Lou credits her mother for handing the culture down to her, and preparing her for her life’s work. Beyond that, however, was her own spirit – buoyant, resilient and creative. I believe people will one day realise that her impact on Jamaica has been as great as that of any of our National Heroes. The day after I had that thought, I found an obituary by Antiguan Professor Gus John of the University of London. Here are excerpts:

"Her death marks the passing of a legend. Never mind historical icons such as Alexander Bustamante and Norman Manley; Louise Bennett was the mother, father, and soul restorer of the Jamaican nation.

"No one had done more to assist the Jamaican people in understanding themselves and their uniqueness as a people crafted from the ravages of slavery and colonialism than Miss Lou. The Honourable Marcus Mosiah Garvey focused upon the African identity of Jamaican and other African heritage people in the Diaspora and the need for us to reconnect with Africa and reclaim our heritage in the Motherland.

"Miss Lou devoted a lifetime to helping the nation to understand who it is, where it came from, how where it came from shaped who it is, and how, in the process, ways of communicating were forged which were unique to Jamaica and the way the nation experienced and related to its world and to the world outside itself.

"She brought the art of dramatic expression to her exploration, interpretation and use of the Jamaican language, validating it as a language long before it was accredited as such in the 1960s, largely through the work of people like Frederic Cassidy and Robert Le Page.

"The bibliography in the seminal writings of both these academics, especially Jamaica Talk (Cassidy: 1961) and Dictionary of Jamaican English (Cassidy & Le Page: 1967) include references to Louise Bennett's work dating back to 1942 when the Gleaner published her Dialect Verses.

"She did more than most to develop an awareness and understanding of Jamaican folklore, of the sayings, proverbs and philosophies, the values and principles of the ordinary working people. Using the medium of poetry, drama and storytelling in what was predominantly an oral tradition, Miss Lou put the Jamaican people in touch with themselves, with their wisdom, their irony and their quirkiness.

"Above all, she put them in touch with their inner selves and their connectedness to Africa by pointing up the fact that the entire society, and its culture, is riddled with African retentions."

To be sure, long before that, Miss Lou had attracted serious analysis and praise from Jamaican professors Rex Nettleford, who described her as “a performer, accomplished and unrivalled,” and Mervyn Morris, who took the trouble to study her and write the assessment, On Reading Louise Bennett Seriously at a time when many in the society were still turning up their noses at her efforts.

In 2003, at age 83, after living in Canada for several years, Miss Lou was invited to pay an official visit to Jamaica as the guest of the PJ Patterson Government. The welcome she received was lavish, emotional, genuine and universal. Jamaicans found they were reaching out to a part of themselves they suddenly discovered they had lost and had been yearning for. She was deeply touched by her reception and spoke about it with great joy on her return to Canada.

Two years earlier my wife Merle and I spent a long day with her because I was interviewing her for the video called Visiting with Miss Lou. It was a very instructive occasion. We learnt much more about our mores, our expressions, our history, our culture. And it is culture – not race, not colour, but culture – that is the essential element of a people.

And what is Jamaican culture? One definition of culture says culture should be regarded as the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society, and that it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, ways of living together, traditions and beliefs.

So, culture in the Jamaican sense, in Miss Lou’s sense, is: cotta, grand market, boogooyaaga, yabba, grater-cake, labrish, mango-time, rolling calf, jonkunoo, August Mawnin, pantomime, fenkeh-fenkeh, dinki-mini, jerk pork, blue draws, dookunno, dance-hall, patties, dat, asham, mento, gizzaada, church, kin-teet, kin poopalick, blue draws, do-good man, pasero, my points, key-spar, pocomania, copasetic, six-love, nine-night, duppy, ska, cut-eye, clear off, boonoonoonoos, walk off, pocomania, everything is everything, kiss me neck, level vibes, ’ug up dat, yow! and gweh!

Miss Lou transcended all barriers. She was happiest among children, and her Ring Ding show on the JBC, which was scheduled to last seven months and ended up lasting 12 years, is eloquent tribute to that.

In the process, she created her alter ego, Auntie Roachie, who spoke her deepest thoughts for her. But she was at ease among all age groups, all races, because she was always herself – the cheerful raconteur of stories, depicting the culture of Jamaica; depicting the Jamaican.

As Gleaner columnist Melville Cooke wrote on August 3, 2006,

"When Miss Lou went to be with her very wise Auntie Roachie, I do not know how many people realised how revolutionary a person she was – cherubic smile, headwrap, bandana material and all. In a society where the unruly tongues of the Black majority have been subjected to as much straightening and controlling attempts as their equally unruly hair (with far less success), Miss Lou gave us the licence to 'chat we chat.' The process of legitimising language is a long and tenuous one, which requires not only that it is spoken in informal, but also in formal settings.

Evening Time, Miss Lou; [i]Evening Time...
Ress yuhself at ease[/i].


PS: You need to buy the book. Let me know.

big grin big grin


//

 
Drapsey 2016-05-20 10:12:00 

In reply to Ewart

There was one poem with lines like ...

Mi pawn the pound and stretch and draw, and try fi mek it stretch.

Can't remember the title.

Used to recite it in concerts as a kid, but since drifted away.

 
CWWeekes 2016-05-20 10:44:08 

Mr. Ewart, do you have a piece on
Rudolph Burke? Seems to have been a black man of influence in the Busta/Manley era. As a child remembered him as president of the JAS (Jamaica Agricultural Society).

 
Wally-1 2016-05-20 10:51:00 

Any list has to start with the national heroes/heroine

Marcus Garvey
Sam Sharpe
Paul Bogle
Nanny
Norman Manley
Alexander Bustamante
William Gordon

 
camos 2016-05-20 12:29:32 

Bag a Wire!

 
Ewart 2016-05-20 17:39:36 

In reply to camos





lol lol lol


Bun dung Cross Roads!


lol lol lol

//

 
Ewart 2016-05-20 17:40:22 

In reply to Wally-1

Did you get (and read) your copy of the book??


//

 
Ewart 2016-05-20 17:41:33 

In reply to CWWeekes

He was indeed. A truly great man. No, I don't....I have to research him.



//

 
Ewart 2016-05-20 18:46:51 

Edwin Leopold Allen, BA., (at a time when BA really meant something!)

Allen was instrumental is sending young women off to study nursing in the UK; in helping create markets for ginger farmers; and, as Minister of Education in the Bustamante and Shearer governments, in preaching the gospel of Comprehensive Education, getting children at Kingston Senior School to do the Senior Cambridge Exam, and looking out for the welfare of poor, primary school students through what he called the 70:30 system.


//

 
mikesiva 2016-05-21 04:40:50 

In reply to Ewart

Mary Seacole,1805 – 14 May 1881 - the only international Jamaican discussed in the English state schools curriculum, circa 1980's. ( Although plans were afoot in 2012 to remove her from it )

Best known for her nursing abilities - knowledge of herbal treatments - & care of british soldiers during the Crimean war, she was also praised for her work in Central. America, the Caribbean & Britain. Often acclaimed by her more famous english contemporary Florence Nightingale, she was posthumously awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit in 1991 and voted the greatest black Briton in 2004.

More here

 
Ewart 2016-05-21 11:03:18 

In reply to mikesiva

She went where Florence Nightingale feared to go... she went to aid wounded soldiers on the battlefield.


She is also remembered by the UCWI/UWI which named its female hall of residence the Mary Seacole Hall.


//

 
Ewart 2016-05-21 20:15:05 

Rose Agatha Leon, popularly known as Madame Leon, wife of Councillor Arthur "Crankhandle" Leon, cosmetologist, beauty consultant and redoubtable Member of Parliament. Was Minister in JLP government but disagreed with Bustamante and joined the PNP, becoming a Minister in 1972 under Michael Manley.

RIP.


//

 
mikesiva 2016-05-22 05:14:30 

In reply to DukeStreet

'Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, OM (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981) was a Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter, musician, and guitarist who achieved international fame and acclaim. Starting out in 1963 with the group The Wailers, he forged a distinctive songwriting and vocal style that would later resonate with audiences worldwide. The Wailers would go on to release some of the earliest reggae records with producer Lee "Scratch" Perry. After the Wailers disbanded in 1974, Marley pursued a solo career upon his relocation to England that culminated in the release of the album Exodus in 1977, which established his worldwide reputation and produced his status as one of the world's best-selling artists of all time, with sales of more than 75 million records. Exodus stayed on the British album charts for fifty-six consecutive weeks. It included four UK hit singles: "Exodus", "Waiting in Vain", "Jamming", and "One Love". In 1978 he released the album Kaya, which included the hit singles "Is This Love" and "Satisfy My Soul". Diagnosed with a type of malignant melanoma in 1977, Marley died on 11 May 1981 in Miami at the age of 36. He was a committed Rastafari who infused his music with a sense of spirituality. He is considered one of the most influential musicians of all time and credited with popularizing reggae music around the world, as well as serving as a symbol of Jamaican culture and identity. Marley has also evolved into a global symbol, which has been endlessly merchandised through a variety of mediums.'

The great Bob Marley

 
Ewart 2016-05-22 16:22:54 

In reply to mikesiva

Herb McKenley

An Olympian’s Olympian, Herb McKenley lit the bright flame of top-class sprinting in the hearts of his countrymen half-way through the 20th Century. His anguished journey from one disappointment to another, through two Olympic second places – although he finished in the same time as the declared winners – in races he should have won, was followed with empathy by his fans.


But when he dug deep and propelled himself and the Jamaican team to gold in the 4x400 at the 1952 Olympics with a run for the ages on the third leg, we all knew that he had overcome; that he was free at last.

Renown and humility found harmonious dwelling in this man whose deeds are writ large not only in the Jamaican lexicon, but also deep in the hearts of Jamaicans everywhere.


By the time he arrived in Helsinki for the 1952 Olympics at age 30, he had all Jamaica behind him with high expectation. Today, if track-and-field cognoscenti think of Jamaica as “The Sprint Factory” – and they do – there is one reason, one cause for this enduring effect. Its name? Herb McKenley.


The beginnings were promising. Born July 10, 1922, Herbert Henry McKenley was known as a top sprinter while running for Calabar High School. He earned a track scholarship in 1942 to Boston College and won the US National AAU championship over 400 metres in 1943, a title he retained until 1949. Running at Berkeley, California, for the University of Illinois on June 28, 1947, he became the first native of Jamaica to set a world record for 440 yards with 46.3 seconds.


By the Olympic season of 1948 he was in sparkling form. But he was beset by a string of disappointments that nevertheless gained him more sympathy and support from his growing network of fans. In the 1948 Olympic Games, it was widely expected that Herb would win the 400 metres race.


Arriving in London as a passenger on the Queen Elizabeth, he was confident that having crossed the Atlantic to run the 400 metres he was not going to be beaten in it. But having already run out of the medals in the 200m final, McKenley dramatically misjudged his final surge in the 400m final and was overtaken 50 metres from the 400 metre tape by his long-striding team-mate Arthur Wint.

Come the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, and once again Herb’s name was on everybody’s lips with great expectation.

But disappointment visited again. This was the scene of twice coming second in the same time as the winner. Entered in all three sprint events, he came through with an extraordinary finish in the final of the 100 metres and was hailed by commentators as the winner.

But then the American sprinter Lindy Remingino, who thought he had come in second, was judged to take the 100 in a time 1/100th of a second faster than Herb. Heartbreak! It was so close that they had to use a set-square on the photo-finish to decide it. McKenley was shocked and disappointed, as was Jamaica. “The fairest thing would have been to declare a draw," McKenley said. "But I will not protest."

Four days later, in the 400m final, team-mate George Rhoden led into the home straight and McKenley, more cautious than four years before, and diagnosed with anemia after the race, just failed to catch him. Both were timed in 45.9 seconds. But in the 4x400 metres relay, with a performance of sheer greatness, McKenley finally garnered the elusive gold.

Taking the baton for the third leg 10 metres in arrears and staring defeat in its face, McKenley sped to the greatest performance recorded in the 4x400 metres relay to send Rhoden and the Jamaican team to the podium for gold and place Jamaica on a path to Olympic glory. It was the fastest time ever recorded for that distance. Jubilation! In Jamaica The Gleaner headline blazed.

Congratulatory telegrams and cables raced across the wires. The Governor gazetted a public holiday. The pictures that were published on the front page of the Daily Gleaner, are still etched in my mind; the quartet of Arthur Wint, Les Laing, Herb McKenley and George Rhoden standing on the Helsinki track before the race, their heads bowed, their arms draped over each other’s shoulders in prayer; and another picture of the quartet after the race, with a happy Herb McKenley smiling broadly.

He had much to smile about. A world record performance, it was a race for the ages. Jamaica ranked fifth with two gold and three silver medals in that Helsinki Olympiad. Indeed, this was the start of Jamaica’s dominance in track and field, a dominance that still bewilders sports anthropologists. Herb McKenley is the inspiration for that dominance. Jamaica had arrived.

As his fame grew, doctors, perplexed by his astounding ability, discovered he had a heart twice the size of the normal athlete’s, as well as very low blood pressure, both of which allowed him to recover quickly after exertion.

But McKenley’s big heart was always in Jamaica. In 1950 he submitted to the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association an eight-point programme to develop track and field. Accepted, the programme which included advice to establish branch offices, led to the development of athletics clubs across the island.

So back he came to Jamaica and Jamaican athletics. He was appointed Supervisor of Athletics in Jamaica effective August 1, 1954, and coached the national team from 1954 to 1973. He also coached the West Indies Federation team for the 1960 Olympics in Rome. He was both manager and coach of the Rest of the World team versus the Soviet Union in 1971.

As a coach, sports administrator and leader of the team to several Olympiads, he motivated generations of Jamaicans to reach for greatness on the track. And he went back to his old school Calabar, coaching the athletics team to 17 of 18 victories, and not seeking pay for his efforts.

Having been appointed to a government job as athletics coach, McKenley was one of many who were swept from grace when another party took the reins in 1962 and made Jamaica aware of a new term, “political victimisation.” Ironic then that, encouraged by Prime Minister Hugh Shearer, his one attempt to run for political office was under the banner of that same party. He took his defeat at the polls with characteristic grace and threw himself with even greater devotion into his coaching activities.


He taught his athletes the elements of running – from start to finish. He produced coaching regimes for each athlete in his care, and drilled the value of wind-sprints and running longer distances for endurance. He taught the technique of quarter-mile running with the oft repeated caution, “take it easy on the backstretch.”

Above all, he taught the value of teamwork, pointing out for instance that a win in the relays was better than a win as an individual since it produced more points at the annual school’s athletic championships, Champs. And he taught the elements and discipline of baton-passing, that the Olympic baton-change (with the receiving hand open on the hip) was safer but the American baton-change was faster, and then insisting that his charges use the safer one. After all they did have to get the baton around the track!


But he also recognised that his name and his presence meant something and so he leaned heavily on his ability to inspire, pulling out old scrapbooks with photographs of his exploits for each wide-eyed devotee, and thus lighting the fire in the soul of his young charges.


McKenley is still the only male athlete to have reached an Olympic final in all three of the classic sprint events, 100, 200 and 400 metres.

He was the first man to run the quarter mile under 45 seconds. He was at various times world record holder at 300 yards, 440 yards, 300 metres and 400 metres. At a time when outdoor track meets were usually run on dirt or grass, he ran the quarter-mile under 47 seconds on 65 occasions.

After he hung up his own celebrated spikes he paved the way for the annual expeditions of Jamaican high school teams to the Penn Relays. With his encouragement and considerable input, Jamaica high school teams first ran at Penn in 1964. Now, each year they play dominating roles, adding vibrant new life to the Relays, where vociferous, flag-waving fans – many cheering for Jamaica – create an intense, international atmosphere.


With all that – including admission to Jamaica’s new Track and Field Hall of Fame, and national honours from Jamaica – McKenley remained humble. Felled by illness in 1998, and seeing the get-well messages come pouring in, he was to say with pure sincerity that he had no idea that so many people remembered him and thought so well of him.

Herbert McKenley, Olympic athlete, coach and pride of Jamaica, ran his last lap on November 26, 2007, at age 85, and his body was laid to rest by a grateful Jamaica in the National Heroes’ Park.


//

 
DonD 2016-05-22 17:39:50 

Great reading through this thread on a pleasant Sunday afternoon. Special thanks to Ewart for his contributions. Two observations:
Where does our unique brand of swearing fit into our culture? Did Louise Bennett acknowledge it's significance or she just dismissed it as a nuisance factor?
Secondly; kind of hard to talk about great Jamaicans without reference to Dr. Thomas Lecky arguably one of the greatest contributors to tropical cattle breeding.

 
Ewart 2016-05-22 18:39:30 

In reply to DonD

I do not see Louise saying anything about our patented brand of swearing. She might have... but I have not seen it.

However, the late Professor D.K. Gordon of the University of Manitoba and a Calabar old boy, published a book some 12 - 15 years ago in which he spoke volubly about "Rass" and other interesting words.


On Dr. Lecky, see the next post following this. big grin big grin big grin


//

 
Ewart 2016-05-22 18:47:58 

In reply to DonD


Thomas Phillip Lecky

Thomas Lecky wrote an exceptional chapter in the history of Jamaica. A man of unparalleled devotion, his phenomenal exploits in animal husbandry and breeding created a shining legacy for the emerging nation. What is more, his unique work was propelled by his rural upbringing and his determination to do something that would make life better for the rural poor. That he was able at the same time to set an internationally proclaimed benchmark was more to the good. Dr Lecky’s strength was his abiding belief in Jamaica and its abilities to provide for itself.

In this belief he was strongly influenced by the teachings of Marcus Garvey, as well as Norman and Edna Manley. Resilient with a capital “R,” Dr Lecky knew who he was and what he needed to do, and he took watchful note of the many elements in the society that were intent on maintaining the status quo. That was not his plan. He would blaze new trails. His interest in cattle farming and deep concern for the poor people of the island led to the development in Jamaica of three new breeds of cattle suited to a tropical environment, and his technique has influenced cattle-breeding practices around the world.

His creation, the Jamaica Hope, described as the greatest success story in dairy cattle-breeding in the region, gained recognition worldwide, and the breeding plan has been used extensively in New Zealand. It was the determination with which he pursued and applied his research that was the key.

Cattle herds in Jamaica before Dr Lecky’s time were Red Poll Black Poll, Hereford, Guernsey, Jersey, Mysore and Nellore (Indian), Zebu, or a mix of breeds. There were well known cattle owners at Roper's in Saint Ann, Kerr Jarrett’s in Montego Bay, John G Miller in Clarendon, Worthy Park in Saint Catherine, Agualta Vale in Saint Mary and other places. But no one was doing any research except to multiply more and more of the particular breed.

Then there was this young man who had some peculiar ideas. He had worked with the various breeds at Hope Farm but found that in each there was a shortcoming not amenable to the tropical climate of Jamaica. Some were purely beef cattle, some purely dairy cattle; some were work cattle that would be seen pulling ploughs, and some were show cattle which South American businessmen liked to buy to improve their herds.

Lecky was searching for an all-purpose cow that could withstand Jamaica’s drought and grass conditions, could produce meat, could produce milk, and could also show. Accordingly he began to cross breeds and keep records in exercise books of every cow that received semen and what the offspring was.

This pioneer scientist was born December 31, 1904, the 12th of 13 children, and grew up in Swift River, Portland, on the slopes of the Blue Mountains. There he watched his neighbours struggle with poverty and poor farming practices. This made him want to change his community for the better. His father was a farmer, and he took an interest in livestock from an early age.

The Government Farm School was modelled on McGill University’s McDonald College in Canada, and its focus was rural agriculture. The Chairman of the Farm School Board was HH Cousins who was not only foundational in developing the testing and breeding of the various imported breeds of cattle, but also helped in shaping the mind of the young Lecky who noted in his autobiography how he handled the matter of colour prejudice which was still prevalent.

The preference of the large farms and estates was for the fairer-skinned students and unless the Black students were from well-to-do parents they could not find employment on the large farms and estates. The few Black students found employment with the Government or on their fathers’ farms… Cousins disliked the colour barrier as was seen in the employment of the staff in the Department of Agriculture. For example he objected to the dismissal of a graduate of the Farm School which he felt was due to colour and he employed him in the Department on the same day...

I am grateful to Cousins for transcending racial barriers at a time when white supremacy was the order of the day, for his devotion to my country, then a colony. He was a man of strong moral convictions and I am grateful to have been a disciple of his – (TP Lecky, Cattle and I, p 14).

After receiving a scholarship to the Farm School (later the Jamaica School of Agriculture), Lecky became an agricultural chemist and a livestock foreman at the Hope Farm where he assessed the suitability of imported breeds of cattle against local conditions.

He also recognised the importance of the quality of feed; that what the cattle ate would make a difference in the output of milk and beef, and so he experimented with various grasses and selected the most appropriate ones for his work.

As he went about conducting his experiments, Dr Lecky knew the adversity of entrenched colonialism as well as jealousy, but for him this was simply a sharp spur to prick the sides of his tenacity.

He wanted to hold the record for being able to obtain the greatest volume of milk from a single cow within one year, but this eluded him when one of his cows died. When two other cows died mysteriously, however, his suspicions were aroused.

A careful watch ensued, and it was quickly revealed that the deaths were no accident; someone had placed broken glass in the cows’ feeding trough.

In his autobiography, Lecky writes bluntly about the jealousy and suppression exerted by the white colonial authorities on non-whites like him whose efforts were constantly obstructed and frustrated. This suppression lent muscle to his determination to be successful, and he looked to higher education as the escalator to lift him beyond acceptance to respectability and thus remove obstruction.

He now went to Canada to become qualified in animal husbandry. There he earned a Diploma in Agriculture from MacDonald College in 1930 and a B.Sc from the Ontario Agricultural College at Guelph which was then affiliated to the University of Toronto.

During his studies in Canada, he confirmed his notion that Jamaican cattle were descended from breeds that had been developed for their size and strength but were not well suited for meat or milk production. Neither were they suitable for the hilly terrain where most small farmers had holdings, and he saw a problem that should be overcome since he believed that all small farmers – who lived in the hills – should own cattle.

They could sell milk regularly and have a young calf every year to help pay for their children’s school fees and other expenses. He evaluated the merits of cross-breeding to acclimatise European cattle but concluded that the true solution to the problem was a new tropical breed, rather than a modified temperate one.

Returning to Jamaica in 1935, he managed his own farm, raised poultry and pigs, and taught at Holmwood Vocational School to support himself until 1938 when he was offered a job as Inspector of Livestock. He conducted experiments during this time, breeding cattle in order to produce smaller animals which were more appropriate for Jamaica’s mountainous terrain and good at meat and milk production.

His method involved the selective interbreeding of cattle with desirable dominant traits and the most dramatically improved offspring.

But he faced dour criticism that the breeding and selection programme that he proposed could take many generations and might not be completed in his lifetime. The always ready Jamaican disparaging humour reared its head and he was dubbed Cow Father. However, he never faltered, and would soon prove the critics wrong.

Turning once again to higher education, he gathered his documentation in 1949 and entered the University of Edinburgh in Scotland where he used his research as the foundation for his doctorate. His dissertation, Genetic Improvement in Dairy Cattle in the Tropics, presented his ideas for developing a tropical dairy breed, made him the first Jamaican to earn degrees in agriculture at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels and catapulted him to international acclaim.

It also put him at a level that could not easily be assailed. It also earned grudging respect from the colonial authorities at a time when they were feeling pressure from Norman Manley’s PNP which was pushing for an end to the British yoke.

By 1951, Dr Lecky’s breeding programme had resulted in the first breed of indigenous Jamaican cattle – a milk-producing cow. He named it the Jamaica Hope, which was intended to symbolise hope for the starving and impoverished people of Jamaica.

The Hope revolutionised the Jamaican dairy industry, and scientists from around the world came to observe Dr Lecky’s work and methods.

The Jamaica Hope (also known as Jersey-Zebu or Montgomery-Jersey) is very well suited to the Jamaican climate. It tolerates heat, has high resistance to ticks and tick-borne diseases, and produces much milk even in the poor pasture-land typical of tropical climates.

The breed consists of approximately 80 percent Jersey, 15 percent Zebu and 5 percent Holstein. Jamaica Hope today represents about 50 percent of the cattle in the island. A mature cow weighs about 500 kg (1100 lbs.), while a male weighs between 700 and 800 kg (1500 – 1800 lbs). A cow can produce 2,500 kg of milk per lactation period, which lasts about 305 days. The butter fat content of the milk is around five percent. Through further research Dr Lecky went on to develop other breeds that were compatible with Jamaica’s tropical climate.

It was Norman Manley who once described his own success in the courts as the product of 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration, a formula in which Dr Lecky obviously believed. His work looms large in the history of the nation. Yet, this genius was a simple man who never sought the limelight. As Wilson says,

"His work was of Jamaica and dedicated to Jamaica, as a result of which the Jamaica Hope is today a special breed of cattle, and ‘Cow Father’ has ensured that it is now bred by semen straight from a Jamaica Hope bull."

Feeling pressure from the Bustamante government that took over in 1962, Dr Lecky retired from government service three years later but remained available as a consultant until 1994.

Even after his retirement, he remained active in other ways. He encouraged young Jamaicans to become involved in agriculture. He coached small farmers on good farming techniques and helped them to find ways to improve soil and instill proper animal care.

Aside from authoring several research papers, he completed his autobiography Cattle and I and it was published in 1994. He continued working faithfully at his research at the Bodles Research Station up to a week before his death in 1994, having dedicated 60 years of his life to the development of Jamaican livestock.

Dr Lecky’s work is celebrated and he was given many honours. Among them he was the first recipient of the Norman Manley Award for Excellence, received the Order of Merit from the Government of Jamaica and was inducted into the Professional Societies Association’s Hall of Fame.

Through it all Dr Lecky remained humble. He said that he found his greatest satisfaction in knowing that he had helped small farmers like his parents improve their lot through his seminal research. Today he lies in a hallowed grave in Providence Methodist churchyard at Matilda’s Corner without too much fanfare.


//

PS. I thought you got a copy of the book!

///

 
ponderiver 2016-05-22 21:04:39 

Nice thread am loving it big grin big grin

 
DonD 2016-05-22 21:58:25 

In reply to Ewart

Strange that Lecky would have been subjected to racism. Lecky was a brown skin man with straight hair. I saw him when I was a little boy,I thought he was a DeLisser. Perhaps his sexual orientation might have contributed to the prejudice he encountered.

In terms of your books:I haven't got any of them. I always visit 2 Book stores in MOBay looking for them - Sangsters,and Bryan - So far no luck.

Didn't know that DK Gordon had passed on.We socialized a little when I lived in Manitoba. He was a highly respected Spanish Prof. So sad that he lost his voice. The last time I saw him was sometime in 2005. By then his speech was a faint whisper but he was still getting around quite well. I do have a copy of his book; Language and Racism Historicity.

 
camos 2016-05-22 22:19:58 

In reply to Ewart

Nice read Bro! knew the doctor well, he was an icon at school of agriculture during my time, mingle a lot with students
whenever he visited. Some new info for me,thought he was a graduate of the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture, did not know he went to McDonald College in Montreal,got a degree there myself.

 
Ewart 2016-05-23 08:09:44 

In reply to DonD

In terms of your books:I haven't got any of them. I always visit 2 Book stores in MOBay looking for them - Sangsters,and Bryan - So far no luck...



Check your PM.


//

 
Ewart 2016-05-23 08:19:29 

In reply to camos

Thanks Bro.

You mean you didn't get a copy of the book either?? There are profiles of Sir Philip Sherlock and his brother Father Hugh Sherlock, DTM Girvan, Eddie Burke, Mass George Headley, Miss Lue, Una Marson, A Wesley Powell, in addition to the others named.

Plus much about Norman Manley, Bustamante, Rex Nettleford, Marcus Garvey, Sam Sharpe, Paul Bogle, Edna Manley, and OT Fairclough, all important names that are in danger of being forgotten.


//

 
Ewart 2016-05-23 08:24:57 

In reply to DonD

Strange that Lecky would have been subjected to racism. Lecky was a brown skin man with straight hair...



Indeed! But he clearly stated that he was.

We might well not see it that way because of his brown skin, but he did. It was racism, classism and (maybe above all) Colonialism, the shadow of which still hangs over us like an unwanted cloud.


//

 
camos 2016-05-23 08:43:52 

In reply to Ewart

PM me an address and the cost in US$, want a signed copy.

 
Ewart 2016-05-23 09:30:28 

In reply to camos



Done...


//

 
Ewart 2016-05-23 21:19:18 

Michael Manley (a snippet)

It was labour relations that brought Michael Manley to politics and, as it turned out, national development. A strike at the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) in 1964 reflected – and emerged from – some of the changes the country was undergoing, and pointed the way to political developments.

The JBC was established in 1957 with a radio station under the first Norman Manley government, and JBC television began broadcasting August 6, 1963, a year after Alexander Bustamante became Prime Minister. The portfolio Minister was Edward Seaga.

Both radio and television operated under the same statutory board structure. The objective for television was to concentrate on Jamaican programming, as the radio station was doing. But financial concerns led to a rapid takeover by programmes imported from the US and the UK. In addition, the station’s relationship with the government caused problems, with Seaga thought to be dipping into the day-to-day operations amidst largely unfounded accusations of partisan journalism.

The change in government in 1962 had led to accusations that journalists in the JBC newsroom favoured the previous PNP government, and this led to the strike. For when they determined that they needed union protection from the JLP government, the JBC workers secured the services of the PNP-affiliated National Workers Union (NWU).

This was to prove a red flag to Bustamante who had won his elevated position in life keeping his Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) strong by seeking to repel all other unions.
So the stage was set for battle. A protracted battle it was, with the strikers declaring “we will never bow.” The result was nothing the wily old Bustamante envisaged.

By the end of the 97-day strike most of the news journalists had been replaced, but a new national figure had emerged: Michael Manley won his political spurs lying on his back in the streets of Kingston. Noting the successes that civil disobedience was beginning to win for the Civil Rights Movement in the US, the younger Manley dramatised the situation by joining the JBC strikers and lying down in the street, blocking traffic, first in Half-Way-Tree and then on King Street at the morning peak on a Saturday, the busiest shopping day of the week.

This ploy, repeated by a subsequent strategic roadblock of the main road to the airport by staging a rally at Rockfort, underscored the earlier successes and worked very well. Michael moved from simply being Norman Manley=s son to become a national figure in his own right.

As a journalist and trade union leader, Michael had served an important apprenticeship for politics. He had developed critical communication skills that fortified his charm; handsome, athletic, engaging and young, he was the very definition of charisma, even outshining Bustamante, as the Gleaner’s political reporter Ulric Simmonds wrote. Crucially, his concern and compassion for his union members and the downtrodden generally, was a strength that never left him.

He had made the NWU competitive, negotiating some great victories most notably for sugar and bauxite workers all of which took place in rural areas. But, interestingly, it was the JBC strike in the urban setting of Kingston that brought him dramatically to the attention of Jamaicans on a national scale and made them consider seriously the possibility that he would be the best successor to his father.

It is worth noting that middle-class Jamaicans had ignored trade unionism entirely, looking down at it as something not for them but for the masses of unskilled and newly skilled labourers. And yet here it was – Jamaica=s first big white-collar strike. Middle-class workers were employing working-class tactics.

And there was Michael Manley, the darling of the upper Saint Andrew “elites,” right in the middle of it. In the process he took up Bustamante’s fading mantle of charisma and refashioned it into a kareba with style and panache all his own that magnetised followers with his promise of Power to the People and the soothing Rastafarian balm – The Word is Love.

When he took over the PNP in 1969, and became Leader of the Opposition he immediately set up various Task Forces to work on some of the pressing problems facing the nation.

One of these was a Task Force on bauxite. Comprising businessmen and civil servants, the Task Force was led by a captain of commerce and industry in the person of Meyer Matalon, scion of the powerful Matalon family.

Its objective was to persuade the North American bauxite companies to pay more for the bauxite ore they were mining in Jamaica, or if that did not work, to find a way to secure better income from bauxite mining.

At least two members of the Task Force, Carlton Davis and Pat Rousseau, wrote books on their experience. Davis’ book is published in three volumes. They obviously thought this was something to write about. And it was.

The bauxite companies balked and stalled. They protested that they were not making a profit. But they refused to show their books. And when the Task Force finally gave up on them and drew up the bauxite levy, one of the companies filed a lawsuit which it eventually won but in which the damages were so minimal that it was tantamount to a loss.

Outmanoeuvred and still complaining, the companies then secured the aid of the US Department of Commerce, the State Department and the CIA. And while that is a story by itself, it is worth mentioning that Jamaica benefitted substantially from this new influx of hard currency from bauxite.

On Michael Manley’s election as Prime Minister in 1972, he wanted to re-establish the JBC as a vehicle for nation building. Government funding for original Jamaican programming was increased, with news and documentary programmes such as Public Eye, and Jamaica's first soap operas, Lime Tree Lane. By the 1980s, JBC had television, two national radio stations, and several regional radio stations.

However, under Prime Minister Seaga and the US-led Structural Adjustment model from the World Bank which prescribed the privatisation of public services in the 1980s, the divestment of the JBC began. First, there was the selling off of the regional radio stations; these became Radio Waves (HOT 102), KLAS-FM and IRIE-FM. The entire newsroom staff was also dismissed for being critical of conservative political positions, and replaced with journalists considered sympathetic to Seaga's government.

Foreign programming again began to proliferate, largely sourced from the US.
The JBC remained under government control until 1989 when a re-elected Manley removed direct political control, and initiated shared responsibility with the Leader of the Opposition for the appointment of a Director-General.

Michael Manley quickly became an international figure. When in 1974 he set up the International Bauxite Agreement (IBA) in Jamaica, it raised fears in the US that he wanted to establish a trade union of the poor countries and set up a bauxite cartel, much like OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries which was founded in 1960 to manage the oil supply. The goal was to set the price of oil on the world market, and thus avoid fluctuations that might affect the economies of both producing and purchasing countries.

(Indeed, Isaiah A. Litvak and Christopher Maule note that the IBA's success was second only to OPEC, even though they caution that some members of the IBA were more successful than others, some of whom would actually conclude that for them the IBA was a failure).

Like Canada’s Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Manley talked about creating "a just society." Like Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere, he preached self-reliance. He counted both these men as his friends.

But there was no greater champion anywhere of a New International Economic Order that would bring some measure of equity to world trade and to workers, a goal he pursued faithfully.

In Jamaica he initiated several social programmes, including:
. National Minimum Wage
. Equal Pay for Women
. Bauxite Levy
. Status of Children Act ("No bastard no deh again")
. JAMAL National Literacy Programme
. Free Education to University level
. Idle Lands Acquisition
. Project Land Lease
. Sugar Workers' Co-operatives.
. National Youth Service and Pioneer Corps
. African Liberation and Anti-Apartheid Struggle
. New International Economic Order

Michael Manley's objective of a just society was not confined to Jamaica; it was aimed at the world, with the poor countries and poor people of the world as beneficiaries. His third term ended in 1992 when he retired on account of illness.

He died five years later on March 6, 1997, at the age of 72.

On learning of his death the major newspapers in the world ran substantial obituaries – the Toronto Star even publishing the news before the Daily Gleaner.

Jamaica was plunged into mourning, and the world saw the entire congregation stand in respect as a sorrowing Fidel Castro entered the North Street Roman Catholic Cathedral for the funeral service.


//

 
Ewart 2016-05-24 20:52:52 

Michael "Joshua" Manley
(... a little more)

It was the West Indies' darkest day. It was also the longest. All day on Thursday March 6, 1997, family members of Jamaica=s most lustrous personality gathered round the St. Andrew bedside of Michael Manley as he drifted into the penultimate hours of his final struggle – a mortal combat between his clear, incisive mind and the insurgent prostate cancer that was known to have engaged him some six years earlier.

As the lengthening hours closed in on midnight (O lente, lente currite noctis equi), with some 15 minutes left before the new day, the struggle subsided and Jamaica's most persuasive voice was stilled.

With his family and close friends around his bedside, Michael Manley, journalist, trade unionist, politician, author, prime minister, horticulturalist, lecturer, Third World leader, anti-apartheid fighter, sports enthusiast, cricket writer, and a towering beacon of hope and enthusiasm for millions of his countrymen at home and abroad, lay dead. He was 72.

It was a remarkable day for it had also begun with death.

Before the day was 30 minutes old, the President of Guyana, Cheddi Jagan, 78, son of indentured labourers from India, had been pronounced dead in a U.S. hospital from a heart attack.

To further mystify matters, that dark Thursday was the first day of the first cricket test match between the West Indies and India who were opening their 1997 tour at Sabina Park in Kingston. The West Indies team then was made up almost entirely of players of African descent and so it was something of a struggle between Africa and India – the old world, in the new.

But with India scoring 300 runs for the loss of only two wickets at the close of the first day=s play, Manley, the cricket writer, on his deathbed in St. Andrew would have felt that, against India, a team that had traditionally been suspect to hostile pace bowling, the West Indies pace bowlers had failed to regain their once-feared dominance.

Was there anything left to live for?

Ironically, Manley's death was reported in Canada by the Toronto Star before the venerable Gleaner, Jamaica's leading and oldest newspaper. Philip Mascoll, a Jamaican reporter at The Star, received a call and quickly added the necessary final details to the story he had written a few weeks before. His story was on The Star's front page on March 7. The Jamaica Observer ran a second edition in the afternoon of Friday March 7 to tell of the death.

The Gleaner did not report it until Saturday March 8, although the body of an obituary had been pre-written and left standing months before. As expected, the electronic media were quickly on to the news, the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation informing its audience shortly after 1.00 a.m. on March 7.

Although only six years separated them in age, in politics Jagan and Manley were not exactly contemporaries. When Manley was in power in Jamaica, his Guyanese counterpart was Lyndon Forbes Burnham, Jagan=s political colleague-turned-rival, on whose shoulders the British and Americans conspired to place the mantle of the leadership of Guyana because Jagan (in the 1950s) professed communism.

Indeed, it would be 28 years before Jagan returned to hold the reins of power, and by then, Manley had retired.

Like Jagan, Manley attracted unfavourable attention from the United States. Again the Americans tried to blame their actions on "communism."

However, despite his friendship with Fidel Castro – among other world leaders including Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney of Canada, Olaf Palme of Switzerland, Carlos Andres Perez of Mexico, and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania – Manley himself was never a communist. All the time that he was being painted by the media as "left-leaning" or being "pals with Fidel Castro", Manley steadfastly maintained in Jamaica all the institutions of democracy along with the two-party system and democratic elections.

He maintained his pro-democratic stance even while he was the target of two assassination attempts in the mid 1970s, which Penthouse Magazine credited to the CIA in a December 1977 article by investigative journalists Ernest Volkman and ohn Cummings, under the headline, "Murder As Usual."

And what was Manley's sin? What caused his downfall? Why did he attract the rapt attention of right-wing America and the CIA? Mostly his style, but also his reach.

In 1974, Eric Williams of Trinidad and Tobago, Burnham of Guyana and Tom Adams of Barbados all joined Manley to clamour for Cuba's admission to the Organization of American States. They all increased their diplomatic relationship with Cuba. But only Manley paid the price.

For Manley, a spell-binding orator who once declared that he would "dismantle capitalism brick by brick," was at once blessed and cursed with exceptional personal magnetism and charisma.

But his sin was greater than that, for he championed the cause of the poor and downtrodden. And, unlike most of today's politicians, he didn’t do so merely with words. His record of socio-economic legislation for the benefit of the poor and marginalized in Jamaica's post-colonial society was acknowledged even by Canada=s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, never one of his fans.

In reaching down with compassion to help these poor Jamaicans, Manley began upsetting the established order and thus stepped on the corns of the privileged, many of whom fled – to Toronto and Miami mainly, and wallowed in bitter recriminations; a few of these new Torontonians went so far as to throw "Blue Book Parties" at which they lit bonfires to burn their blue Jamaican passports.

Some of the well-to-do Jamaicans who remained in Jamaica, simply siphoned their money out of the country and in the process created new intriguing legends about the native creativity and ingenuity of Jamaicans as they sought to outwit the currency cops and export their money.

In one of the more imaginative examples, the story was told of a doctor who arrived at the Norman Manley International airport booked on a flight out of the country.

Prominent on his arm was a fresh plaster of Paris cast, sign of a recently broken arm. But the currency cops took one look at him and saw through his scheme.

Against his loud protests, they cut and removed the cast, searching for currency. But there was nothing there. The fuming doctor missed his flight.

The next day, he was back with a fresh cast, daring the currency cops to make him miss his flight again. This time, sheepishly, they let him through – with hundreds of thousands of dollars in the cast. Or so the story goes.


//

 
mikesiva 2016-05-25 04:06:39 

In reply to JayMor

Boukman is an interesting suggestion....

'Dutty Boukman (Boukman Dutty) (died November 1791) was a slave in Haiti who was one of the most visible early leaders of the Haitian Revolution. According to some contemporary accounts, Boukman may have conducted a religious ceremony in which a freedom covenant was affirmed; this ceremony would have been a catalyst to the slave uprising that marked the beginning of the Haitian Revolution. Dutty Boukman may have been a self-educated slave perhaps born on the island of Jamaica. Some sources indicate that he was later sold by his British master to a French plantation owner after he attempted to teach other Jamaican slaves to read, who put him to work as a commandeur (slave driver) and, later, a coach driver. His French name came from his English nickname, "Book Man," which some scholars, despite accounts suggesting that he was a Vodou houngan, have interpreted as meaning that he may have been Muslim, since in many Muslim regions the term "man of the book" is a synonym for an adherent of the Islamic faith. One scholar suggests that it is likely that Boukman "was a Jamaican Muslim who had a Quran, and that he got his nickname from this." Other scholars suggest that Boukman may have practiced a syncretic blend of traditional African religion and a form of Christianity.'

More here

 
CW 2016-05-25 05:56:05 

In reply to Ewart

Excellent

 
JayMor 2016-05-25 06:35:53 

In reply to mikesiva

Thanks, Mike. I read a bunch of such accounts which merely suggest he may have been from Jamaica, and may have been able to read, etc. I shall go by what Haitians have told me (and in fact, I was unaware of him until the first Haitian told me of him): he came to Haiti from Jamaica and was sold there because he was able to read and they didn't want anymore of his kind in Jamaica. Full stop.

Bean counting time approaches. Later.

--Æ.

 
Ewart 2016-05-25 07:58:05 

In reply to mikesiva

Boukman certainly is on that list. No question.

And I am glad to see the signs of growing research.



//

 
Ewart 2016-05-26 00:07:30 

Isaac W A Barrant

... a man of the people if ever there was one. And to whom the people of Port Morant in St Thomas erected an eternal flame. Does any one know if it is still burning.

Mr. Barrant, a truck sideman I am told, became Alexander Bustamante's Minister of Agriculture (I believe Busta himself had that Ministry the first time around). Many stories are told about Mr. Barrant's sayings, but... that's for another time.


//

 
mikesiva 2016-05-27 03:30:49 

In reply to Ewart

More on Isaac Barrant here

 
Ewart 2016-05-27 18:00:44 

In reply to mikesiva

Nice! I wonder if that eternal flame still burns?


//

 
mikesiva 2016-05-28 04:26:01 

In reply to Wally-1

'Paul Bogle (1822 – 24 October 1865) was a Jamaican Baptist deacon and is a National Hero of Jamaica. He was a leader of the 1865 Morant Bay Protesters, who agitated for justice and fair treatment for all the people in Jamaica. After leading the Morant Bay rebellion, Bogle was captured and hanged on 24 October 1865 in the Morant Bay Court House by the British authorities. Bogle had become a friend of landowner and politician and fellow Baptist George William Gordon, who was instrumental in Bogle being appointed deacon of Stony Gut Baptist Church in 1864. In August 1865, Gordon attacked the British governor, Edward John Eyre, for sanctioning "everything done by the higher class to the oppression of the negroes". Bogle concentrated his activity on improving the conditions of the poor. As awareness of social injustices and people's grievances grew, Bogle led a group of small farmers 45 miles to Spanish Town where they hoped to discuss their grievances with Governor Eyre, but they were denied an audience. This left the people of Stony Gut with a lack of confidence and trust in the Government, and Bogle’s supporters grew in number.'

More here

 
Ewart 2016-05-28 08:15:16 

One of the main reasons I wrote the book was to satisfy myself - and my readers, of course - about the course and context of Jamaica's history and the real role of people like Paul Bogle and Samuel Sharpe.

This is how I saw Bogle:


Paul Bogle

The abolition of slavery did not mean political influence for the former slaves. In the 1863 elections only 1,789 of the 440,000 people living on the island were allowed to vote.

Even though they were free, it was not their island. They were not given the opportunity to thrive. They had no power or control. They were despised, and discrimination was rampant. They had been taken from their original home and culture, enslaved, eventually freed, and then forced to fend for themselves.

The British tried to create a White middle class by bringing Portuguese into the colonies. These were given the opportunity to become retail traders, an option denied to the Blacks.

This act showed that the British deemed the Blacks to be an inferior race. It’s easy to see how this mix of racial prejudice and economic discrimination continued to determine life after slavery for the ex-slaves.

In reality, apprenticeship was a meaningless term since it had nothing to do with training the former slaves to adjust from a life of servitude to one of taking responsibility for themselves and their families.

Growing public pressure and continuing rebellions led the British Parliament to abolish apprenticeships on “Full Freedom Day” August 1, 1838, three years before the date set by the Emancipation Act.

All in all, the period immediately after emancipation was one of severe privation for the majority of the populace of Jamaica. Wages were very low and people could not get land for cultivation. There was a prolonged drought and resultant food shortage.

But there were the ex-slaves, cut off from the 200 year-old slave society they knew, without land, without the means of production, and being confronted in every direction with taxes. This cauldron of discontent contained all the elements of a conflagration in the making.

Into this situation stepped Paul Bogle, a highly respected Baptist deacon from Stony Gut, just north of Morant Bay, and an associate of the legislator George William Gordon, a mixed race businessman and landowner who was a harsh critic of the Governor, and an advocate for the rights of Black Jamaicans.

Gordon established Native Baptist chapels in Kingston and Saint Thomas, and ordained Bogle as a deacon of the church. Bogle in turn established his own chapel in his village, Stony Gut, in the hills of Saint Thomas.

The support of Bogle and his group of Native Baptists was central to Gordon being elected to represent Saint Thomas in the National Assembly. In addition to its religious functions, Bogle's chapel became a centre for political activity and he began to organise demonstrations against injustice in the legal system.

On August 12, 1865, Bogle protested the poverty and injustice rampant in the society. With a group of his followers, he walked the 45 miles from Stony Gut to the Governor in Spanish Town, the capital, but Governor Eyre did not even pay him bad mind.

Vexed and tired, Bogle and his followers trudged back home where he held meetings in the hills and drilled his followers into a small army. Only a small incident would be needed to spark an outburst of violence and it happened on October 7, 1865, when Bogle and his supporters attended a trial for two men from Stony Gut.

A Black man was put on trial and ordered imprisoned for trespassing on an abandoned plantation. One member of Bogle’s group protested in the court over the unjust arrest and was arrested on the spot.

This incensed the crowd and they rescued him moments later when Bogle’s men confronted the police in the market square and severely beat them into retreating.

Two days later, warrants were issued against Bogle and a number of others for riot and assault. The police arrived in Stony Gut to arrest Bogle but the residents overpowered them and forced them to swear loyalty to the peasant movement.

That same day Bogle sent a letter to the Governor protesting that the warrant for his arrest was unlawful. Bogle said he was not against the Queen, but would resist unjust arrest.

Two days later on October 11, Bogle and 200 followers, armed with sticks and machetes, set out for the Court House where there was an Assembly meeting. Another 100 joined them on the way and some members of the group broke into a police station and stole weapons. At the Court House they confronted the White and Brown militia protecting the Saint Thomas Assembly.

Frightened, the Custos (the “first citizen of the parish”) read the Riot Act – this gave immunity to anyone assisting with dispelling a crowd – and ordered the militia to fire.

The crowd retaliated, killing the Custos, Baron von Ketelhodt, and militia members. A building behind the court was set on fire and the fire spread to the main building. It was the beginning of what came to be known as the Morant Bay Rebellion. By nightfall the crowd had killed 18 people and wounded 31 others.

In the days that followed some 2,000 rebels roamed the countryside, killing two White planters and forcing others to flee for their lives. Martial law was proclaimed, hundreds of people were arrested, and Governor Edward Eyre sent troops to hunt down the rebels. Despite the fact that these troops were met with no resistance, the soldiers shot and hanged everyone they came across, without a trial.

In the end, 29 Whites and Browns had been killed, and nearly 500 Blacks executed after "trials" that ranged from the whim of an individual officer to the judicial lynching of an official court martial. Over 600 men and women, including pregnant women, were flogged and received up to 100 strokes.

To increase the severity of the punishment, the cord strands of the cat-o-nine tails were twined with wire. In addition, many received long prison sentences. Gordon was arrested and taken to Morant Bay where he was tried for conspiracy and hanged on October 23, 1865.

The army burnt Bogle's church and set Stony Gut on fire. Bogle himself was captured and taken to Morant Bay where he was put on trial and hanged at the burnt-out courthouse the following day.

But Bogle did not die in vain. He had set in train the movement towards self-government. After the massacre, there was an outcry in Britain because the British were very embarrassed by the events in Morant Bay.

Even so, when Governor Eyre returned to Britain in August, 1866, he was welcomed by his admirers who held a banquet in his honor.

But he was condemned as a murderer that very evening by a large protest meeting of working-class people. Critics of his actions established the Jamaica Committee and called for him to be tried for his excesses in suppressing the "insurrection."

More radical members of the Committee wanted him tried for the murder of British subjects under the rule of law. Twice Eyre was charged with murder, but the cases were never heard.

With Eyre gone, the British Parliament in 1866 declared the island a crown colony. This meant that decisions about governance were no longer vested in the House of Assembly but in the Crown. The new governor, Sir John Peter Grant, now wielded the only real power.

Grant used this power well, completely reorganising the colony and creating much of the infrastructural base that still exists today.

He built the Kingston Public Hospital and the Lunatic Asylum (now the Bellevue Hospital). Street lighting and a fire brigade service now came to Kingston.

The Rio Cobre Irrigation Scheme, responsible for bringing water to the Saint Catherine plains was constructed and so was the Marescaux Road Water Works station.

The 22 parishes into which the island was then divided were reduced to 14, and Parochial Boards were nominated. The Police Force was entirely reorganised and he reformed the judicial system, public works department and medical service. District Courts were established.

The judges of these courts were officers of the Crown, and it was felt that this change would result in better justice for the people.

The events surrounding Paul Bogle constituted an important step in moving Jamaica towards nationalism. In the end it was the Morant Bay Rebellion that forced the government to listen to the people and make life better for them.


//

 
mikesiva 2016-05-29 04:46:47 

In reply to Ewart

Good one...of course, there's Bogle's friend and brother-in-the-struggle, George William Gordon:

Gordon and the Morant Bay Rebellion

'As a member of the House of Assembly, Gordon acquired a reputation as a critic of the colonial government, especially Governor Edward John Eyre, in the mid-1860s. He maintained a correspondence with English evangelical critics of colonial policy. He also established his own Native Baptist church, where Paul Bogle was a deacon. Unbeknownst to all at the time of the events, in May 1865 Gordon had attempted to purchase an ex-Confederate schooner with a view to ferrying arms and ammunition from the United States of America. In October 1865, following the Morant Bay Rebellion led by Bogle, Gordon was taken from Kingston, where martial law was not in force, to Morant Bay, where it was. He was tried for high treason by court martial, without due process of law, sentenced to death and executed on 23 October. Gordon's death and the brutality of Eyre's suppression of the revolt made the affair a cause célèbre in Britain. John Stuart Mill and other liberals sought unsuccessfully to have Eyre (and others) prosecuted, and when those attempts failed, to bring civil proceedings against him.'

 
mikesiva 2016-05-30 05:03:34 

In reply to Wally-1

"Nanny was a leader of the Maroons at the beginning of the 18th century. She was known by both the Maroons and the British settlers as an outstanding military leader who became, in her lifetime and after, a symbol of unity and strength for her people during times of crisis. She was particularly important to them in the fierce fight with the British, during the First Maroon War from 1720 to 1739. Although she has been immortalised in songs and legends, certain facts about Nanny (or “Granny Nanny”, as she was affectionately known) have also been documented. Both legends and documents refer to her as having exceptional leadership qualities. She was a small, wiry woman with piercing eyes. Her influence over the Maroons was so strong, that it seemed to be supernatural and was said to be connected to her powers of obeah. She was particularly skilled in organising the guerilla warfare carried out by the Eastern Maroons to keep away the British troops who attempted to penetrate the mountains to overpower them. Her cleverness in planning guerilla warfare confused the British and their accounts of the fights reflect the surprise and fear which the Maroon traps caused among them. Besides inspiring her people to ward off the troops, Nanny was also a type of chieftainess or wise woman of the village, who passed down legends and encouraged the continuation of customs, music and songs, that had come with the people from Africa, and which instilled in them confidence and pride. Her spirit of freedom was so great that in 1739, when Quao signed the second Treaty (the first was signed bv Cudjoe for the Leeward Maroons a few months earlier) with the British, it is reported that Nanny was very angry and in disagreement with the principle of peace with the British, which she knew meant another form of subjugation."

More here

However, Nanny is a controversial subject, simply because most of what we know about her comes down to use through oral history, and as a result, can be subject to revision. Take the last point, for example. It is reported that Nanny disagreed with the principle of peace, and that comes to us from Maroon oral history. But, on the other hand, there is documentary evidence to show that Nanny signed a similar and separate peace with the British, under the same conditions, after the treaties of 1739 and 1740. The information about "Nanny and her Negroes" being allocated land by the colonial authorities was first published in this book by Edward Kamau Brathwaite in 1977:

I found a copy of this in the British Library

 
Ewart 2016-05-30 06:54:35 

In reply to mikesiva

Nice. We do need to know more about Nanny...


//

 
mikesiva 2016-05-31 09:50:02 

In reply to Ewart

And here's another controversial Maroon leader - Cudjoe:

'The escaped slaves of Jamaica had one big advantage over slaves in many other places, that the geography of the island provided them with areas where they could hide and live with much less fear of discovery. The original Maroons were freed or runaway Spanish slaves, whose name is thought to come from the Spanish word cimarrón, meaning wild or untamed. Over time two main areas of Maroon settlement developed, the Trelawney Maroons lived in an area around Maroon Town and Accompong in the Cockpit country, and the Windward Maroons lived on the northern slopes of the Blue Mountains. The territory occupied by the Maroons was ideally suited to guerrilla warfare, although that name for the technique would not be used until the time of the Peninsular War at the end of the 18th century. Led by an extremely able commander called Cudjoe, with his brothers Accompong and Johnny in the West, and sub-chiefs Quao and Cuffee in the East, the Maroons avoided open fights preferring ambush. Camouflaged from head to foot in leaves, surprise and their accurate shooting often brought them quick victory after which they would melt back into the woods to prepare another attack. Various armed attempts to subdue them were made by British troops and in 1734 a Captain Stoddart led a party that attacked and destroyed Nanny Town in the Blue Mountains. The town was never resettled and even now is believed to be haunted by the ghosts of those who died. Nanny the Maroon chieftainess after whom the place was named is now a National Hero of Jamaica. Although the Maroons had suffered severely under this attack many escaped, some to build a new village further inland and others removed to the Cockpit area of Trelawney. Maroon raids increased and so did the fear of the colonists that they would encourage a mass uprising of slaves on the plantations, where they now outnumbered white settlers by about 14 to 1. The Jamaican Assembly voted money for a large-scale campaign and the Maroons found themselves in a desperate situation, however the government did not realise this and, eager to end the fighting, they sent Colonel James Guthrie with a detachment of militia, and Lieutenant Francis Sadler with a party of soldiers, to seek out Cudjoe and offer him favourable terms for a peace.`The negotiators exchanged hats as a sign of friendship, as depicted above, and the treaty was agreed on 1 March 1739 beneath a large cotton tree, afterwards known as Cudjoe’s Tree. Under the settlement Cudjoe and his followers were all to be free, and any slaves who had joined them were given the choice of remaining with the Maroons or returning to their masters. It would be interesting to know if any did, somehow I doubt it! A land grant was made to the Maroons of 1500 acres in Trelawney, where they would have hunting rights and it was agreed “That they shall have liberty to plant the said lands with coffee, cocoa, ginger, tobacco, and cotton, and to breed cattle, hogs, goats, or any other flock, and dispose of the produce or increase of the said commodities to the inhabitants of this island”. In addition Cudjoe and his followers were to assist the British in pursuing any remaining rebels and in the case of foreign invasion they would assist the British against the invader and in return would receive their protection. The Maroons agreed not to harbour runaway slaves but to return them for a reward of ten shillings per slave. Cudjoe himself was given the right to dispense justice within his community and the succession was assured, naming Accompong, Johnny, Quao and Cuffee, and after their deaths such leaders as might be appointed by the Governor. The Maroons were required to build and maintain a road to Trelawney Town, and four white persons were to be nominated to live with the Maroons in order to facilitate communication with the government.'

More here

The last part is what's so contentious...after a group of runaway slaves, led by Cudjoe in the west and Nanny in the east, had fought the mighty British army to a standstill, forcing them to offer terms of peace, after 1740 the Maroons helped the British colonial authorities to suppress slave revolts and catch runaways. Great freedom fighter or collaborator? Either way, Cudjoe was great....

 
Ewart 2016-05-31 22:12:30 

In reply to mikesiva

Allan Rae

Allan Fitzroy Rae, cricketer and barrister: born Rollington Town, Jamaica 30 September 1922; died Kingston, Jamaica 27 February 2005.

As a left-handed opening batsman, sound and reliable, for Jamaica and West Indies, the son of a West Indies player and then later a cool and intelligent administrator, Rae was one of the architects of the West Indies teams that dominated world cricket 30 years ago.

As a left-handed opening batsman, sound and reliable, for Jamaica and West Indies, the son of a West Indies player and then later a cool and intelligent administrator, Rae was one of the architects of the West Indies teams that dominated world cricket 30 years ago.

His father, Ernest Rae, a middle-order batsman and leg-spinner, toured England in 1928 without playing in a Test match. The younger Rae emerged with Jamaica in 1946-47, scoring 111 and 128 against Trinidad in Port of Spain.

In November 1948, in Delhi, he made his Test début and began his famous opening partnership with Jeffrey Stollmeyer, making his maiden century (104) in the second Test in Bombay.

The opening pair won their first headlines in the fourth Test in Madras with a partnership of 239 and Rae finished the tour with another 97 in the fifth Test, again in Bombay.

Tall, broad, with a strong defence and a fierce drive, Rae was then established and he and Stollmeyer were the first obstacle facing England when West Indies arrived for what became their most famous tour in 1950, when, with a prodigious batting order and two devastating young spinners, Sonny Ramadhin and Alf Valentine, West Indies served notice that a new power had arrived, defeating a strong England side 3-1 by margins of 326, 10 wickets and an innings and 56.

Rae emerged from the tour of India with a Test average of 53.42, an impressive figure he improved in England to 62.83, including centuries at Lord's and the Oval.

Rae played as an amateur, and professional calls as a barrister limited the time he could give to cricket. He was less successful in New Zealand in 1951-52 and thereafter confined himself to Caribbean cricket, finishing, from his 15 Tests, with an aggregate of 1,016 runs at an average of 46.18.

He retired to his legal practice in 1960 but devoted much of his time to cricket and was President of the West Indies Board from 1981 to 1988.

As President of the Jamaica Board when Kerry Packer enticed players into a rival cricket circuit, Rae argued that to penalise West Indies players who signed contracts with Packer was an illegal restraint of trade, wiser advice than that offered the English establishment, who lost a costly court case.

 
mikesiva 2016-06-02 04:18:23 

In reply to Ewart

And of course there's Atlas....

'George Alphonso Headley OD (30 May 1909 – 30 November 1983) was a West Indian cricketer who played 22 Test matches, mostly before the Second World War. Considered one of the best batsmen to play for West Indies and one of the greatest cricketers of all time, Headley also represented Jamaica and played professional club cricket in England. West Indies had a weak cricket team through most of Headley's playing career; as their one world-class player, he carried a heavy responsibility and the side depended on his batting. He batted at number three, scoring 2,190 runs in Tests at an average of 60.83, and 9,921 runs in all first-class matches at an average of 69.86. He was chosen as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1934. Headley was born in Panama but raised in Jamaica where he quickly established a cricketing reputation as a batsman. He soon gained his place in the Jamaican cricket team, and narrowly missed selection for the West Indies tour of England in 1928. He made his Test debut in 1930, against England in Barbados, and was instantly successful. Further successes followed in series against Australia and in three more against England, as Headley dominated the West Indian batting of the period. Following his tour of England in 1933, Headley signed as a professional at Haslingden in the Lancashire League, where he played until the outbreak of war in 1939. The war interrupted Headley's career; although he returned to Tests in 1948 he was hampered by injuries and did not achieve his previous levels of success. Even so, he was chosen as West Indies captain in 1948 against England, the first black player to be appointed to the position, although a combination of injuries and politics meant he only led his team for one Test match. He did not play Tests between 1949 and 1953, but resumed his career in English league cricket, first in Lancashire and later in the Birmingham League. His playing career ended in 1954 on his return to Jamaica, after a public subscription paid his fare from England. After retiring as a player, Headley was employed as a cricket coach by the Jamaican government until 1962. He lived until 1983; his son Ron and his grandson Dean each played Test match cricket, for West Indies and England respectively.'

More here

 
Ewart 2016-06-02 07:35:12 

In reply to mikesiva

Of course! Maas George...

Having announced himself with a score of 211 against Lord Tennyson’s XI in 1928, Headley went on to become the West Indies’ first immortal with a century in each innings, and he did it not at Sabina Park but against England at Lords, the palace of international cricket.

The achievement was even sweeter in the hearts of the overjoyed Jamaicans because it was against England, the team of the coloniser.

Headley was supremely important to the hopes and aspirations of the marginalised Black masses of the population, and they turned out in hundreds to watch him bat – at his Lucas Cricket Club or wherever he was playing.

For Bertram, Headley's genius provided the Jamaican people with evidence of their own self-worth and their possibilities in the modern world.

Michael Manley said he provided the reassurance which the Black people and middle class needed at that time... he became Black excellence personified in a White world and a White sport.

Still, in the eyes of the West Indies Cricket Board of Control, being the great cricketer and the hero of the people did not fit Headley for leadership. Paid as a professional in England, he refused to play for the West Indies when he was told they could not pay him.

Headley, a Black man, had endeared himself to the people not only by his superlative batting skills which showed that anybody could stand up to the former colonial masters, but also with his independence. His was a one-man struggle to win the right of professional players to be paid, and to break down the social and racial barriers that confronted Black players.

These barriers extended even to Kingston Cricket Club where for most of his playing days he was not allowed in the members’ pavilion.

Adored for bringing the people of Jamaica and the West Indies into believing in themselves through his dominant cricketing exploits, he had been brought back to Jamaica by the people themselves. They raised £1,183 for his voyage home, and he was named Island Cricket Coach along with Dickie Fuller who had also been playing as a professional in England. In the 1960s, with a new government, he too was tossed from his job.

George Headley was born in Panama of Jamaican and Barbadian parents on May 30, 1909, but he learned his cricket in Jamaica where he grew up, spending endless hours at the Kingston Race Course playing with boys including Wesley Powell, who later went on to found Excelsior School.

Despite comparisons with Donald Bradman, the great Australian batsman, Headley was known simply to his generation as Maas George. It was a title that proclaimed a blend of love, respect and admiration even if the utterer did not know the finer points of cricket.

Cricket cognoscenti had another name for him; for his almost solo efforts as the backbone of West Indies’ batting they called him George “Atlas” Headley after the Titan who held up the celestial sphere in Greek mythology.

He was a legend in his time. He represented the hopes and aspirations of thousands of his countrymen whose dreams of independence and nationhood were slowly being defined by his exploits and achievements.

At a time when Africa had not yet emerged from colonialism and Jamaica was still a British colony that officially looked down on anything African, Maas George knew who he was. On filling out his immigration form before the 1930-31 West Indies team landed in Australia, he proudly wrote “African” where it asked for his race. In 1948 he became the first Black man to captain the West Indies cricket team.


//

 
jacksprat 2016-06-02 09:46:10 

In reply to Ewart

Ewart, I remember you had written something about Dr. Hon. A. Wesley Powell but I can't seem to find it, short of directly consulting your book.

With your permission I would like to share it with some alumni.

Thanks in advance.

 
Ewart 2016-06-02 13:21:50 

In reply to jacksprat

Wesley Powell

Aston Wesley Powell was a visionary; a giant in Jamaica’s education. Not only did he build the Excelsior Education Complex from a five-student school on his parents’ verandah when he was just 21, but he was also the central moving spirit in bringing teachers together under one organisation. And to think that all this started with adversity.

Samuel Uriah Powell, Wesley’s father, was a Mico College graduate teacher and a pastor of the Seventh Day Adventist Church who had nevertheless gone off to Cuba for a few years to earn a better living for his family. Left more or less to his own devices Wesley was notorious at skulling school, first to play marbles and then cricket, and excelling at both.

As a result, he paid little attention to studying and so when his father returned he found that he had a poor student for a son. That would not do. In his son’s words he then became “a disciple of Solomon in using the rod.” He was to say later "My father educated me but my mother (Anna Louise, nee Mullings) loved me and would console me by quoting the Jamaican proverb about the Jack-Panya (a semi-featherless bird)… ‘Jack-Panya no cry for feddas but for long life’ – (A Wesley Powell, The Excelsior-EXED Story, p6).

The Adventists are a disciplined lot, and applying their noted discipline including a series of floggings, Samuel soon whipped young Wesley into shape. So it was that Wesley, now a top-flight student at Calabar Elementary School on Sutton Street, arrived at the elementary school-leaving age of 15 with no clear future before him.

But his father thought there was a way and took him across the Kingston Race Course from their Campbell Town home to see the Rev Ernest Price, Baptist principal of Calabar High School, then at the corner of Slipe Pen Road and Studley Park Road.

Rev Price welcomed him with high tea and they were launched into a conversation until the teenager suddenly heard Rev Price say, “Oh, your son is much too old for admission to Calabar. Sorry, you should have applied four years earlier.”

It was a deep blow to the young Powell’s aspirations. He was mortified and felt excluded. But he did not wallow long in mortification.

Walking back home with his father, dejected from this rejection, Wesley Powell vowed there and then that his experience would not be repeated if he had anything to do with it. He determined that never again would a child be barred from receiving a secondary education simply because of age. Nor should age, poverty, social class or skin colour be an impediment to securing an education.

He studied at Tutorial College, one of the many private high schools that sprang up in Kingston and took some inspiration from that experience. He was going to start a school. He would create a school that would take children who were too old and too poor. The fees would be low.

He was really embracing the rejected of the society, and this goal remained with him all his life. With only a Cambridge School Certificate, 21-year-old Wesley Powell opened Excelsior School on January 19, 1931 on his parent’s verandah at 9 Hampton Street in Campbell Town, Kingston, with five students.

It began as an infant school, but before the end of the first term a Commercial Department was added and so was a Cambridge Department to train those who wanted to take the Junior Cambridge and Senior Cambridge examinations. Indeed, Excelsior's early reputation was forged on successes in the Cambridge Examinations, discipline, and victories in table tennis.

The attendant publicity attracted pupils in large numbers, and this created the problem of inadequate accommodation leading to a number of relocations, first to a specially built hall at 23 Hampton Street.

The school moved to 18 North Street and then overflowed next-door to 16 North Street, formerly the Hampton Court Hotel. Because so many students were coming in from the country schools, boarding accommodations were provided for girls at 7B Lissant Road, and for boys at 4 Central Avenue.

This increased the enrolment from 180 to over 600 by August 1945, 14 years later. In fact, Excelsior was ranked not only among the most imaginative and successful institutions, but became the largest of its type in the Caribbean.

During the time at North Street the school was renamed Excelsior College so as to accommodate universities in the United States who were cautious of accepting students from Jamaica with only a high school education.

However, the name Excelsior School was restored when the school moved to its permanent location at Antrim. Wesley Powell had acquired 35 acres, part of the Antrim property on Mountain View Avenue in 1938. But development was delayed until after the end of World War II.

The first seven buildings of the new Excelsior campus were constructed there between 1947 and 1948 at the present site at 137 Mountain View Avenue, assisted by a substantial loan from the Bank of Nova Scotia.

The move to Antrim from North Street marked a significant milestone in the history of Excelsior and the educational system. In 1951 the school became a Government grant-aided institution that received funding and guidelines from the Ministry of Education, and it ceased operating as a private school. Soon Excelsior was adopted by the Methodist Church and from then on, the Church played a pivotal role in the life of the school.

Now an educational institution of the Methodist Church, Excelsior was a refuge for many students who were turned away from the traditional government secondary schools, because they were too old to gain acceptance. Mr Powell recognised that a large number of students who were late bloomers would benefit from continuing education.

So a second shift, the Extension School was established for overage students who had not been granted a place through the Common Entrance Examinations, as well as those who had failed the GCE “O” Level. Wesley Powell always envisaged education as an ongoing process – from the cradle to the grave – for anyone who was willing to learn.

The next step was EXED, his attempt to provide education for all from ages 3 to 100. Between 1971 and 1977, the new concept spawned the pre-primary and primary schools, the Community College, and the day and evening divisions.

Established out of Powell’s dreams, dedication, persistence and love for community, the college set the pace and standards for community colleges in Jamaica and has influenced others in the Caribbean.

The Community College provides education for the traditional 6th form and also includes business, teacher training and nursing, among other disciplines. The community college evening offers continuing education for mature students. The day and evening divisions, which were established more than 25 years ago, now come under one umbrella and are overseen by a sole principal.

Despite his special focus on Excelsior, Wesley Powell did not separate himself from what was happening in the wider education scene. Indeed, he was in the thick of it and his vision always was one of inclusion.

Now he directed that vision at the teachers and their disparate organisations. The granddaddy of these was the JUT. Along with the Jamaica Agricultural Society it constituted the backbone of the efforts of the people to secure their independence and a better way of life for the majority of the people.

But it was seen somehow as “lesser than” for it was an organisation of elementary school teachers. And by the early 1950s the high school teachers had formed other groups, namely the Association of Headmasters and Headmistresses, Association of Teachers in Technical Institutions, the Association of Teacher Training Staffs, and the Association of Assistant Masters and Mistresses.

The Associations pursued parallel and separate objectives until the late 1950s when proposals to unify began to take shape. Jamaica's attainment of internal self-government in 1957, the introduction of the free-place system and the draft bill to regulate the education system provided greater impetus for unity. Consequently, the executives of the five groups formed the Joint Executives of Teachers' Associations (JETA) in 1957, and the groups eventually decided to unify into a single teacher's organisation, the Jamaica Teachers' Association.

Largely at Powell’s urgings, assisted by his former student CC McArthur Ireland (there is that middle name preference again), the Jamaica Teachers' Association came into being at the inaugural conference on April 2, 1964, when the instruments governing the membership and procedures of the body were ratified. The resolutions constituting the Association were passed at a special conference at Excelsior auditorium on December 14, 1963.

An early riser, Wesley Powell is remembered by his daughter Marilyn as being … always up very early, by 4.30 am, working for a while and then jogging most mornings. "He had a full day at school, came home, flopped in his bed for a half hour or so and then off he’d go to the next round of meetings.

"Living a busy life, he’d occasionally forget where he was going. He’d rush out of the house, jump in his car, rush down the hill, stop at the gas station at Papine to call my mother for the address he was going to, or even to ask where he was going." – (Correspondence with me 2013).

To Wesley Powell, excellence was not just an ideal but also a duty. He taught that excellence was not only reserved for those who were privileged or well connected but also for those who had ambition and purpose, regardless of their station in life.


There you go! Get your alumni to purchase a box of books to donate to XLCR.

//

 
jacksprat 2016-06-02 15:11:50 

In reply to Ewart

That's a great idea. Will suggest it to them.

Thanks.

 
mikesiva 2016-06-04 04:30:02 

In reply to Wally-1

'Norman Washington Manley MM, QC, National Hero of Jamaica (4 July 1893 – 2 September 1969), was a Jamaican statesman. A Rhodes Scholar, Manley became one of Jamaica's leading lawyers in the 1920s. Manley was an advocate of universal suffrage, which was granted by the British colonial government to the colony in 1944. Together with Osmond Fairclough, the brothers Frank and Ken Hill, Hedley P. Jacobs and others in 1938 he founded the People's National Party which later was tied to the Trade Union Congress and even later the National Workers Union. He led the PNP in every election from 1944 to 1967.[citation needed] Their efforts resulted in the New Constitution of 1944, granting full adult suffrage. Manley served as the colony's Chief Minister from 1955 to 1959, and as Premier from 1959 to 1962. He was a proponent of self-government but was persuaded to join nine other British colonies in the Caribbean territories in a Federation of the West Indies but called a referendum on the issue in 1961. Voters chose to have Jamaica withdraw from the union. He then opted to call a general election even though his five-year mandate was barely half way through.'

More here

 
mikesiva 2016-06-05 06:36:13 

'(Alexander Bustamante) became a leader in activism against colonial rule. He gained recognition by writing frequent letters on the issues to the Daily Gleaner newspaper. In 1937 he was elected as treasurer of the Jamaica Workers' Union (JWU), which had been founded by labour activist Allan G.S. Coombs. During the 1938 labour rebellion, he quickly became identified as the spokesman for striking workers, who were mostly of African and mixed-race descent. Coombs' JWU became the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) after the revolt, and Bustamante became known as "The Chief". In 1940, he was imprisoned on charges of subversive activities. The widespread anti-colonial activism finally resulted in Parliament's granting universal suffrage in 1944 to Jamaica. Released from prison in 1943, Bustamente founded the Jamaica Labour Party the same year. Previously he had belonged to the People's National Party (founded in 1938 by his cousin Norman Manley). Bustamante's party won 22 of 32 seats in the first House of Representatives elected by universal suffrage. He became the unofficial government leader, representing his party as Minister for Communications, until the position of Chief Minister was created in 1953. He held this position until the JLP was defeated in 1955. In 1947 and 1948, he was elected as mayor of Kingston. In 1952 he was arrestted by the American authorities while he was on official business in Puerto Rico. Though initially a supporter of the Federation of the West Indies, during the 1950s, Bustamente gradually opposed the union. He agitated for Jamaica to become independent of Great Britain. He said that the JLP would not contest a by-election to the federal parliament. His rival and cousin, Premier Norman Manley, called a referendum on the issue in 1961; Jamaicans voted for the nation's withdrawal from the Federation. After Jamaica was granted independence in 1962, Bustamante served as the first Prime Minister until 1967. In 1965, after suffering a stroke, he withdrew from active participation in public life, and the true power was held by his deputy, Donald Sangster.'

More here

 
Ewart 2016-06-05 07:57:27 

In reply to mikesiva


This is a wonderfully informative thread. Thanks to you.

I will have some more on Bustamante later.


big grin

//

 
Wally-1 2016-06-05 09:33:48 

In reply to Ewart

Did you get (and read) your copy of the book??

Boss, i got, read, and responded to you eons ago (thanked you) .. You are now becoming chronologically worrying to me, will probably have to send you the brain dehydrater..Lol!!!

 
Ewart 2016-06-05 15:25:03 

In reply to Wally-1

Heh heh! I just had a birthday last week.


They are coming much too fast for me now.



wink


///

 
Ewart 2016-06-05 15:39:48 

In reply to mikesiva


Bustamante - Part I

Alexander Bustamante was an adventurer turned union leader and politician. By sheer force of personality mixed with bravado, Bustamante fanned the forging fire that helped create modern Jamaica.

Charismatic, he was Jamaica’s most flamboyant character. An active participant in the events between 1937 and 1962, he was much closer to the national movement than Garvey but was far more interested in building Bustamante than building a nation.

Born William Alexander Clarke on February 24, 1884, he was the grand figure of Jamaican trade unionism and politics. His father, Robert Constantine Clarke, was the overseer of a mixed-crop plantation in Hanover called Blenheim and a member of the declining White plantocracy.

A man “in search of a cause…who showed a greater talent for agitation than for change,” as Michael Manley describes him, Bustamante was able through workers’ strikes to deliver increased wages to the masses – sugarcane cutters, banana farm hands and boat loaders. He formed the BITU in 1938. In his book A Voice at the Workplace Michael Manley describes the situation as follows:

The BITU began as an emotionally appealing but philosophically incoherent protest movement. It came reluctantly to even the most rudimentary recognition of the role of organisation… It soon became apparent that the BITU was seeking to dominate the trade union field at the expense of any other union operating in the country – (P 39).

Bustamante’s value is reflected in the lasting union movement he pulled together into his own Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) and keeping it strong. As many writers have said, he inserted himself fearlessly into the chasm between the emerging pool of paid labourers and the upper crust who didn’t want to pay them properly.

His rise was intertwined with that of the unions, and their importance in the country’s history cannot be overestimated. Indeed the unions cemented the labour movement at such a place of prominence that up until the 1976 elections, no political party could successfully compete for power without a militant union affiliate.

The most significant of the early unions was the Jamaica Workers’ & Tradesmen’s Union which was founded in 1936 by Alan George Saint Claver “Father” Coombs and Hugh Clifford Buchanan, and was the first that built an island-wide organisation. Bustamante soon joined Coombs and became a leader of that union.

However, a power struggle between him and Coombs ended with Bustamante splitting to form his BITU. His personality and oratorical skills were matched by such self-regard, Segal states, that he named his movement after himself – the only trade union in the world to be named after its founder.

The union had no democratic structure. It held no annual conference, issued no financial statements, and all its officers were appointed and dismissed by Bustamante who made himself president for life.

Nevertheless, it was Saint William Grant who is regarded as the father of labour unions in Jamaica. But Grant soon realised that, as a Black man, he would not get very far with the Colonial Government and so he entrusted Bustamante with the responsibility of taking the union struggles to the next level.

When trade unions began appearing to address the low wages and intolerable working conditions of the workers, they came under the umbrella of the Trades Union Advisory Council (TUAC).

As a member of the PNP, Bustamante supported the party through his BITU. But he left the party and took his union with him after his release from detention where he brewed and nursed suspicions that Norman Manley and others were undermining his leadership. Bustamante was detained because his trade union activities had proven too much for the Governor.

One of the main instruments of colonial control was The Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) which was passed in the United Kingdom on August 8, 1914, during the early weeks of World War I. DORA gave the government wide-ranging powers and ushered in a variety of authoritarian social control mechanisms including this:

No person shall by word of mouth or in writing spread reports likely to cause disaffection or alarm among any of His Majesty's forces or among the civilian population.

Roger Mais, a journalist at Public Opinion, was sent to jail under these provisions for writing candidly about British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. And Bustamante was eventually jailed as well. He had been attacking slyly while covering himself with sharp statements which resonated in the ears of the people but burned those of the authorities.

One of these was something he’d apparently picked up in Latin America where the Spanish-Americans had dismantled the mainland empire in part by declaring “Viva el Rey! Muera el mal gobierno!” which means “Long live the King! Down with bad government!” – (Franklin W Knight, The Caribbean, p 57). Craftily confronting the power of the colonial Governor, Edward Denham, Bustamante now declared, “Long live the King! But Denham must go."

So from the turbulent days of 1938 on, the police watched Bustamante very closely. Labour unrests continued intermittently, and on September 8, 1940, Bustamante was detained at the military base in Up Park Camp for violation of DORA.

In his absence, Norman Manley – who in all his utterances and behaviour had shown total disinterest in becoming a labour leader, led the BITU for him with the assistance of the Hill brothers and Noel Nethersole – increased its dwindling membership and negotiated to get him released 17 months later in January 1942. Not much has been made of Manley’s outstanding selfless support for the union movement without which, neither Bustamante nor the union movement might have survived.

An enduring contradiction of Jamaican politics is the name Bustamante gave to his party. Norman Manley, in his speeches around the island leading up to the formation of the PNP, had spoken persuasively about the need to form a Labour party for Jamaica.

Of course, he was talking about a party to embrace the aspirations of the masses of the people who were the discarded remnants of slavery and the post-slavery existence. He was taking his cue from the British and so it would be a party to replicate the mild Fabian socialism of the British Labour Party. However, not only would the PNP be a labour party in both those senses of the word, it would also be a Nationalist party.

Norman Manley also spoke strongly about the need for a political mechanism to complement the labour movement which he saw as Bustamante’s domain. These ideas led to extensive debate in PNP planning circles but it was eventually determined that the party should forego the use of the word Labour and be known as the People’s National Party.

As a member of the PNP for the first four years of its existence, Bustamante would have known about that debate. And when he formed a party in 1943 as the political wing of his BITU, he cunningly seized on the name that had been popularised and abandoned by discussions in the PNP, and named his party the Jamaica Labour Party.

By using that name he felt he would automatically attract the support of the workers. In a very real sense, the JLP was an extension of the BITU and featured a similar lack of organisation under Bustamante’s one-man rule.

With its union roots, the JLP naturally had a strong following among the labouring classes on the waterfront and the sugar cane estates. But it never espoused or embraced the mantle or programme of the British Labour Party. More precisely, it never adopted the Fabian aspects of that party.

Instead, it became a party for the wealthy property-owners and emerging mercantile class along with the labouring masses.

Nor did it attract the emerging middle classes which were responsive to the PNP with its focus on self-government, universal adult suffrage, education, community development, industries, thrift, planning and culture.

It was in this environment that education became an issue identifying and separating the two parties, with Norman Manley promoting it strongly and Bustamante declaring that saltfish was better than education.

A striking figure, tall and gangly, Bustamante attracted attention even without speaking. And when he spoke it was with the voice and cadences of the people.

A near-White man who once boasted to Black people “there is not a drop of Negro blood in me,” he was more ego-maniac than egocentric. A shock of unruly white hair seemed merely to reflect his unbridled energy. Piercing eyes stared out from under black, bushy eyebrows that were separated by a prominent aquiline nose.

He was almost never seen without a waistcoat, and his usual mode of dress was a three-piece tropical suit which, on formal occasions, was discarded in favour of tails and a black top hat. He wore a black necktie, and carried a black umbrella along with a newspaper under his arm. He was known to carry a pearl-handle revolver. His bravado led him to acquire legendary status in his own time.

There is no doubt that the fact that he was near-White was a big help; the workers were happy to see this White man taking up for them. This they were not accustomed to. They noticed that on the occasion when the authorities beat up union leader Saint William Grant who was Black, they dared not touch the near-White Bustamante even though he told them to “shoot me, but leave the workers alone!” They were attracted to him and the power of his words against the oppressive colonial authorities. They believed in him and the potential of his union. They sang fervently, “We will follow Bustamante till we die.

Much of his magnetism arose from his strange name and the stories he told about himself. He formally changed his surname in September 1944. His own explanation of the name was that it derived from a Spanish mariner who adopted him at the age of five and took him to Spain where he went to school and where he saw active military service.

However, Bustamante did not leave Jamaica until 1905, when he was 21 years old, and he left as part of the early Jamaican migration to Cuba, where employment opportunities were expanding in the sugar industry. Of his travels, his cousin Michael Manley writes:

He had a series of overseas adventures which took him to the police force of Cuba, a short-lived marriage to a Panamanian widow with a period on Panama and thence to the United States and Canada and a second marriage to a Canadian nurse. It is a matter of record that as of 1938 he had not crossed the Atlantic and certainly had never been to Spain; this last being of some interest in the light of an entirely apocryphal story to the effect that he was either of Spanish origin or had been to Spain. In fact, he was born Clarke and took the name Bustamante at some point during his Latin American period. The middle 1930s found him back home and a figure of increasing controversy as an inveterate writer of ‘Letters to the Editor’ and controversial commentator upon the local scene – (op. cit. p 34).

In his excellent 2014 book, Freedom’s Children: The 1938 Labor Rebellion and the Birth of Modern Jamaica, Colin A Palmer underscores the unreliability of Bustamante’s claims about himself:

Clarke/Bustamante’s overseas sojourns are shrouded in mystery. The veracity of the narrative he recounted when he returned to Jamaica cannot be established, as he invented and re-invented his past. Bustamante claimed that he made a fortune in the stock market in the United States of America, but there is no independent corroboration of his story. – p2.

When he returned to Jamaica, Bustamante wasted no time developing a public persona. After all he was a man whose grasp knew no bounds, and he made no secret of his grand intention to be Mayor of Kingston and Prime Minister of Jamaica and Governor of Jamaica.

These publicly stated goals were not music to the ears of the colonial authorities. As it happened, only the post of Governor eluded his vaulting ambition. He became Mayor of Kingston in the mid-1940s and Prime Minister in 1962 when Jamaica became independent. And when he became Prime Minister he clearly rejected the notion that there was any ethical incongruence about continuing to be leader of his BITU.

As Alexander Clarke, he had worked briefly in Jamaica before going overseas, returning at age 50 in 1934. Once returned, he became a usurer who lent money at exorbitant rates of interest, and had access to muscle power if needed to enforce payments. He quickly set up a thriving usury business at Arlington House Hotel on Duke Street, Kingston, with his private secretary, Gladys Longbridge.

He catapulted himself into public notice by bombarding the newspapers with a 42-month-long series of letters before Saint William Grant introduced him to the people who gathered daily at Victoria Park.

The Park then became his court. He would arrive there in the mornings in his three-piece suit and top hat, engage all in discussion, and commit to the pages of a little book he carried, the names of those he lent money and the amounts they owed.

Black people were not likely to get loans from banks in those days, and usury, though illegal, flourished as a sort of underground activity run by several people including Bustamante who defended it strongly. Lady Bustamante in her Memoirs quotes a long letter by Bustamante to the Gleaner from which is taken this extract:

…Much has been said about money-sharks and while I agree that there are unscrupulous money lenders, all the latter are not in the same category, but are these money-lenders who charge over 100 per cent of monies which are very often never returned to them, worse than the dry goods store that make a profit from 100 to 200 per cent? Are they as much danger to the community as the shark who pays his shop girls in King Street as low as nine shillings per week and his cashier fifteen shillings? … If money-lending should be stopped what would become of certain elected members when they rank amongst some of the greatest money-borrowers in Jamaica? (p 40).

Bustamante Part II to come...


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ponderiver 2016-06-05 20:25:28 

In reply to Ewart

great stuff !!!! big grin big grin big grin

 
mikesiva 2016-06-06 04:15:51 

In reply to Ewart

I might have started this thread, but you've made it so much more enlightening....
big grin
Now, I wanted to do something on the Spanish Maroons, but there's nothing on the internet about them that I can provide a link to. That's unfortunate, because they were great Jamaicans in their own right too. So, instead, I had to pull a book off my shelf, and quote this excerpt on Juan de Bolas, called Juan Lubolo by the Spaniards. The English never could pronounce Spanish names - look at how they misquoted Los Chorreras, giving it the ridiculous name of Ocho Rios!

'Juan Lubolo's palenque of one hundred and fifty was stationed...on the south side of the island in the Clarendon mountains....The British had, from very early, made overtures to this group....Exactly when Lubolo agreed to the British overture is imprecise. The formal proclamation announcing the rapprochement was not issued until February 1662/3. But there is evidence to show that Lubolo had been working with the British against the Spaniards and apparently against even against other Maroons in the hills, at least since 1660....The degree to which the Spaniards depended on the blacks not only symbolically but also inn terms of their security is demonstrated in Ysassi's reaction to what he considered Lubolo's defection. The council of war was specifically called to determine what should be done in view of his action. Here they decided to leave the island not out of fear of the British so much as fear of the Maroons - the "rebellious blacks." They argued that the "Negroes" were "so experienced and acquainted with the mountains" that they could not hope to succeed against them....The Spanish governor then issued an order commanding the remnants of his army to remove from the spot quickly, pointing out that the blacks were bound to disclose to the British their rendezvous. Three days after leaving, as the governor predicted, their settlement was reached and routed by the enemy, accompanied by Lubolo and his men....The charter acknowledged the fidelity and affection of Lubolo to the British, in return for which he and his people were to receive their freedom, with thirty acres of land to those eighteen years of age and over. Lubolo's title of Governor of the Negroes was terminated, and instead he was "honoured with the title of Coll. of the Black Regiment" in the island's militia....Apparently the other bannds of black guerrillas in the hills did not view Lubolo's new alliance with satisfaction; they rather saw him as a renegade who sullied their image by capitulating to the enemy. And perhaps, as if to demonstrate their disapproval of the rapprochement, various attacks on the plantations were soon reported to the authorities....The governor therefore sent Lubolo, now the official bloodhound of the British, or Colonel of the Black militia, whether to treat with or to fight against his black brethren is not clear...Whatever the nature of the mission, Maroons apparently felt that this was their chance to wreak vengeance on the black general. Unlike Lubolo's victories over the Spaniards, in this instance he was up against more than his match. He fell into an ingenious Karmahaly ambuscade and was slain. It is reported that he was "cut into pieces," and this is not difficult to understand considering the supreme contempt they must have had for Lubolo's defection to the enemy. According to Dallas, after Lubolo's death his group decreased in number and morale and thus "sought quiet and protection in the vicinity of towns and settlements; nor were any of them ever known to return to their former haunts in the mountains of Clarendon," where evidently a new cluster of Maroons was being formed.' Mavis Campbell, "The Maroons Jamaica 1655-1796", pp. 20-5.

So, the next time you pass through the Juan de Bolas Mountains, think about this man....
big grin
The question is, who killed him?

 
Ewart 2016-06-07 17:58:21 

In reply to mikesiva

Thanks on the Juan de Bolas piece! We need to know more about him.


//

 
Ewart 2016-06-07 18:03:09 

In reply to mikesiva

Bustamante II


Bustamante was well equipped with guile on which he relied as the sine qua non of his political persona.

He often and swiftly moved from one position to another, as was famously evident in his many and varying public postures and utterances on the matter of self-government and independence.

One of his permanent secretaries, Ashton Wright, attested to this craftiness in his autobiography No Trophies Raise when he related an incident. Between 1944 and 1955, Bustamante had received a petition from people in a Clarendon district requesting the construction of a bridge. He instructed his permanent secretary to refuse the request because of a lack of funds, and to send a letter to the effect over his (Bustamante's) signature.

Retelling the story in the Jamaica Observer July 4, 2013, Michael Burke quotes Wright:

Two weeks later Busta was in the area of the petitioners and he was cornered by a number of persons who had signed the petition for the bridge. They showed him the letter they had received with his signature and quoted him as refusing their request. Busta immediately led them to the local post office and sent a telegram to his own permanent secretary along the following lines:

AM ALARMED TO SEE LETTER IN MY NAME REFUSING THE JUSTIFIED REQUEST BY THE HUMBLE INHABITANTS OF ... FOR A BRIDGE WHICH IS AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY (STOP) I HAVE DELEGATED MY AUTHORITY TO NO ONE TO REFUSE ASSISTANCE FOR ANY SUCH PROJECTS (STOP) PLEASE DISCUSS THIS ON MY RETURN TO RECTIFY THE SITUATION (STOP)

On Bustamante's return to Kingston he was accosted by the angry permanent secretary who had sent the letter. As quick as light, Busta extricated himself,

‘What did you expect me to tell the poor people on the spot? That I am inhuman and refuse their request? You see, you are not a politician!’

Bustamante’s 1944 administration granted monopoly concessions to various franchise-holders including operators of public transportation for Kingston and manufacturers of cement. And what Walter G McFarlane in The Birth of Self-Government in Jamaica 1937- 1944 describes as “the biggest give-away plums of all” were the concessions to North American metals companies to mine bauxite ore for which they would pay only US 24 cents for each ton shipped.

In truth, Bustamante had little role in the arrangement as it was still the big boys – the Governor, the Colonial Secretary, the Financial Secretary and the Attorney General – who ran things.

Notwithstanding, the government built a cement factory along with several primary schools, the Industrial Development Corporation and a low-income housing estate at Maverley. It also undertook good infrastructural work especially on bridges, drains and the gullies of Kingston, so much so that it was derisively called the “gully govament.”

As Chief Minister and Member of the House of Representatives for Western Kingston, Bustamante set out to make Kingston into an integrated city. Kingston’s gullies had effectively compartmentalised the city especially during the rainy seasons of April and October when they quickly filled up and flooded.

Because the gullies were impassable, sections of Kingston were cut off from each other and much of lower western Saint Andrew from Maxfield Avenue and Waltham Park Road down to the sea was either mud or raging river.

So an infrastructural foundation, including a new bridge over Sandy Gully on Constant Spring Road, was laid that unified the city and stands to this day.

Of course, although the planning, financing and execution of these road and gully works was really done by the Colonial Office, Bustamante took the additional portfolio of Minister of Communications which allowed him to control expenditures.
[b]
This control of funds for large labour projects marked the beginning of the big split in the trade union movement because Bustamante made sure to give out work only to his own BITU members, much to the distress of the TUC.[/b] The situation gave rise to a song that became popular among TUC and PNP supporters:

Gully govament a wha me do you?
Gully govament a wha me do you?
Gully govament a wha me do you?
Beg you likkle wuk, you gimme tear gas!
Beg you likkle wuk, you gimme tear gas!

Yet, the working people were never fully taken in by Bustamante – or anybody else for that matter. They quickly realised that they had to be a union member to obtain employment, and they saw that in order to have a chance to remain employed when administrations changed, they would have to join more than one union.

This they did, ushering in the era of men and women walking with “two union cards,” regardless of where their political sympathies or union affiliations lay. It was the beginning of the aggressive partisanship that continues to characterise much of Jamaica’s public life.

In any event, Bustamante’s working class union members adored him. But the seeds of partisan disaffection in Jamaica which began with something as innocent as rival party songs grew into verbal taunts and abuse, stone-throwing and knife-wounding and finally, in the 1960s, guns and gun violence.

This violence escalated beyond party politics into something more sinister in the 1980s and 1990s when, assisted by a US-aided clampdown on the production of ganja, cocaine trafficking became dominant and ushered in the Colombian drug cartels that control it.

The 1944-1949 period also saw the establishment of the University College of the West Indies (UCWI) at Mona which later became the University of the West Indies (UWI).

This brought more than the opportunity for university education at home because the presence of a medical faculty and a hospital on campus proved of significant benefit to the country at large and the city of Kingston in particular.

Similarly, the beginnings of bauxite mining brought a new dimension to the island’s economy, with many new jobs at very good salaries – even though this took place at the expense of agriculture because many farmers were attracted away from their fields.

When Bustamante spoke in the House of Representatives, he was given to making long speeches that went on for hours. He often attempted to burnish his legend with stories of his work in Spain, Panama, Cuba and the US where he claimed to have been a dietician.

On one occasion, proclaiming his wealth in the House, he boasted, “you should see my bank account. I have £75,000.”

But it was on the pages of the daily newspapers and on the streets of Kingston that he established his reputation. His working class union leadership might have led some writers to credit him together with Norman Manley as “the fathers of Independence.”

But this is only partly true because while Bustamante’s activities made governing very difficult for the British, he had been speaking stridently against Jamaican Independence for many years, only coming round to supporting it when his party won the 1961 referendum.


//

 
Dan_De_Lyan 2016-06-08 00:30:57 

In reply to nick2020

[quote]He said deceased. Last time that was done to a poster on here...


Shat boi Shat.

Dead Jamaican lives in heaven and the live ones in .... big grin big grin

 
Ewart 2016-06-09 17:07:46 

Bustamante III

Often accused of being a dictator, Bustamante was, in fact, dictatorial and high-handed. Unique in many ways, he is the only leader to have been arrested and charged (twice) with violence: once for battery and once for manslaughter.

Fortunately for him, he was able to get the case transferred from Kingston to Port Maria in the rural parish of St Mary where with the help of Norman Manley he was discharged.

His biographer George Eaton describes him as “single-minded,” “autocratic,” and “a demagogue” who once declared that he was the only leader in Jamaica and the only leader of a union that could protect the people.

In one of his letters to the Gleaner, Bustamante wrote,

It has been stated that I want to be a dictator. Yes, I do want to dictate the policy of the Unions, in the interest of the people I represent and the only ones who are giving results today are the dictators. The other elements, the minority, have had their dictators too long. Then why should labour not now have a voice?

Lady Bustamante provides an interesting picture of his dictatorship, and violence, telling of a day when Bustamante went to his office and found some of his union employees and colleagues in a militant mood. They told him that they wanted nothing to do with any dictatorship and wanted “democracy in this union.”

In reply he said,

I want you all to understand that this organisation was built on my blood and the suffering of the workers… you will not be allowed to smash it...

Shirley, you are fired! Morais you are fired! Hamilton you are fired! McBean you are fired! Chambers you are fired! Nelson you are fired! – Memoirs of Lady Bustamante p 135.

When they declared that he could not fire them as “more than one coffin will come out of here today,” Bustamante
rose to his full height, grabbed a chair and began swinging it at them.

The chair broke on one of their backs and they all fled the room, never to return to 61½ Duke Street… In fact, he was made to pay a fine of ten pounds in court when some of those who had been driven from the office reported him for assault and battery. (Ibid)

//

 
Ewart 2016-06-12 17:57:41 

Bustamante - Final Instalment

To counter his high-handed actions, two former officials of Bustamante’s union, Ken Hill and Arthur Henry, formed unions of the Government workers early in 1942.
They were helped by Richard Hart, Florizel Glasspole and Frank Hill who had been active workers for labour since 1937.

The task that these five young men took on was not an easy one; Government workers had never been openly organised before, and when they started their unions the Government was alarmed and tried to break them up by passing a law making unions illegal. The Hills along with Henry and Hart were arrested and put in detention as the Governor thought this would break the spirit of the workers and that they would give up the unions.

What did happen was just the opposite. The workers came together more solidly than ever and remained faithful to their imprisoned leaders. The Government was forced to alter the law and so the workers won back their freedom to organise. After four and a half months the Government was also forced to release the four leaders.

In April 1943, the big fight for the improvement of the workers’ conditions began when the Government set up a Re-grading Committee. By year’s end, the workers received wage increases totalling £420,000 which was a great victory for the unions. The workers got their increases so quickly because they were brave enough to stage a three-day strike in November that year.

It was during this strike – by the then Trades Union Council of those five men – that Bustamante tried to get strike-breakers from his BITU to go in and take the worker’s jobs. At the end of March the next year, the Government agreed to give a small increase of 8.125 percent to relief workers, who were omitted from the previous exercise.

Eaton leaves no doubt that it was Bustamante’s “unbridled egotism” and “single-minded pursuit of power, amply supported by a demagogic ability to arouse his working class listeners to fever pitch” that was the propellant of the early clashes between the BITU and the TUC.

A strike called by the TUC at the lunatic asylum in the city imperilled Bustamante’s plan to be sole labour leader and he led a huge mob of longshoremen and BITU adherents to the scene, resulting in a number of deaths as well as a manslaughter charge against Bustamante himself.

When the TUC retaliated by calling out some of its supporters and strong-arm men on strike, the streets of Kingston became the scene of pitched battles.

This escalated into violence, as BITU gangs constantly disrupted PNP meetings and the PNP-TUC in retaliation formed its own protective strong-arm squads, notably Group 69.

Somehow, the criminal case against Bustamante was transferred from Kingston to a Court in Port Maria, Saint Mary, and he was freed.

Despite his autocratic tendencies, or because of them, Bustamante always looked out for the oppressed and tried to fix problems when he saw them. Strange then that it was the aloof Norman Manley who organised a political party along democratic lines while the likeable Bustamante was an autocrat who formed his Jamaica Labour Party to fight the first general election in 1944, simply by gathering a group of loyal men and women around him, and employing as his main campaign tool, the labeling of his PNP rivals as “godless” and "communist."

Nevertheless, he respected the institution of Parliament and there is no doubt that, between them, he and Manley managed to create the environment which helped to bring the good ship Jamaica into safe harbour.

The two-party system that they eventually operated, and which Norman Manley vigorously protected and defended in several speeches in and out of parliament, is still intact today.

Losing the 1955 elections to Norman Manley, Bustamante nevertheless received a consolation prize in the form of a knighthood from the Queen, and became known as Sir Alexander.

On becoming Prime Minister of the newly independent nation in 1962, Sir Alexander was asked for several months for a debate on foreign policy. Coming from parliamentarians as well as university academics, it was an eminently reasonable request for a newly independent country. When he did at last break his silence, it was to say there was no need for a debate: “We are with the West!”

And that was that.

His political philosophy could be summed up in three of his oft repeated phrases: “Law and order must prevail,” “Women must be able to walk the streets without fear,” and “We are with the West.”

At budget time he would give a long speech. Away from that he was mostly content to sit quietly in his chair, a lion in his lair. Those who watched a somewhat mellowed Prime Minister Bustamante in Parliament post-1962 would sometimes see him take a small comb from his breast pocket and quietly run it once or twice through his silver mane.

When he did rise to speak, a ripple of excited expectancy would run through the House. But he rose to defend the decision to build Jamaica House as the residence of Prime Ministers instead of using Vale Royal, an existing residence that the PNP said they would have used.

I have twenty-four white pigeons at home, twenty-four, Sir Alexander declared with a straight face. And I wouldn’t send one of them to live there!

He clearly thought Vale Royal was unsuitable for a Prime Minister and said he would make it into a residence for nurses, but in the end, it became the Deputy Prime Minister’s residence and was first occupied by Donald Sangster.

Two years after becoming Prime Minister, Sir Alexander became ill but did not resign his post although he was mainly confined to his residence. In his absence the work of government was supervised by Donald Sangster. Mr Sangster acted as Prime Minister until the Chief's official retirement in 1967, but the real planner was Development and Welfare Minister Edward Seaga.

Despite all this, Bustamante remained party leader for ten years until 1974. The silver-maned man who had dominated nearly half a century of Jamaica’s development, died at the ripe old age of 93 at his Irish Town home.

Interestingly, the date of his death was August 6, 1977 – exactly 15 years after Jamaica attained Independence and his appointment as Prime Minister. Michael Manley’s epitaph for him is apt:

In the workplace, the notion that the freedom of 1938 implied rights for workers in their relationship with their employers had become accepted. This had been the task of Bustamante and was peculiarly his accomplishment – (op. cit).

Bustamante’s ground-breaking and heroic efforts on behalf of the labourers of Jamaica through the consolidation of labour unions into the BITU were fundamental in breaking down the power of the plantocracy, and his unique personal characteristics were central to his success.

On the other hand, it was those same characteristics that created the dissention which put a chill on the national movement and still haunt the island today.


//

 
Ippon 2016-06-14 09:15:11 

Don`t post much but had to post on this wonderful thread,thanks for a very informative collection of postings.Appreciates it very much.
Needless to say it is 'bookmark'.
Thanks again.

 
Ewart 2016-06-14 10:11:31 

In reply to Ippon

You're welcome Bro! Good to see you.



//

 
Ewart 2016-06-14 10:36:09 

Ivy Baxter and Rex Nettleford

Ivy Baxter was the founding figure of creative dancing in Jamaica. Before her, there were dancing schools where ballet mistresses taught the ballet.

But Baxter did not stop at ballet. As in all other aspects of the National Movement the dancers wanted to express themselves in their own idiom, their own style. Ivy Baxter, who was close to the Manleys and understood the thrust of the artistic awakening in the national picture, came to their rescue.

Attached to the Extra-Mural Department of UWI, she drove her little black Volkswagen all over the island to teach dance. She introduced creative dancing to young men and women who did not necessarily feel an affinity with Swan Lake and other classics from Europe, but were more at home with musical idioms of Africa and the Caribbean.

Upon Jamaica's Independence in 1962, a production known as "Roots and Rhythms" was choreographed by Baxter, Nettleford, and Eddie Thomas. Inspired by Baxter, several Jamaican dance troupes emerged.

In his inimitable way Nettleford then made himself Jamaica’s spokesman on culture, preserving many of the precepts laid down by Norman Manley and creating phrases such as “a bhutto in a Benz is still a bhuttu,” bhuttu being the Jamaican for a coarse individual.

He obtained his formal education by winning a Rhodes scholarship in 1953 and pursuing a Master of Philosophy degree in political science at Oxford University.

Back in Jamaica he joined the UWI, working there for more than 40 years, notably developing the Department of Extra-Mural Studies and the Trade Union Education Institute, and becoming Vice-Chancellor from 1998 to 2004.

As a columnist, author and compelling speaker, he loved to describe us as being “part European, part African, part Asian, but totally Caribbean,” and describing the Caribbean as that place where Europe met Africa and Asia on foreign soil. He argued for Black people to empower themselves through education and social and economic development.

He produced a significant body of essays, articles and books.

His seminal work, Mirror, Mirror: Identity, Race and Protest in Jamaica (1970), addressed issues such as the Black Power Movement and identity politics, but he first touched Jamaica with his participation in the 1960 Report on the Rastafari Movement in Kingston, Jamaica.

Authorised by Premier Norman Manley in conjunction with UWI vice-chancellor Sir Arthur Lewis, this report first focussed the attention of the country on that group.

In it Nettleford said the role of the Rastafarians had been to bring to the attention of the Jamaican society the urgent need to root identity and national cohesion in a recognition of the origins of its Black majority and to redress the imbalance of history’s systematic weakening of any claim to achievement which descendants of Africans would otherwise make in the New World.

“In this they have been a revitalising force, albeit a discomforting and disturbing one.”

He also produced a range of works focused on dance theatre in the Caribbean, the last of which was Dance Jamaica: Continuity and Renewal.

It was his unique ability in articulating the narrative of the dance to assert and explain the emergence of the Jamaican, and his strong belief in the peculiar gifts of the Caribbean to the world based partly on “the rhythm of Africa and the melody of Europe” that were his indelible calling card.

With origins in the cane-field, and as one who walked barefoot and earned pocket money delivering ice from ice-trucks before school in the mornings, Nettleford understood intimately the plight, struggles, basic decency and potential of working-class Jamaicans.


//

 
Ippon 2016-06-14 12:48:01 

In reply to Ewart

Thanks Ewart,I know you'll keep it going with the others.
Respect.

 
Ewart 2016-06-15 09:59:41 

Edna Manley

It was during the 1950s that Norman Manley’s wife Edna was revealed as Jamaica’s premier visual artist and the inspiration for writers, painters, musicians, dramatists, and poets. She it was who is said to have discovered the poet George Campbell, who wrote the poem Litany that speaks to the spirit of the new day dawning in Jamaica:

I hold the splendid daylight in my hands
Inwardly grateful for a lovely day.
Thank you life…
Daylight like a sacrament in my hands…

Edna Swithenbank was born in Yorkshire, England in 1900, to a Jamaican mother and an English father, the Rev Swithenbank. She studied at art schools in England including London’s Saint Michael's School of Art, and privately with Maurice Harding, the animal sculptor.

Edna's lifelong sense of the world's injustices was fuelled by her father's work with the poor. It hardened with the shameful treatment of Black soldiers, including her cousin Norman, during the First World War, which helped to inspire a budding anti-colonial movement across the West Indies.

After the war, fearing reactions to a mixed-race couple in England, she married Norman in 1921, and in 1922 they made their home in his native Jamaica, and began to encourage Jamaica's independent view of itself.

Edna Manley played a major pioneering role in the history of 20th century Jamaican art. Her works are in private collections, galleries and public buildings worldwide. Beginning in 1924 she exhibited in many one-woman and group exhibitions mainly in London, the United States, the Caribbean and in Jamaica.

In 1929 she was awarded the Institute of Jamaica's Silver Musgrave Medal. In 1943 she became the first recipient of the gold Musgrave Medal for her outstanding contribution and leadership in the arts in Jamaica.

She stopped carving in wood in 1974 with 'Journey' and all her subsequent works were carved in clay and cast.

Having come to live in Jamaica, Edna soon saw the latent and untapped potential of the island’s creative people. As early as 1937 she fostered art with her own work and by teaching a generation of Jamaican artists including the great Albert Huie who paid tribute to her with his 1940 painting, “Edna Manley.”

She started giving art classes and promoting self-expression at the Institute of Jamaica. She fought against English culture redolent in things like blonde hair in children's pictures in schools, and daffodils as subjects for painting, poetry and writing.

As her granddaughter Rachel Manley says, “she was a tireless advocate for art reflecting ourselves, for us being able to honour and be interested in ourselves, and for lovers of art to want to see our own portrayal.”

For nearly 300 years the Black inhabitants of Jamaica had been culturalised to revere all things British and denigrate anything Black or African. The poet laureate, JE Clare McFarlane, for instance, had written a poem called Daphne which resounded with homage to colonial times and culture.”

Edna began turning that around through the arts. She founded and edited Focus, a publication in which young Jamaican poets and writers were often first published. Her famous sculpture Negro Aroused represented a vision of a people waking to a new determination.

It was followed by others including Into the Sun (1954), Growth (195cool and I Saw My Land (1960). All represented her unwavering vision of the nation to be. She designed the PNP’s logo of the rising sun which is on the party flag.

Edna Manley”s message promoted Black self-dignity. Once her husband became Chief Minister, her personal and public life intertwined.

She was the inspiration for budding artists and poets by inviting them to the family home at Drumblair and there discussing art and life.

She played an active role in cultural development as a founder of the National Gallery of Jamaica and as one of the country’s foremost artists, winning many awards and national commissions and sculpting an enormous body of work right up until her death at age 85 in 1987.

She became the co-founder of the Jamaica School of Art which paved the way for many who went on to excel in Jamaican art. Her famous Paul Bogle statue stands before the Morant Bay courthouse where the Baptist deacon was tried, convicted and sentenced to death in 1865.

But it was not only her artistic soul that propelled her. When 1938 broke and the port workers and longshoremen were on strike, she became active. With Bustamante interned and her husband Norman taking up the task of keeping the BITU running, she entered the fray.

A self-employed woman named Agnes Bernard had been working on the docks, taking in laundry for the ships and serving lunches to the dockworkers.

But during the strike the workers soon had no money to pay for their lunch and Miss Bernard, assisted now by Edna Manley and a few other women, supplied them with free food. Soon her savings ran out and it was the Progressive League that eventually came to the rescue with some money to fund the lunches.

Edna’s presence on the docks, working for the labourers, fired the imagination of many people not least of which was Norman himself. Indeed, as her granddaughter Rachel Manley points out in Drumblair, she was his pilot, encouraging him and often employing her instincts and discernment to point him in the direction of understanding the many facets and channels of leadership of a post-colonial society seeking to shake off its bonds.

She it was, then, who lifted him out of his Oxonian mould and opened up vistas of progressive action through the National Movement.

Edna Manley died on February 2, 1987. Her life story is eloquently portrayed in Edna Manley: The Diaries, and Horses in Her Hair, both written by granddaughter Rachel Manley who won Jamaica’s prestigious Centennial Medal for Poetry, and whose Drumblair won the Canadian Governor-General's Award for Non-fiction in 1970.


//

 
mikesiva 2016-06-15 16:32:11 

In reply to Ewart

Very comprehensive about Busta....
big grin
Here's a controversial Jamaican - Henry Morgan. We know about his pirate career, but here's a snippet about his life after buccaneering:

"Because the sack of Panama violated the 1670 peace treaty between England and Spain, Morgan was arrested and conducted to the Kingdom of England in 1672. He proved he had no knowledge of the treaty. When Spanish and English relations deteriorated, Morgan was knighted in 1674 before returning to Jamaica the following year to take up the post of Lieutenant Governor. By 1681, then-acting governor Morgan had fallen out of favour with King Charles II, who was intent on weakening the semi-autonomous Jamaican Council, and was replaced by long-time political rival Thomas Lynch. He gained considerable weight and a reputation for rowdy drunkenness. In 1683, Morgan was suspended from the Jamaican Council by the machinations of Governor Lynch. Also during this time, an account of Morgan's disreputable exploits was published by Alexandre Exquemelin, who once had been his confidante, probably as a barber-surgeon, in a Dutch volume entitled De Americaensche Zee-Roovers (About the Buccaneers of America). Morgan took steps to discredit the book and successfully brought a libel suit against the book's publishers William Crooke and Thomas Malthus, securing a retraction and damages of two hundred English pounds. The book nonetheless contributed much to Morgan's reputed fame as a bloodthirsty pirate during the time he was in Newport. When Thomas Lynch died in 1684, his friend Christopher Monck was appointed to the governorship and arranged the dismissal of Morgan's suspension from the Jamaican Council in 1688. Morgan's health had steadily declined since 1681. He was diagnosed with "dropsie", but may have contracted tuberculosis in London, and died on 25 August 1688. He is buried in Palisadoes cemetery, which sank beneath the sea after the 1692 earthquake."

Yes, he was a brute, a pirate, and a slave-owner. But he was a 'great' terror in the hearts of the Spanish

 
mikesiva 2016-06-17 04:49:52 

In reply to Ewart

Now as to the question of who killed Juan de Bolas...has anyone heard of Juan de Serras?

Juan de Serras

I also found a snippet here:

'The Karmahaly band under Juan de Serras is a Maroon group that deserves special attention, not only because they have nowhere else been systematically treated, nor because of their great skill in guerrilla warfare, but also because of their particular skill in negotiation and their diplomatic subtlety. From scanty data, Juan de Serras appears to have been a man of extraordinary ability, strongly seated in his leadership position, with a vigorous, disciplined organization based on a hierarchical ordering typical of Maroon communities....He governed his people with consensual authority, recognizing those with particular skills in his group and delegating functions accordingly. Thus some were used as emissaries, the specific qualifications for these delicate positions being tact, finesse, and bilingualism in Spanish and English....By June 1664 their harassment of plantations became so alarming to the planters that Captain Rutter and a party of volunteers were sent out against them, but with no success. By the following year reports of their plundering plantations, killing whites, and taking off slaves reached alarming proportions....About a year and a half after the posture of war we find a Karmahaly black, Domingo Henriques, suing for "peace". This peace overture, however, was nothing more than a ploy to gain time in order to consolidate their position, to select strategically new positions, and to lull the whites into a state of security. The ruse could not have been more successful. The astute Karmahaly chief, Juan de Serras, arranged to have Domingo "captured" by one of the parties sent out against them....The result of de Serras's ingenuity was that the whites were lulled into a state of false security, and as soon as the Maroons found themselves in a secure position, some took the offensive and resumed hostilities just two years after the charter....The activities of Morgan and his Buccaneers, as well as the rounding up and slave of the Spanish blacks and mulattoes, may have had some inhibiting effect on the Maroon bands, whether Karmahaly or others in their mountainous retreats.' Mavis Campbell, "The Maroons of Jamaica 1655-1796: A History of Resistance, Collaboration & Betrayal", pp. 25-34.

So, unlike Juan de Bolas, Cudjoe, and even Nanny, this Maroon leader did not sign any treaty with the British requiring them to hunt runaways on behalf of the colonial authorities. Shouldn't we therefore know more about him?

 
Ewart 2016-06-17 09:36:37 

In reply to mikesiva


Great stuff! Never heard of him!


//

 
Ewart 2016-06-17 23:36:41 

Stage Personalities

From English culture, Henry and Greta Fowler who were habitués of Drumblair and friends of the Manleys reproduced an annual pantomime at various places including the Ward Theatre and the Rainbow Club in Half-Way-Tree.

For more than 50 years the pantomime was staged at the Ward Theatre starting on Boxing Day.

Eventually, they created the Little Theatre Movement with a goal of staging the pantomime and securing their own theatre which is now located on Tom Redcam Avenue.

But it shed its Englishness, became the Jamaica pantomime, presenting Jamaican themes that drew a new audience from much broader segments of the society.

This change was most noticeable in the 1957 pantomime Busha Bluebeard, staged at the Ward Theatre. The pantomime brought together for the first time singers, creative dancers, actors, elocutionists, and comedians, as well as a dozen or so students who had first seen the footlights in the Secondary Schools’ Drama Festival.

Not only did it feature Louise Bennett and Ranny Williams who had already been claiming their positions as king and queen of comedy, it also paraded people such as soprano Joyce Lalor along with bass LG Parris, comedian Charles Hyatt, Maude Fuller, Karl Binger, Lloyd Reckord, Douglas Murray, and Trevor Rhone,

Also on stage were Lee Gordon, who had made his name with troupes of Jamaican culture such as Bim and Bam, Raca and Sandy, Slim and Sam, and others.

It was partly out of this pantomime, along with the dance studios of Ivy Baxter Madame Soohih and others, that the NDTC emerged at the beginning of the sixties.

By the mid 1960s an entirely new generation had grown up as true beneficiaries of the Manleys’ cultural vision. Many theatres appeared including The Barn, Green Gables, The Garden Theatre, Centre Stage, and Glynbourne in Kingston and Fairfield in Montego Bay. Great stage shows were presented on the stages of cinemas.

Very popular was Opportunity Knocks, staged by journalist Vere Johns. Broadcast on radio from the Palace Theatre, it was the nursery for several of the big names in early popular music.


//

 
Ewart 2016-06-18 18:08:54 

Una Marson

A special place high in the pantheon of pioneers and trailblazers of the National Movement must be accorded Una Marson, for she was at the forefront of a revolution that plotted the path of Jamaican literature. A child advocate, journalist, feminist and writer, hers was an exciting life.

Starting in Jamaica, she traversed a world stage that included England, Turkey, Israel, the United States and Abyssinia (later Ethiopia). She made an impact everywhere she went and this world travel enhanced her reception when she returned to Jamaica, as adoring crowds flocked to see and hear her.

She moved in illustrious company. When she worked at the BBC her colleagues included “1984” novelist George Orwell, the poet TS Eliot, and the influential literary critic William Empson. Among her Harlem Renaissance friends she counted the Jamaican Claude McKay and the Americans Langston Hughes and James Weldon Johnson. On the invitation of Golda Meir, she worked in Haifa, Israel, during the early 1960s.

As the first major woman poet of the Caribbean and a playwright, she gained a reputation as a literary pioneer. But beyond being a literary luminary herself, she was a tireless advocate for local literature in Jamaica. If Edna Manley struck the match to ignite the Jamaican literary naissance, Una Marson fanned the flame vigorously, not only with her writing and lectures but more so by her personality and her championing of the Pioneer Press, which was the means of publication.

It was Una Marson who launched a campaign to establish commercial printing of books in Jamaica, starting with advocacy articles in Public Opinion. When Osmond T. Fairclough launched Public Opinion in 1937, Marson was one of the early columnists and she lost no time in calling for publishing ventures that could foster links between nationalism and writing, the sharing of local knowledge and the need for self-scrutiny:

We are passing through the birth-pains of bringing forth a new Jamaica, she wrote. In this new era literature must take its place. Indeed, the writing and publishing of books by us about ourselves and our problems is essential. Now in Jamaica we have no publishers… I am sure that if we had a publishing house in Jamaica books that would do us credit would be published annually. Can we get anything done about this? – (Alison Donnell, West Indian Intellectuals in Britain, Bill Schwarz (Ed.) p 122).

The answer to that question would come nearly ten years later with the creation of the Pioneer Press. In the interim, Marson had travelled to London for a three-month vacation and stayed for four years. She joined the League of Coloured Peoples (LCP) and became editor of its journal, The Keys. Through the League, she worked with leading pan-African and anti-colonial Black intellectuals including CLR James, George Padmore and Jomo Kenyatta.

As a result of the racism and sexism she experienced, her writing now showed a focus on Black people in England and she wrote one of her more forceful poems addressing racism in England, Nigger, which appeared in The Keys. In 1933, the West Indian, African and English members of the LCP were cast as actors in the production of At What a Price at the YMCA. This made history as the first Black colonial production in the West End.

Two years later, she was the first person from Jamaica invited to speak at the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship in Istanbul. Speaking on the topic of “East and West in Cooperation” she called upon colonial powers in Africa to “protect the rights of African women in all spheres – social, religious and educational.”

Her performance was not lost on His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, who soon invited her to become his secretary. In that role she became the first Black woman to attend the League of Nations at Geneva, which she did in 1936 when the League considered the fact that Italy had invaded Abyssinia in its hunger for colonies.

It was the year the Emperor delivered the speech that was in the 1970s to be popularised in the song, War, by another national treasure, Bob Marley; and it is believed that Marson had a hand in composing that speech. But she worked herself to exhaustion, triggering a brief nervous breakdown and prompting her return to Jamaica where news of her exploits had preceded her, and where she was greeted by large crowds – a prophet with honour everywhere, including her own country.

Back in Jamaica, she very quickly was restored to good health and soon was busy giving speeches, at least one of which was attended by two very important people in the budding literary world – Edna Manley and Roger Mais. It is not clear when she established connection with Edna Manley, or what the extent and nature of her anti-colonial work with Norman Manley was, but it appears that she became closely affiliated with the National Movement, and she soon launched two seminal projects.

The first was the Readers and Writers Club. Located on Brentford Road in Saint Andrew, it quickly became a sort of lower St Andrew counterpart to the upper St Andrew Drumblair, for it was aimed at developing and promoting the work of young Black writers and artists.

Aspiring poets and writers would go there to attend lectures, read their poems and stories and receive comments from her and others. So it was that she encountered talents such as Andrew Salkey, Edward Dutton Young, John Hearne, WG Ogilvie, Vic Reid, SAG Taylor, Clinton Black and others who really had no outlet in Jamaica.

All this led to the second project. She approached the Gleaner’s managing director, Sydney Gerald Fletcher, with a proposal to start a publishing house called the Pioneer Press. Contracts would be made with authors and the Gleaner Company would manage the editing, printing, publishing, sales and payments of royalties. The books would be printed at United Printers, a Gleaner Company subsidiary on what was then the Foreshore Road (now Marcus Garvey Drive).

It was not a very solid commercial proposal because there was no real likelihood of big profit. But to widening amazement, Fletcher bought the idea and a major plank of the National Movement was born. By 1958 Pioneer Press had issued 21 titles. These included SAG Taylor’s The Capture of Jamaica which sold over 12,000 copies; The Arawak Girl; The Magdalen; Selected Shorter Poems; Ogilvie’s Cactus Village; Adolphe Roberts’ Six Great Jamaicans; and Clare McFarlane’s A Literature in the Making.

Also published were a number of books by non-Jamaican authors including Edgar Mittelholzer of Guyana. This venture produced scores of books and booklets and made people proud that they could write and be published in Jamaica.

It was during this time in Jamaica that she struck another blow for women, workers and writers. With a declaration that “This is the age of woman: what man has done women may do,” she became Jamaica's first female editor and publisher of her own magazine, The Cosmopolitan which featured articles on feminist topics, local social issues and workers' rights and was aimed at a young, middle-class audience.

“Our chief aim,” she wrote in the premier issue of May 1928, “is to develop literary and artistic talents.... Our ambition is to do all we can to encourage talented young people to express themselves freely.” Short stories, poetry, world commentary and her own opinions were included in the magazine's pages. In one editorial she exhorted women to play tennis and hockey. When a White Miss Jamaica was chosen in 1931, she first politely extended her congratulations and then added, “There is a growing feeling ... that 'Miss J' should be a type of girl who is more truly representative of the majority of Jamaicans.”

Her articles encouraged women to join the work force and to become politically active. The magazine also featured Jamaican poetry and literature from Marson's fellow members of the Jamaican Poetry League, which was started by JE Clare McFarlane. By the early 1930s, she had established her place in Jamaica’s literary scene having published two volumes of poetry, Tropic Reveries (1930), and Heights and Depths (1931).

The youngest daughter of a Baptist parson, Una Maud Victoria Marson was born in 1905 in Santa Cruz, Saint Elizabeth, and rose to become a progressive intellectual who placed her focus on women’s liberation, racial equality and cultural nationalism.

Born into the Manse and growing up as a child who never experienced poverty or the dishonour meted out to Blacks at that time, the teen-aged Una focused her thoughts on the challenges around her in Jamaica. She graduated from Hampton High School when Blacks there were few.

As a child she was an avid reader of literature, which at the time was mostly English classical literature. As a young woman at Public Opinion, she sought to encourage feminism claiming that the idea of feminism was not to make a woman more conscious of her sex but to develop that within her which would make for a live, active, mental and physical personality.

In 1937 she published her third poetry collection The Moth and the Star which was sprinkled with topics that ranged from love and nature to racism and gender politics, and she staged her second play London Calling.

Then she staged her most popular play based on the religious cult, Pocomania. During this period, she returned to social activism raising money for the Jamaica Save the Children Fund which she launched and which began as a system of providing hot meals in elementary schools.

By tapping generous donations from her contacts overseas, she was able to replace slates with exercise books for the school children. She also assisted Norman Manley in the anti-colonial struggle, and pleaded the cause of Rastafarian children.

Moving back to London, she became the first Black woman to be employed by the BBC where she did foundational work not only for Jamaica but the entire West Indies. She was the first Black and the first woman there, and she made the superlative Trinidadian cricket all-rounder Learie Constantine, whose exploits were the rage, pale into insignificance in the panorama she created at the BBC.

She was appointed programme assistant for the radio series Calling the West Indies, which by 1943 had developed into the literary powerhouse Caribbean Voices. The series ran for 15 years until 1958, opening doors for West Indians at the BBC. Over 200 authors were to appear on it and they would include Caribbean heavyweights Samuel Selvon, VS Naipaul, George Lamming, and Derek Walcott. All this was before the welter of novelists and playwrights and other artists began to attract a world audience.

Una Marson died from a heart attack on May 6, 1965. She was the first major woman poet of the Caribbean. But it is the door she opened with the launch of the Pioneer Press that rockets her into the stratosphere of the National Movement. Her life and work are chronicled by Delia Jarrett-McCauley in The Life of Una Marson.


//

 
mikesiva 2016-06-19 04:41:32 

In reply to Ewart

Great stuff...I only knew their names - nothing else!
cool
Leonard Percival Howell (June 16, 1898 – February 25, 1981), known as The Gong or G.G. Maragh (for Gong Guru), was a Jamaican religious figure. According to his biographer Hélène Lee, Howell was born in an Anglican family. He was one of the first preachers of the Rastafari movement (along with Joseph Hibbert, Archibald Dunkley, and Robert Hinds), and is sometimes known as The First Rasta. Born in May Crawle River, Jamaica, Howell left the country as a youth, traveling amongst other places to New York, and returned in 1932. He began preaching in 1933 about what he considered the symbolic portent for the African diaspora—the crowning of Ras Tafari Makonnen as Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia. His preaching asserted that Haile Selassie was the "Messiah returned to earth," and he published a book called The Promise Key. Although this resulted in his being arrested, tried for sedition and imprisoned for two years, the Rastafari movement grew. Over the following years, Howell came into conflict with all the establishment authorities in Jamaica: the planters, the trade unions, established churches, police and colonial authorities, and he was allegedly arrested more than 50 times. He formed a town or commune called Pinnacle in Saint Catherine Parish that became famous as a place for Rastafari. Nevertheless, this movement prospered, and today the Rastafari faith exists worldwide. Unlike many Rastas, Howell never wore dreadlocks.'

More on Leonard Howell here

And here

 
mikesiva 2016-06-22 04:50:28 

Jamaica's first ever black poet?

"Francis Williams was born around 1700 to John and Dorothy Williams, a free black couple in Jamaica. John Williams had been freed by the will of his former master and within ten years was able to acquire property. As free blacks the Williams family were increasingly in the minority as Jamaica's sugar industry, which relied on the labour of enslaved Africans, grew over the course of the 18th century. Even less common were educated black people. However, John Williams' independent wealth ensured that Francis and his brothers received an education....Contemporary sources report that for several years Francis kept a school in Spanish Town, Jamaica, where he taught reading, writing, Latin and mathematics. However, it is his writing and poetry on which his later reputation is based. The only surviving work by him is a poem in Latin addressed to George Haldane on his assuming the governorship of Jamaica in 1759 (a popular convention). Francis may also have written the words of the song 'Welcome, welcome, brother debtor'."

Francis Williams

Unlike schools such as Wolmers, Mannings, JC, etc, who were only open to poor whites in the early days, Williams's school was for children of colour. I came across a story in the Journals of the Assembly of Jamaica where it was reported that a white man called Williams a "n*gger", and that Williams thumped him for it. Williams was charged, and acquitted. The Assembly then passed a law making it illegal for any person of colour to strike any white person.

 
Ewart 2016-06-23 08:07:58 

In reply to mikesiva

Tom Redcam - Poet Laureate

J.E. Clare McFarlane - Poet Laureate



//

 
Ewart 2016-06-23 08:16:47 

In reply to mikesiva

Tom Redcam - poet laureate

Tom Redcam (Thomas MacDermot) (June 26, 1870 – October 8, 1933) was a Jamaican poet, novelist, and editor, editing the Jamaica Times for more than 20 years. He was "probably the first Jamaican writer to assert the claim of the West Indies to a distinctive place within English-speaking culture".

The pseudonym Tom Redcam was derived from his surname spelled in reverse. Of Irish ancestry, he was Jamaica's first Poet Laureate. He was born in Clarendon, and spent much of his childhood in Trelawny.

Educated at the Falmouth Academy and at the Church of England Grammar School in Kingston, he was a teacher before taking up journalism, at The Jamaica Post, The Daily Gleaner and the Jamaica Times. He worked to promote Jamaican literature through all of his writing, starting a weekly short story contest in the Jamaica Times in 1899.

Notable among the young writers he helped and encouraged are Claude McKay and H.G de Lisser. MacDermot started the All Jamaica Library, a series of novellas and short stories written by Jamaicans about Jamaica that were reasonably priced to encourage local readers.

Alongside his work as a journalist, he wrote two novels. The first, Becka’s Buckra Baby, is said to mark the beginning of modern Caribbean writing. MacDermot's poems were not collected into a single volume until 1951.

He was posthumously proclaimed Jamaica's first Poet Laureate for the period 1910-33 by the Jamaican branch of the Poetry League.


J.E. Clare McFarlane - poet laureate

 
Ewart 2016-06-25 22:27:26 

Mary Seacole!

Her story later...


//

 
Ewart 2016-06-27 10:52:22 

and so...


Mary Seacole, Doctress

Mary Seacole was a pioneering heroine of the Crimean War. A Jamaican, she was born in Kingston in 1805 and learned her nursing skills from her mother who kept a boarding house for invalid soldiers. Mary's mother was a great believer in herbal medicines and treated sick people. Her medicines were based on the knowledge the slaves brought from Africa. It was passed on to Mary who also became a 'doctress.'

In those days, Jamaica was still owned and run by the British, and the soldiers in Jamaica were British. Some of her customers were military doctors. She charmed them into sharing their science with her, even as she dispensed her Creole medicines. “I never failed to glean instruction, which they gave with a readiness and kindness when they learned my love for their profession,” she said. Her fame as a doctress grew and she was soon operating on people suffering from knife and gunshot wounds.

Her father was a white Scottish military officer and her mother a Black Jamaican. In 1826, Mary married Edward Seacole, a godson of the British Admiral Horatio Nelson. Although she was a Black woman, Mary was not a slave. She was free, but she had few civil rights – she could not vote, hold public office or enter the professions.

On August 1, 1838, all slaves in Jamaica were emancipated from slavery and became known as full free. This followed the Abolition of Slavery Act in 1834.

Mary Seacole’s husband died eighteen years after marriage, and her mother died shortly afterwards. By then, she had visited Cuba, Haiti and the Bahamas where she collected details of how people used local plants and herbs to treat the sick. On trips to America and England she complemented her traditional knowledge with European ideas.

In 1850 she visited her brother in Panama. It was the midst of a cholera epidemic, and when the American doctor fled the scene, she cared for people single-handedly. She even carried out an autopsy on one victim and was thus able to learn even more about the way the disease attacked the body.

Back in Jamaica, she cared for victims of a yellow fever outbreak and was invited to supervise the nursing services at Up-Park Camp in Kingston, which was the headquarters of the British army.

In 1853, war broke out in southern Ukraine where the Crimean peninsula juts into the Black Sea. Russia had invaded Turkey. Britain and France went to Turkey's aid in what became known as the Crimean War. Soon after British soldiers arrived in Turkey, they were smitten with cholera and malaria. Within a few weeks some 8,000 men were afflicted.

So bad was the impact of disease that, of the 21,000 soldiers who died in the Crimean War, only 3,000 died from injuries received in battle.

Florence Nightingale was chosen to take a team of 39 nurses to treat the sick soldiers, but she had little practical experience with cholera. So Mary Seacole went from Jamaica to England in 1854 aiming to join Florence. Although Mary was an expert at dealing with cholera, her application to join Florence's team was rejected, repeatedly, because she was Black.

However, you can’t keep a good woman down. Raising funds she paid her passage to the Crimea. There, she tried once more to join the Nightingale nurses.

She found Nightingale in a hospital, safely located some distance behind the trenches. Seacole walked down the dreary aisles of hospital cots, finding Nightingale in an office, busy with the work of organizing nurses.

After a short delay, Nightingale received Seacole. "Willingly, had they accepted me," Seacole writes, "I would have worked for the wounded, in return for bread and water."

But Nightingale had no room for this offer. Her secretary made the situation clear: "Miss Nightingale has the entire management of our hospital staff, but I do not think that any vacancy ..."

Seacole did not need to hear the end of that sentence. Scraping her savings together, she set up the British Hotel near Balaclava. Here she sold food and drink to the British soldiers, earning money to finance the medical treatment she gave to the soldiers.

While Florence Nightingale worked in safety, Mother Seacole, as she became known, went to nurse the wounded men on the field of battle. On several occasions she was found treating men from both sides while the battle was still going on.

In March 1856, the war ended and Mary found herself in severe financial difficulties that ended up with a London Court declaring her bankrupt.

However, the press highlighted her plight. The Times newspaper published letters from well-wishers, and on December 6 Punch magazine published a poem 'A Stir for Seacole' to be sung to the tune of the nursery rhyme 'Old King Cole.'

Money was raised for her through a grand military festival held over four nights at the Royal Surrey Gardens on the banks of the River Thames in London. A great success, it attracted thousands of people and was supported by Lords, military commanders and almost a thousand artistes. She was awarded the Crimean Medal, the French Legion of Honour and a Turkish medal.

Then the Court declared that Mary was no longer a debtor.

In comparison to Florence Nightingale, Mary did not come from a wealthy middle class background or have any formal training. Not only did she suffer from the restrictions placed on women at the time, she was also hindered by the colour of her skin.

Nevertheless, she established herself as a pioneer of the nursing profession. She died in 1881 after a short illness, and was buried in St. Mary’s Catholic cemetery in England. Obituaries appeared in the Times, the Manchester Guardian and the Daily Gleaner.

Old discriminatory habits die hard. In 1915 the Crimean War Memorial was erected in London - it included a statue of Florence Nightingale but not one for Mary Seacole.

It was left to Jamaica to start the formal recognition of Mary Seacole. The Nurses' Association named their Kingston headquarters Mary Seacole House. Then a residence hall at the new University of the West Indies in Mona was named after her in the mid-1940s and so was a ward in Kingston Public Hospital.

England has since picked up the cue and has begun to give recognition to Mary Seacole. In November 1973, a ceremony was held to re-consecrate her grave. In 2003, an appeal was launched by a British MP to erect a statue of Mary Seacole in London.

Since then, she was declared the winner of the 100 Great Black Britons contest. The UK Home Office named one of the buildings in its new headquarters after Mary Seacole, and a long lost portrait of Mary Seacole went on display at the National Portrait Gallery.

These followed the launching in London of a series of activities to mark her bicentennial.

Mary Seacole never sought recognition; she only wanted to offer her talents to make others comfortable.

//

 
mikesiva 2016-06-29 09:45:25 

In reply to Ewart

Mary Seacole...a great daughter of Jamaica.
cool

 
Ewart 2016-06-29 21:18:28 

And then there was that great son of St. Mary, Barrington Roper. Jamaica's best swimmer of the 1950s, he swam across Kingston Harbour to great acclaim.

At the 1954 British Empire and XC Commonwealth Games in Vancouver,
Roper finished fifth in the 100 yards free style swimming event.



//

 
XDFIX 2016-06-29 22:13:07 

Show Claude McKay some love as well as Carl Stone

 
Ewart 2016-06-30 16:42:43 

In reply to XDFIX

Excellent suggestions... Of course, you can post some too, don't?


razz


//

 
Ewart 2016-07-01 18:05:17 

John Kenneth Holt, great Jamaica and West Indies batsman who went to school at Kingston College.

The claim was that he was lazy in the field and it was enhanced by this tale.

Wanting to encourage him to write about something he loved, an English teacher suggested that his essay topic should be a cricket match.

Holt agreed.


Next day when he turned in his essay, it said:






"Rain today; no play."


big grin big grin big grin


//

 
mikesiva 2016-07-06 10:23:19 

In reply to XDFIX

The late, great Carl Stone, the political pollster who accurately predicted election results in Jamaica from 1976-1993...the British pollsters who've been getting it wrong over the past two years could learn a thing or two from him.
cool
More here

Stone used the Michigan method, while British pollsters rely on cheap but unreliable telephone and internet polling. Sometimes, the old ways were the best, as Carl Stone proved.

 
Ewart 2016-07-06 18:26:48 

Charles "Mass Charley" Hyatt

Charles Hyatt was among Jamaican comedian royalty. A talented actor, playwright, director, author and broadcaster. Born in Kingston, he was educated at St. Aloysius Boys School and St. Simon’s College. He later studied at Theatre Royal in the United Kingdom.

Charles Hyatt has worked as a radio producer and presenter. He has written radio serials such as “Here comes Charley” sponsored by the makers of Charley's Rum, and “When me was a boy”. The latter was also published as a book by the Institute of Jamaica Publications.

An absolute master of mime, he performed in several national pantomimes, cabarets, and many other productions in Jamaica and overseas.

Jamaican productions include “Arawak Gold”, “Bedward”, “School’s Out”, “Two Can Play” "Old Story Time" and “Miss Unusual” among others. He has also appeared in movies with Sean Connery of James Bond fame, and Sammy Davis Jr., as well as in British productions such as Crown Court.

Hyatt was once Resident Actor at Oxford playhouse and also at the Phoenix Theatre.

He won the Best Actor Award in 1958-59 and 1966-67. He was also awarded the Institute of Jamaica Centenary Medal and the silver Musgrave Medal.


//

 
mikesiva 2016-07-08 07:12:12 

In reply to Ewart

More on Charles Hyatt here

 
JayMor 2016-07-10 14:49:43 

In reply to mikesiva

It is quite possible that you (or someone else) may have mentioned him here but in case not...

Jamaican-born Prof. Stuart Hall considered the "godfather" of multiculturalism in Britain.

--Æ.

 
mikesiva 2016-07-11 05:37:13 

In reply to JayMor

Stuart Hall...a great son of Jamaica.
cool
Thanks for that...last year, I went to a function they held in his honour at the Jamaican High Commission in London. It was very informative....

 
JayMor 2016-07-11 20:47:22 

In reply to mikesiva

I read sth centred on Angela Davis and the piece included the fact that she attended his funeral; that's how I came to know of him. Nuff respect to Dr. Hall and may he rest in peace eternally.

--Æ.

 
mikesiva 2016-07-19 04:55:58 

In reply to JayMor

'Richard Hill, one of Jamaica's most famous sons, was born at Montego Bay on the first of May, 1795. In 1779 his father, also namel Richard, came to Jamaica from Lincolnshire, where the family had lived for several centuries, and along with a brother settled at Montego Bay. There he became a substantial merchant, and on his death in 1818 left his property in Jamaica to his son and two daughters, Ann and Jane. Hill's mother, who had East Indian as well as Negro blood in her veins, survived her husband many years, her son being constant in his attention to her up to the last. At the early age of five Hill was sent to England to reside with his father's relations then living at Cheshunt, there to remain till his fourteenth year when he was sent to the Elizabethan Grammar School at Horncastle to finish his education. Upon the death of his father in 1818 Hill returned to Jamaica. Although his property came into the possession of his son and two daughters the father's death in some way involved Richard Hill in irksome money obligations which harassed him for many years, and even after he had discharged them left a gloom over his life. His father was a man in advance of his times, hating and deploring the intolerance and the tyranny that grew out of slavery as it then existed in Jamaica. On his death-bed he made his son solemnly pledge himself to devote his energies to the cause of freedom, and never to rest until those civil disabilities, under which the Negroes were laboring, had been entirely removed ; and, further, until slavery itself had received its death-blow....In the year 1826 Hill visited Cuba, the United States and Canada, and then went on to England, landing there in September. In 1827 he was deputed by the organization in Jamaica to use his efforts in England to secure the assistance of the leading members of the Anti-Slavery party. During his stay there he was on terms of close intimacy with Wilberforce, Buxton, Clarkson, Babington, Lushington and Zachary Macaulay, 8 all members of the Anti-Slavery Society, as well as Pringle and other men eminent for their philanthropy and talents and noted for the deep interest they took in all that related to the elevation and welfare of the Negroes of the British West Indian colonies. The petition from the people of color of this island to the House of Commons for the removal of their civil disabilities, was entrusted to Hill, who upon the occasion of presenting it was permitted "within the bar" of the House. On that occasion Canning delivered his last speech a splendid effort in favor of the petitioners. Hill remained several years in England and contributed largely by his pen and his speeches to enlighten the public mind of England as to the real character of West Indian slavery. But the remittances from the "people of color" in Jamaica, never very large, soon became few and far between. So Hill, always independent in every way, even in his friendships and political alliances, maintained himself and his sister, Jane, almost entirely by his contributions, literary and scientific, to several popular newspapers and periodicals....On the third of February, 1834, Hill was appointed one of a number of forty stipendiary magistrates whose duty it was to adjudicate between the former slaveholders and their "apprentices." 6 This appointment he held until the first of January, 1872. In this connection it may be interesting to quote the opinion of Hill expressed by the Rev. James Thome and J. H. Kimball, who in 1838 published for the American Annti-Slavery Society an account of Emancipation in the West Indies: a six months' tour in Antigua, Barbadoes and Jamaica in the year 1837. They say: "We spent nearly a day with Richard Hill, Esq., the secretary of the special magistrates ' departments, of whom we have already spoken. He is a colored gentleman, and in every respect the noblest man, white or black, whom we met in the West Indies. He is highly intelligent and of fine moral feelings. His manners are free and unassuming, and his language in conversation fluent and well chosen. . . . He is at the head of the special magistrates (of whom there are sixty (sic) in this island) and all the correspondence between them and the governor is carried on through him. The station he holds is a very important one, and the business connected with it is of a character and extent that, were he not a man of superior abilities, he could not sustain. He is highly respected by the government in the island and at home, and possesses the esteem of his fellow citizens of all colors. He associates with persons of the highest rank, dining and attending parties at the government house with all the aristocracy of Jamaica. We had the pleasure of spending an evening with him at the solicitor general's. Though an African sun has burnt a deep tinge on him he is truly one of nature's nobleman. His demeanor is such, so dignified, yet so bland and amiable, that no one can help respecting him."'

More here

 
Ewart 2016-07-19 07:37:20 

In reply to mikesiva


Wow! Again, first I am hearing of him.


//

 
Ewart 2016-07-19 08:03:08 

Cedric Titus

Cedric Titus was a trailblazer. He was called Sugar Boy because of his determined efforts on behalf of the small sugarcane farmers.

He emerged at a time when the sugar industry was still ruled by the plantocracy – a ruling class formed by the White people who owned the large sugarcane plantations, but he was able to bring change. He was successful in organising an approach to securing a better deal for the small cane-farmers who grew the sugarcane on their small plots. He was born into the well known Titus family of Georges Plain, Westmoreland, on April 24, 1914, and he rose to prominence as Chairman of the Cane Farmers Association.

Titus is one of the major heroes of the National Movement’s community solidarity and the national consensus that had been building since the 1930s and flourished across the country for some 30 years. He made an impact on Jamaica that was at once profound, foundational, revolutionary and sustainable.

But his life in the public sphere was all too brief. His sudden death in a bizarre motor-vehicle accident in March 1969 brought real pause and reflection to a shocked nation.

Suddenly, the entire island was paying attention to radio, television and newspaper accounts of his life and work on behalf of the small sugarcane farmer, accounts that had until then been known only to some people in the agricultural sector. A new secondary school, built in Clark’s Town – the middle of the sugarcane belt in his home parish of Trelawny – was named in his honour.

A man of many parts, he was a pharmacist, dairy farmer, cocoa farmer, politician and Senator.

However, it was sugarcane to which he devoted his life; sugarcane, and the building of a new Jamaica through the education and self-determination that would lead to upliftment of the small cane-farmers.

But why and from what did the cane farmers need upliftment? As a Gleaner editorial put it, he took the organisation “from a state of semi-subservience in 1958 to a body which now holds up its head and looks into the sun.”

The background to this is that decades after the abolition of slavery nothing much had been done to create a sustaining environment for the Black inhabitants of Jamaica who had descended from the slave society.

In fact, even though slavery itself was gone, the slave society was still very much in evidence. So at the time Titus emerged there was still a lot of work to do. Fortunately, he was very well equipped. First, he knew the industry inside out, both as a farmer and as a farmer’s representative. He knew his environment and the people in it, for he worked in the cane fields from his youth. He learned at an early age to drive the tractor and he repaired his own tractor and other vehicles. He often went to assist other farmers with various aspects of their lives.

He read voraciously, educating himself. So he built up his confidence based on his knowledge that he would have the support of the small farmers.

His confidence would also have been bolstered by his complexion. Up until the Michael Manley government of 1972-1980, Black people in Jamaica never fully felt that they were masters in their own country.

After slavery was abolished, the British rulers, who felt that Blacks were inferior, wanted to create a White middle class and so they encouraged Portuguese to migrate to Jamaica and gave them the opportunity to become retail traders, an option that was withheld from the Black ex-slaves.

This mix of colour prejudice and economic discrimination continued to determine life long after the abolition of slavery. And “shadism” became a central feature of social life.

The rulers and governors, the police high command, the judges, many of the clergy, and the senior staff of all high schools were White. The planters were White. All the people at the top of the society were White. You had to be White to get a job as a teller in a bank, and employers generally looked to hire people who were fair of skin, often to the ignorance of qualifications.

Black people were barred from most hotels until after the independent Black journalist, Evon Blake, jumped fully clad into the previously Whites only swimming pool at a downtown Kingston hotel to make a point one day half-way through the 20th Century.

Neither Black nor White, Cedric Titus was a medium brown man with a complexion a few dark shades shy of beige. As suggested above, the significance of this was in the times. And so there was a small White superstructure ruling over a large working class of Black people.

But out of the years of miscegenation – some forced, and some legitimate – had emerged a person who was located somewhere along the colour ladder below the Whites and above the Blacks.

So, the small Black sugar cane farmers people around Titus would have given him their tacit, even unconscious support, based on the fact that they saw him in a somewhat higher position on the social scale. He himself knew the social system and resisted it, becoming volubly angry for instance when one of his daughters – fully qualified, but not White – was denied a bank job. But that anger fed his determination to see a fairer and more equitable Jamaica.

Beyond all that, however, was something even more profound, something that was central to his entire existence and his belief systems.

He had often encouraged his children to become qualified before taking on other enterprises.

This was something he not only said but had done himself. He trained as a pharmacist and eventually opened up his own drug store, as they were called in those days. And that was his base. That was, in fact, the rock to which he returned when he suffered his final defeat in his attempt at national representative politics.

But it was even more than that. The fact that he owned a business – and not any business, but a “doctor-shop” business – placed him a cut above the rest, made him a person to be respected and indeed allowed people to accord him respect and call him “Doc.”

And so, when Titus spoke, it was with the confidence of a man who knew that he could not be fired by anybody. He was independent. He did not have to depend on anyone for his income. He could not easily be silenced. And for all these reasons, he had no constraints on his expression. He would talk straight, speak his mind, and what he had to say would be given more than passing attention.

Titus said he was dedicating himself to the task of improving the lot of cane farmers. He wanted to get them better services from the White sugar manufacturers who, as leaders and controllers of the All Island Jamaica Cane Farmers Association (AIJCFA) were giving the cane farmers a raw deal.

He felt strongly that each individual cane farmer was important to the island’s sugar industry and should be given due respect even though he might only have a single acre of cane.

But the founding fathers of the Association had another view; they did not envisage a broad-based association that would allow equal representation for small farmers. And that was the issue. It was the “Cuke Formula Report” that was the trigger for the revolution that he instigated in the AIJCFA from October to December 1958. Disagreement on prices to be paid small farmers for their cane led to the appointment of Sir Archibald Cuke, an Englishman, to conduct an inquiry and report on the situation.

This report was roundly rejected and the rejection was the launching pad for a special general meeting at which Titus did his thing.

The chairman of the Association was H.R. Sharpe, a man perceived as playing both sides. As characterised by Titus, he would “sit at one table as a cane farmer and write to himself at another table as the factory representative.”

On that fateful morning in 1958, Titus was determined to make history. As he was parting from his wife that morning he said to her,

“Today I am going to make or break the Cane Farmers’ Association.” And then this: “Look after the children, because I am prepared to go to jail on this issue.”

Go to jail indeed! For what? For exercising the democratic right to disagree with the conduct of a meeting of an organisation of which you were a member? Ah, but this was still colonial Jamaica, and despite the activities of Nanny, Sam Sharpe and Bogle in much earlier times, Black people had little say.

In any event, look what happened to those heroes! And that is why Amy Titus was so perturbed when her courageous husband sallied forth that morning to do battle in the cane farming arena with the established power structure.

But Titus did not go bare-handed. He had done his homework and made preparations. As Allan Rickards tells it, on an overcast October morning he walked the short distance to the Institute of Jamaica where he huddled with his co-conspirators to fine-tune strategy for the matter at hand.

By noon of that day a resolution had been passed calling for the resignation of the entire Committee of Management of the AIJCFA, and the ‘Titus Revolution’ was a historical fact.

This was followed, in a few weeks by the Annual General Meeting at the Ward Theatre at which a new Committee was elected from the ranks of the Titus supporters who were wearing yellow rosettes that day for identification.

The result was the overthrow of almost the entire existing Committee of Management, thus giving the organisation a new look; it now had as its chairman a small cane-farmer instead of a big sugar manufacturer. All but three of the old guard were removed and a new day had dawned on the sugar industry.

So important was this overturn of the last vestiges of plantocracy that it was broadcast on the BBC World News a day or so later. The new chairman was Cedric Titus and he held the position for ten glorious years in which the cane farmers thrived and sugar production rose to its highest levels. An article in the Daily Gleaner of March 29, 1969, written by the Farm Editor Percy Miller, provides evidence of the impact.

"On the December day in 1958 when the former chairman Mr HR Sharpe made a tactical mistake in his handling of a Cuke Award debate, Cedric Titus walked up the main aisle of the meeting to the platform to take up that mistake and never walked down as the same man again.

"The AIJCFA’s members had delivered a total of 1,253,000 tons of cane for that 1958 crop. For all this weight of canes, plus that the Association boasted a membership of well over 22,000 cane farmers, it had handled and distributed to those members only 80 tons of fertilizer for the entire year.

"For the 20 or so factories which were then in operation, the organisation was served by three chemists only, who checked upon juice quality, and the administrative strength of the organisation lay in one manager, an assistant manager, a secretary and a none too large office staff.

"… farmers at that time paid a three pence per ton cess on their canes for the services received, and total receipts on that score were somewhere in the region of £16,000 per year, not much that an organisation could do with such money…

… The picture of production… turned about quite dramatically since Mr Titus took over administration of the AIJCFA. The 1968 crop just past, cane farmers delivered just a little over 2 million tons of canes to 18 factories, but the peak … was in 1965 when the deliveries amounted to approximately 2.4 million tons or nearly double the 1958 figure.

" Under the vigour of Titus’ leadership the ratio of cane supplied for manufacture into sugar, changed from the 1958 position where farmers supplied the lesser, to the point where now they are the greater...

"Against the three regional chemists which the Association had in 1958 and before, there is now a much larger and diversified field staff carrying out different services to farmers. There is a chief technical manager in charge of all outside work, and under him are 18 bench chemists who do the juice and cane quality testing at local factory level, but in addition there are three organisers grouping farmers into the effective harvesting of their canes. The AIJCFA under Mr Titus has thus at least tripled its revenues…"

It was also during this decade that cane farmers were first able to get their fertiliser as well as their cane loans in time so they could cultivate and market their cane properly. Titus brought his organisational skills and his broad vision to the running of the Association.

At his very first meeting he highlighted two matters. The first was a need to keep the whole organisation tightly strung together, with a quick two-way flow of communication between the Committee and the farmer in the field. The second was a need for the Association to take a more active part in supplying the individual farmer with materials so that his yield and earnings would be improved.

"And so the Committee moved immediately to appoint a special sub-committee to examine the total fertiliser needs of all cane farmers and to initiate a plan for supplying them. So important was this issue that he told them that if the importation of ship-load quantities of fertiliser was found to be necessary to meet the case, the Association did not think such a venture was too big.

"Before he took over, cane farmers were at the mercy of the manufacturers and had to accept whatever they received; there was no room for negotiation. From the days when sugar was king, the plantations controlled everything. Small farmers had to tag along and march to the plantations’ drumbeat.

The AIJCFA, run by the big White planters, was the controlling body and it resisted the aims of the small farmers. There was chicanery too in testing the cane for sucrose content, and the small farmers often got paid for lower content than their canes contained. All farmers used to cut cane at the same time which placed heavy demands on transportation.

The cane was transported to the factories by the plantocrats who made sure that the small farmers’ cane was not picked up until after theirs.

This meant that the big farmers’ cane reached the factories first and the small farmers were getting the “what left.” One result was that their cane sometimes reached the factory after processing was complete and therefore could not be accepted.

"Even when the small farmers’ canes reached the factories on time, the big cane farmers were given priority.

Enter Titus, the leveller. Under him, the Association revised the system to remove the disadvantage to the small farmers. He fought for equal treatment. Organising trucking facilities to gather and transport the cane to the factories in a timely manner, he created cane collection schedules to ensure the cane was not more than 12 hours old at the point of delivery to the factory.

This was important because cane is sensitive to weather, time and humidity, all of which affect sucrose content. The schedules Titus set up were the answer to this dilemma.

Now, with the assistance of his colleague, WD Roberts, Titus set up laboratory facilities to do the farmers’ own testing of the sucrose content. Then, there was the matter of “burning” cane.

Cane fields were scheduled to be burnt before reaping in order to get rid of the tall, green cane leaves which are sharp enough to cut a man’s hand at a touch and which often harboured wasps and other insects. It takes twice as long to harvest the cane with the leaves on as when they are burnt off. So when the offending leaves are burnt, the cane cutters can do their work in safety and peace of mind, and do not lose time attending to injuries.

At one stage, mechanical harvesters were brought in. But these machines tended to pick up a lot of extraneous matter including dirt along with the cane they were reaping. Because the cane now had to be washed, the process was slowed and this reduced the cane quality. There was a clear advantage to using skilled cane-cutters over the harvesters, and so they eventually went back to manual labour. Good cutters would cut several tons per day, producing clean cane.

Overall, the Titus years saw major increases in the production of sugar and increased prosperity for the small cane-farmers.

They say never judge a book by the cover. No one would correctly judge Cedric Titus by his medium physical stature or the fact that he was not White. Sugar Boy Titus was a giant who played a monumental and determined role in breaking down mental slavery and building the new Jamaican nation.

- From "We Come From Jamaica: The National Movement 1937-1962"

//

 
mikesiva 2016-07-26 05:22:32 

In reply to Ewart

Good one on Cedric Titus....

'ON THE MAIN road leading to St Thomas in the vicinity of Bull Bay stands a historic marker mounted by the Jamaica National Trust Commission (which was replaced by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust in 1985) dedicated to the memory of Jack Mansong. A slave who also became known as Three Finger Jack, his exploits as a guerilla fighter, starting in 1780 until his death in January 1781, sparked a wave of literary works which kept his legend alive well beyond the shores of Jamaica....Describing him as a "folk hero-villain", L. Alan Eyre, writing in the Jamaica Journal Volume 7, Number 4, in 1973 said: "It is a fact that more 'biographies' of Jack have been published than of any West Indian before or since - somewhere approaching 20 in all, almost all written in Britain and almost all anonymous!" In the article titled 'Jack Mansong Bloodshed or Brotherhood', Eyre notes: "Not only did books about him become popular, and one or two are known to have been bestsellers in Britain, but a pantomime of his life had the rare distinction of being a sensation at Covent Garden, Haymarket and Victoria theatres in London. This musical Obi - or Three Finger Jack - had a run of at least nine years!"...Described as "the terror of Jamaica", the exploits of this slave bandit-outlaw struck fear into the hearts of many up to 50 years after his death. The truth about his life seems to have been overtaken by fanciful stories, with the many and varied accounts making it difficult, if not impossible, to untangle the facts from the legend....Believed to be a giant in stature, standing close to seven feet tall, he became known as Three Finger Jack after losing two digits in a fight with a Maroon known as Quashie, who would eventually be credited with killing him. Alone and unarmed, he reportedly had time only to seize a machete before being shot three times, when attacked by Quashie and six others, according to Eyre's account. Mortally wounded, Jack threw himself off a precipice and Quashie followed. The two engaged in hand-to-hand combat with Jack putting up a good fight before succumbing to Quashie.'

More here

I am currently doing research for my PhD which will show that Quashie most likely changed his name to John Reeder, and later he and two other Maroons named Sam Grant and William Carmichael Cockburn, formerly Little Quaco, claimed credit for killing Jack, and received pensions from the colonial authorities for many years for this claim.

 
JayMor 2016-07-26 07:22:21 

In reply to mikesiva

I plan to copy and organise this thread into one cohesive ODF document soon. Too much great stuff deh yah fe jus' mek it waste so when de thread gone. lol

Big up to you, Ewie and all contributors.

--Æ.

 
mikesiva 2016-08-09 05:10:27 

In reply to JayMor

It would be great if you could do it soon, before this thread gets archived...it nearly did!
lol
Edward Jordon (1800 – 1869)



Newspaper editor, statesman, and political activist, Edward Jordon helped galvanize public opinion against slavery in Jamaica among the free mulatto class using his newspaper The Watchman.

Jordon, a Jamaican mulatto, enjoyed more privileges and a higher social status than the slaves, but was barred from enjoying basic civil rights, such as voting or giving evidence in court, because of his non-white status. Jordon emerged as an outspoken member of the mulatto group, actively using his newspaper to lobby for their interests. He surprised many, however, by also being very sympathetic to the slaves, regularly publishing articles criticizing the harsh treatment they experienced.

In 1832 he printed an editorial calling for the planters to "knock off the fetters, and let the oppressed go free". In response the Jamaican planters had Jordon tried for sedition, which carried the death penalty. Though the charge was eventually dropped, Jordon spent six months in prison before his release.

Jordon continued campaigning against slavery even after his release, and after winning the Kingston seat in the House of Assembly in 1835 he helped implement the articles of the Emancipation Act of 1834.

Jordon went on to have a prolific career in public and private service. He founded another newspaper, The Morning Journal, and became manager of the Kingston Savings Bank, and director of the Planters' Bank. At various times he held the offices of Mayor and Custos of Kingston; Speaker of the House of Assembly and Colonial Secretary. A memorial statue of him was unveiled in Kingston in 1875, and can be seen today in the St. William Grant Park in downtown Kingston.

Anti-slavery stalwarts

More on Edward Jordon or Jordan here

PS He was a friend and colleague of Richard Hill, and they were both mixed-race Jamaicans who campaigned for equal rights for mixed-race Jamaicans, and they also campaigned for the abolition of slavery.

 
Ewart 2016-08-09 08:49:18 

Michael "Joshua" Manley - Part I

Michael Manley won his political spurs lying on his back in the streets of Kingston. It was March 1964 during the 97-day strike of the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation.

As a journalist and trade union leader he had served an important apprenticeship and indeed his communication skills and his compassionate concern for his union members and the downtrodden generally, never left him. He had negotiated some great victories for sugar workers, among others.

But, interestingly, it was the JBC strike that brought him dramatically to the attention of Jamaicans on a national scale and made them consider, seriously, the possibility that he would be the best replacement for his father, Opposition leader Norman Manley.

Interestingly, middle-class Jamaicans ignored trade unionism entirely, looking down at it as something not for them but for the masses of unskilled and newly-skilled labourers. And yet here it was; Jamaica=s first white-collar strike. Middle-class workers were employing working-class tactics for the first time, and there was Michael Manley, the darling of the upper St. Andrew types, right in the middle of it.

Noting the successes that civil disobedience was winning for the Civil Rights movement in the US, Michael Manley dramatised the situation by going to lie down on the streets with the JBC workers and blocking traffic on King Street, Kingston=s main thoroughfare, at the morning peak on Saturday, the busiest shopping day of the week. This ploy, along with a strategic roadblock of the main road to the airport by staging a rally at Rockfort worked very well. Michael moved from simply being Norman Manley=s son to become a national figure in his own right.

But he did not stop there. He quickly became an international figure. When in 1974 he set up the International Bauxite Agreement (IBA) in Jamaica, it roused fears in the US that he wanted to establish a trade union of the poor countries and set up a bauxite cartel, much like OPEC, the Middle East=s oil cartel, a few years earlier. (Indeed, Isiah A. Litvak and Christopher Maule note that the IBA's success was second only to OPEC, even though they caution that some members of the IBA were more "successful" than others, some of whom could actually conclude that for them the IBA was a failure).

Like Canada's Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Manley talked about "a just society." Like Nyerere, he preached self-reliance.

But there was no greater champion of a New International Economic Order, a goal Manley pursued relentlessly. Manley's "just society" was not confined to Jamaica; it was aimed at the world, with the poor countries and poor people of the world as beneficiaries. And on learning of his death every self-respecting newspaper in the world ran a substantial obituary.

Michael Manley served as Prime Minister of Jamaica for 11 years. He led the PNP to victory in three general elections (1972, 1976 and 1989) but lost the 1980 general election. His tenure as the country's political leader was noted for its array of social and legislative reforms. These included the establishment of a national minimum wage, maternity leave with pay, the right of workers to join trade unions, the repeal of the Masters and Servants Act, the establishment of a National Housing Trust and the introduction of a bauxite levy, a land reform program, a national literacy program, and a Status of Children Act which ended discrimination against children born out of wedlock. He vigorously promoted education at all levels, cooperative development, worker participation, and national and community self-reliance.

When he took over the PNP in 1969, he became Leader of the Opposition and immediately set up various Task Forces to work on some of the pressing problems facing the nation.

One of these was a Task Force on bauxite. It was led by a captain of industry in the person of Meyer Matalon, scion of the powerful Matalon family, and it comprised businessmen and civil servants. Its objective was to persuade the North American bauxite companies to pay more for the bauxite they were mining in Jamaica, or if that did not work, to find a way to secure better income from bauxite mining.

At least two of those members, Carlton Davis and Pat Rousseau, wrote books on their experience and Carlton Davis’ book is published in three volumes. In other words they thought this was something to write about. And it was.

The bauxite companies stalled. They protested that they were not making a profit. But they refused to show their books. And when the Task Force finally gave up on them and drew up the bauxite levy, one of the companies filed a law suit which it eventually won but in which the damages were so minimal, it was tantamount to a loss. They then secured the assistance of the Department of Commerce, the State Department and the CIA. And that is a story by itself.

But it is the 1972 election that is riveted in the memory. It provided an excellent pointer to the path Michael Manley would take. His election campaign was replete with slogans such as, Power to the People, The Politics of Participation, A Government of Truth, Better must come and The Word is Love.

For years, members of the PNP had felt that they were not fairly represented by what was then the island's only daily newspaper, the Daily Gleaner. And so, when Michael took over the party leadership in 1969, the question uppermost in his mind was how to communicate his message.

The solution he came up with was a stroke of pure genius. While the Gleaner was a highly respected institution and opinion leader, it had two practical drawbacks, even omitting the charge of political bias. First, it did not reach all strata of the population and second, even if it did, there were many people who could not read.

What were the other media? There was radio and television and, ah yes, there were the sound systems - popular, loud and portable channels of dance music. Jamaican popular music which had burst forth in the years following independence in 1962 had developed a phase of trenchant social commentary starting with Carry Go Bring Come by Justin Hinds and the Dominoes. By the late sixties, as disaffection with the JLP spread, several of these songs emerged, the best known of which were Delroy Wilson's Better Must Come, and Alton Ellis' Lord, Deliver Us.

Shearer's government was in the midst of a banning spree – banning books, banning people from visiting Cuba and certain other countries, and taking away their passports if they did; banning Guyanese lecturer Walter Rodney from returning to his job at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica after he took part in the 1968 Black Writers Conference in Montreal.

In this climate, with Seaga as Minister in charge of culture, the Shearer JLP Government also banned these protest songs from radio. This banning did not render the songs any less popular, however, and Manley seized the initiative. True to his policy of the politics of participation, he organized a bandwagon (or was it banned wagon?) that went from town to town with the banned songs. To the delight of the people, the bandwagon not only played the banned songs but presented the singers themselves live.

It was like a fresh wind blowing through Jamaica. As a sort of brawta, Manley added himself as campaigning political speaker, complete with The Rod of Correction, a carved walking stick he had received as a present from no less mystical a figure than Emperor Haile Selassie 1, ruler of Ethiopia, and the man Rastafarians say is their God. The whole thing proved to be a powerful and magnetic recipe for success.

When the musicians discovered that crowds were thronging this new outlet for their music, they became freshly enthused and wrote more songs. Now it was Max Romeo with Let the Power Fall On I, then Junior Byles with Beat Down Babylon, and then Peter Tosh joined in with Dem Haffi Get a Beating.

This last began, "I can stand this no longer, The wicked get stronger" and continued, "Don't you wait til your back is against the wall, Just one step for progress and I know Jah will help us all."

Interestingly, while Bob Marley participated in the bandwagon, he did not jump on it – his only commentary on party politics, Rat Race ("Don't involve Rasta in your seh-seh, Rasta don't work for no CIA") being released much later.

The whole country was now enthralled. Indeed, the bandwagon worked so well that Manley himself went on wax. It was a 45 rpm record, Power to the People. With music and an introduction by well-known singer/producer Clancy Eccles, Manley set out his political philosophy in a rousing campaign speech.

Beginning with a declaration that Jamaica was "a society in crisis", he went on to declare his passionate opposition to communism, all forms of totalitarianism and corruption. He invited young, talented people to come and join in his crusade to save Jamaica from the crisis. It was the first time that any politician had actually made a record, and the impact was monumental.

And so it was that on the morning of March 1, 1972, after Manley's overwhelming landslide victory on the night of February 29, despite the fact that the Government had not yet officially changed hands, Jamaica was greeted with the amazing sound of their radios playing Hail The Man sung by uptowner Ken Lazarus, and Free at Last by downtowner Clancy Eccles, bold tributes to Manley and his victory.

There had indeed been restrictions on freedom of speech with Radio Jamaica having to submit its licence every year instead of every five years, for renewal. But, after all, who was going to fire the Dee-jays now? For three whole days, the country bathed itself lavishly in adulation and euphoria.

Hail the Man, a very upbeat song written by Ernie Smith and sung by both him and Ken Lazarus, was decorated with two of Manley's Rasta-inspired salutations of the election campaign. One was "The word is love” and the other was "Hail the man."

Hail The Man

What can you say
To the coming of a brand new day
When the shadows are falling away
Even from the eyes of yore
Express it if you might
As the passing of the night
And the coming of the light
Through a brand new door

How can you tell
Everybody everything will be well
And the sound of the splitting of the bell
Is just too good to ignore
I say, Hail the man,
That's your brother on the street
I say Hail the man, every time we meet
Hail your brother, equal man,
Hail your sister, shake her hand
It is a brand new day
And what we really have to say
Is love, love, love, love.

I say, hail the man equal man
Hail your sister, shake her hand
It is a brand new day
And what we really really have to say
Is love, love love.

The lyric of Hail The Man also reverberates with a sense of transition - from darkness into light, from a caged existence, through a door into freedom.

** ** **

If Norman Manley's mission was to secure political independence for Jamaica, Michael Manley's role of achieving economic independence was a tougher fight and, as they say, "a luta continua." He established several important advances in social and legal reform between 1972 and 1980.

These included an adult literacy program, the establishment of sugar cooperatives, free education for all up to university level, the establishment of a Women's Bureau, equal pay for women, a minimum wage law that included domestic workers in its provisions, land lease programs, a Gun Court to speed up prosecutions and deter gun crimes, and above all, the end of the notion of illegitimate children, arguing that if there was illegitimacy, it was not on the part of the children, but their parents.

This was gloriously captured in Neville Hinds' song, The Message, with the immortal line, "No bastard no deh again, everyone lawful, everyone lawful."

The centerpiece of his social engineering was the national campaign to wipe out illiteracy in four years with the help of 20,000 volunteers, together with the provision of adequate nutrition for all school children.

This was followed by free education, the Maternity Leave Law, the Bastardy Act, Equal Pay for Equal Work, Land Reform, and a variety of housing solutions as part of a deliberate programme to raise the living standards of the poor.
His social justice measures also included the following:

- formation of agrarian cooperatives.
- price controls on numerous staples to benefit the poor.
- reduction of voting age to 18 years, thus increasing the black vote.
- institutionalizing paid maternity leave & free milk to mothers.

His victory and tenure brought hope and optimism to a nation hopelessly divided by class and race and on the verge of implosion, and set the stage for the most memorable political campaign in Jamaica's history.

By the time the elections were held on February 29, 1972, Michael Manley had completely transformed and revolutionised the political landscape and persuaded the urban poor, the Rastafarian community, the intelligentsia, big capital, organised labour, popular artistes and the Church to join him in a crusade for social justice.

Michael Manley's arrival on the political stage coincided with a renewal of the national liberation movements in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the decisive phase of the civil rights movement in North America, the push towards industrial democracy by the workers of Western Europe and the forging of an international coalition for peace which finally brought an end to the war in Vietnam.

Simultaneously, Jamaica was experiencing a period of popular disaffection which took the form of political agitation, worker unrest, the constant mushrooming of political parties and organisations and the escalation of racial tensions into riots.

The hopelessness of the period was captured in the Ethiopians' chart buster of the day, Everything Crash, even as Manley's emergence inspired the hope to give Power To The People reflected in Delroy Wilson's Better must come.

Michael Manley brought to politics superior intellect and enormous self-confidence. Science informs us that genes and environment are the dominant factors in the shaping of the human personality. On both counts the young Michael Manley was well served. He also shared with his father an inordinate capacity for sustained physical and intellectual effort and an extraordinary sense of duty and obligation.

To this day opinion polls confirm the extent to which he touched the lives of the Jamaican people and roused them to a consciousness of the latent powers within themselves. No one spoke with greater passion about the anguish of the poor and the dispossessed, nor described their cry for help with greater eloquence.

"From every victim of oppression who lives today and from the shade of every victim who was forced to pray to God Almighty, not with joy but from despair, there goes up a cry and a summons. It is a cry for help at last and a summons to action now."

Manley understood the centrality of religion in the life of the Jamaican people and placed his political mission squarely within a religious framework. Speaking at the party conference on 1971, five months before the general elections of 1972, he warmed to the theme.

"I want it to be known that if it is God's will that I should face this awesome responsibility I would want to consult the church for guidance ... We will face the election, when it comes, in the faith that the new Jerusalem is ours to build and we will say with St. John in the Revelation: ‘And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.’ Comrades, let us now put our hands to that holy task."

Manley also knew the political importance of the Black Nationalist current which had swept the industrial cities of North America, and had again come to the fore in Jamaica in the Black Power rebellion of 1968 around the central figure of the Pan-African intellectual, Walter Rodney.

Immediately after his election as president of the party, Manley went on an extended tour of Africa. Among the leaders he met was Haile Selassie of Ethiopia who was accorded divine status by the Rastafarian community in Jamaica. On his return he used a rod given to him by Selassie as a symbol of political endorsement, which he manipulated with telling effect during the campaign. With deft reference to the shortcomings of the JLP government, he called it The Rod of Correction.

His response to the historical challenges of race and class in Jamaican society was a master stroke which subordinated racial discrimination to economic deprivation.

"It is a tragedy of our history that the masses are predominantly black and the privileged classes predominantly fair-skinned. We call on Jamaica to assault the economic system that perpetuates disadvantages and so feeds the delusion that race is the enemy, when poverty is the true obstacle to overcome."

Simultaneously, he wooed the national capitalist class, threatened by Seaga with dire penalties for tax evasion, by pointing them to the benefits of economic nationalism which was to be achieved by "wresting the commanding heights of the economy from foreign control."

With Seaga, Lightbourne and Wilton Hill carving out individual political turf which illustrated the division and disunity within that administration which Shearer was either unwilling or incapable of resolving, the JLP also made its own unique contribution to Manley's political success.

Based on the results of the elections of 1972, which showed Manley winning an unprecedented 56 per cent of the popular vote and 37 of the 53 seats in Parliament, he could claim with justification to have built the most complete expression of national consensus and convergence around a single political personality by winning over a majority in every social class.

The Stone Polls confirmed the broad social base of Manley's electoral victory which included an amazing "75 per cent of the white collar workers and other professionals and 60 per cent of the capitalists and wealthy professionals."

The Jamaica which Michael Manley inherited had nearly doubled its per capita income in the decade of the '60s, with direct private foreign investment reaching an all-time high as the economy grew at an average of six per cent between 1967 and 1972.

The problem as he perceived it was more so one of equity than production, and consistent with this analysis it was social reconstruction of society to which he primarily committed himself. This commitment was reflected in the range of social legislation and interventions which dominated his entire administration.

In the first 100 days, he announced the Impact Work Programme, the amnesty for turning in illegal guns, legislation to deal with the integrity of parliamentarians and the search in collaboration with Jamaica's overseas missions for skilled Jamaicans who wanted to return home to serve.

With trade unionism in his blood from his leadership of the National Workers Union, his contribution to the Jamaican labor movement was outstanding. He established a modern labor contract for bauxite and alumina workers and modernized labor negotiation practices in the sugar industry. He founded the Caribbean Mine & Metal Workers Federation and was its President for 13 years.

In 1962 Michael Manley was appointed to the Jamaica Senate. Five years later he was elected Member of Parliament for Central Kingston. He was elected Vice President of the PNP in 1967 and President in 1969. Following his attainment of the presidency, he was appointed Leader of the Opposition.

At the international level, his was a highly respected voice, especially in such bodies as the Commonwealth of Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Countries, the Group of 77, and the Socialist International. He was a leading advocate of South-South cooperation and was in the vanguard of world statesmen who applied international pressure to assist in the dismantling of apartheid and of minority rule in southern Africa, an d Jamaica was held in high regard in the corridors of the United Nations Organisation.

In 1977, because of his consistent advocacy of a New International Economic Order with a more equitable deal for developing countries, Manley was elected Vice President of Socialist International.

The arena in which the main war for economic independence was fought was that of bauxite and alumina. This was furiously defended by the bauxite lobby in the United States, and publicly misrepresented by the US media as neither economics nor national sovereignty, but rather as a matter of ideology. This, of course, was the leading factor in Manley's election loss in 1980, although his "power to the people" policy may have gone a little further than even he intended.

By then, even some of Manley's own supporters were distraught by the radical political posturings of some of his ministers, notably the Minister of Mobilization, Dr. D.K. Duncan. Most Jamaicans, too, were incensed at the unbridled arrogance of the Cuban Ambassador of the day, Ulises Estrada, whose behaviour lent support to the propagandists who were saying that Jamaica was being run by Fidel Castro.

Worse; despite Estrada’s excesses, the government seemed unwilling to rein him in. But PNP voters, scared and tired of the war voted their party out of power. And so it was that, the day after the election, some voters went to their defeated candidates and said, "We voted against you yesterday, but we are still PNP."

So Manley retreated. Later he was to say he was glad his party lost. When Seaga called a snap election in 1983 to take advantage of the propaganda surrounding the US invasion of Grenada, Manley did not contest it.

He spent his time with his family in Jamaica and England and took up lecturing throughout the US and Canada. At one stage he was visiting lecturer at Columbia University and for more than a year he wrote a series of articles for South Magazine.

By the time he re-emerged to campaign for the 1989 elections he conceded he had made some mistakes and presented himself as one who had mended his fences with Washington. He had tried to do too much, he said; he had upset the middle class and the commercial sector. He would re-establish the relationship with Cuba but would never again let it affect his other relationships.

The people eagerly welcomed him back. He had remained the most popular politician in Jamaica throughout. Now, however, he would be a pragmatist. No more talk about "the commanding heights of the economy;" he would continue divesting the government of its ownership of hotels etc.

Nevertheless, while he would now follow the dictates of the market economy, he found a way to try to sell it as being compatible with his evolving concept of democratic socialism.

To many, this seemed a stretch. In any event age was catching up. He was no longer the "Young Bwoy" of his union days. He tried, but his heart – and maybe his sinew – was not in it. The great salesman seemed to have little passion for the goods he was now selling.

Jamaica fell into a sort of astonished, disbelieving stupor. What was happening, really? Could this be Joshua? Soon, pleading illness, he handed over the reins of leadership to P.J. Patterson and went off to plant roses, write cricket, do some lecture tours, and intervene occasionally on behalf of Caribbean tourism.

Michael Manley never failed to arouse strong feelings. First it was love and admiration. Then, like a marriage gone bad, it was, for some, a raging hatred. The arguments will continue. But in death he is free at last from the twin pressures of adulation and animosity. Still, for the entire period between 1972 and his retirement, polls said he remained the single most popular politician in Jamaica.

And so, after his death, as Jamaicans began to analyse their loss and the meaning of his life, their writings bore the unmistakeable signs of stress and struggle - a struggle, even now, to define him. Still perplexed, they tried to express their hurt but for the most part found it impossible to do so without finding themselves compelled to >hail the man.= For it was Michael who held up to them a mirror of pride and gave them a sense of belonging.

But, until very recently, those who have been writing were still, mostly middle and upper class. The working classes, who he embraced and who embraced him fiercely in return, sing a different song, one verse of which was evident at his funeral as they overcrowded streets and his graveside to present their unadulterated eulogies.

“Press along Joshua, press along
in God's own way
Tribulations you must bear
Trials and crosses in your way
For the hotter the battle
The sweeter the victory”

//

 
mikesiva 2016-08-21 10:52:44 

In reply to Ewart

Great one, Ewart....
cool

 
Ewart 2016-08-21 16:57:18 

In reply to mikesiva
Here is the 2nd innings. big grin

Michael "Joshua" Manley – Part 2
“The Word Is Love”

It was the West Indies' darkest day. It was also the longest. All day on Thursday March 6, 1997, family members of Jamaica's most lustrous personality gathered round the St. Andrew bedside of Michael Manley as he drifted into the penultimate hours of his final struggle – a mortal combat between his clear, incisive mind and the insurgent prostate cancer that was known to have engaged him some six years earlier.

As the lengthening hours closed in on midnight (o lente, lente currite noctis equi), with some 15 minutes left before the new day, the struggle subsided and Jamaica's most persuasive voice was stilled.

With his family and close friends around his bedside, Michael Manley, journalist, trade unionist, author, prime minister, horticulturalist, lecturer, Third World leader, anti-apartheid fighter, sports enthusiast, cricket writer, and a towering beacon of hope and enthusiasm for millions of his countrymen at home and abroad, lay dead. He was 72.

It was a remarkable day for it had also begun with death.

Before the day was 30 minutes old, the President of Guyana, Cheddi Jagan, 78, son of indentured labourers from India, had been pronounced dead in a U.S. hospital from a heart attack.

To further mystify matters, that dark Thursday was the first day of the first Test match between the West Indies and India who were opening their 1997 tour at Sabina Park in Kingston. The West Indies team was made up almost entirely of players of African descent and so it was something of a struggle between Africa and India – the old world, in the new.

But with India scoring 300 runs for the loss of only two wickets at the close of the first day=s play, Manley, the cricket writer on his deathbed in St. Andrew, would have felt that, against India, a team that had traditionally been suspect to hostile pace bowling, the West Indies pace bowlers had failed to regain their once-feared dominance.

Was there anything left to live for?

Ironically, Manley=s death was reported in Canada by the Toronto Star before the venerable Gleaner, Jamaica's leading and oldest newspaper. Philip Mascoll, a Jamaican reporter at The Star, received a call and quickly added the necessary final details to the story he had written a few weeks before. His story was on The Star's front page on March 7.

The Jamaica Observer ran a second edition in the afternoon of Friday March 7 to tell of the death.

The Gleaner did not report it until Saturday March 8, although the body of an obituary had been pre-written and left standing months before. As expected, the electronic media were quickly on to the news, the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation informing its audience shortly after 1.00 a.m. on March 7.

Although only six years separated them in age, in politics Jagan and Manley were not exactly contemporaries. When Manley was in power in Jamaica, his Guyanese counterpart was Lyndon Forbes Burnham, Jagan=s political colleague-turned-rival, on whose shoulders the British and Americans conspired to place the mantle of the leadership of Guyana because Jagan (in the 1950s) professed communism.

Indeed, it would be 28 years before Jagan returned to hold the reins of power, and by then, Manley had retired.

Like Jagan, Manley attracted unfavourable attention from the United States. Again the Americans tried to blame their actions on "communism." However, despite his friendship with Fidel Castro – among other world leaders including Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney of Canada, Olaf Palme of Switzerland, Carlos Andres Peres of Mexico, and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania – Manley himself was never a communist.

All the time that he was being painted by the media as "left-leaning" or being "pals with Fidel Castro," Manley steadfastly maintained in Jamaica all the institutions of democracy along with the two-party system and democratic elections.

He maintained his pro-democratic stance even while he was the target of two assassination attempts in the mid-1970s, which Penthouse Magazine credited to the CIA in a December 1977 article by investigative journalists Ernest Volkman and John Cummings, under the headline, "Murder As Usual."

And what was Manley's "sin?" What caused his downfall? Why did he attract the rapt attention of right-wing America and the CIA? Mostly his style, but also his reach.

In 1974, Eric Williams of Trinidad and Tobago, Burnham of Guyana and Tom Adams of Barbados all joined Manley to clamour for Cuba=s admission to the Organization of American States. They all increased their diplomatic relationship with Cuba.

But only Manley paid the price. For Manley, a spell-binding orator who once declared that he would "dismantle capitalism brick by brick," was at once blessed and cursed with exceptional personal magnetism and charisma.

But his "sin" was greater than that, for he championed the cause of the poor and downtrodden. And, unlike most of today's politicians, he didn’t do so merely with words. His record of socio-economic legislation for the benefit of the poor and marginalized in Jamaica's post-colonial society was acknowledged even by Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, never one of his fans.

In reaching down with compassion to help these poor Jamaicans, Manley began upsetting the established order and thus stepped on the corns of the privileged, many of whom fled – to Toronto and Miami mainly, and wallowed in bitter recriminations; a few of these new Torontonians went so far as to throw "Blue-Book Parties" at which they lit bonfires to burn their blue Jamaican passports.

Some of the well-to-do Jamaicans who remained in Jamaica, simply siphoned their money out of the country and in the process created new intriguing legends about the native creativity and ingenuity of Jamaicans as they sought to outwit the currency cops and export their money.

In one of the more imaginative examples, the story was told of a doctor who arrived at the Norman Manley International airport booked on a flight out of the country.

Prominent on his arm was a fresh Plaster of Paris cast, sign of a recently broken arm. But the currency cops took one look at him and saw through his scheme.

Against his loud protests, they cut and removed the cast, searching for currency. But there was nothing there.

The fuming doctor missed his flight. The next day, he was back with a fresh cast, daring the currency cops to make him miss his flight again. This time, sheepishly, they let him through – with hundreds of thousands of dollars in the cast. Or so the story goes.

As it became clearer that Manley=s program was directed at the entire population – that not only the usual beneficiaries would reap the political spoils – his political opponents sought to terrorize him out of power.

This action began with spectacular fires and shootings in a section of lower St. Andrew called Rose Town in January 1975 at a time when US journalists were present to cover a meeting of the International Monetary Fund.

The terror went on for the better part of two weeks and the ensuing social disruption was splashed lavishly and frequently onto the pages of the US and Canadian press and beamed into living rooms by television.

It was the beginning of the foreign press’ extensive role in the destabilisation of the Michael Manley government leading up to the December 1976 general election.

In September 1976 alone, the Toronto Star alone used up some 800 column inches of space on Jamaica – all of it negative. The Globe and Mail, the Montreal Gazette, the Montreal Star, the Ottawa Citizen, the Ottawa Journal, the Toronto Sun, the New York Times, the Miami Herald, and the wire services were not far behind.

Other media across the United States and in Europe took up the cudgel. In short order, Jamaica became verboten for American tourists. The 1976 tourist season was virtually non-existent.

In their efforts to install a reign of terror in Jamaica, Manley=s opponents were supported by money and equipment from the US and anti-Castro Cuban exile groups in Miami. Between 1975 and 1980, vehicles, two-way radios, guns and ammunition, and millions of US dollars flowed into the pockets of the anti-Manley campaigners.

In Canada, a visit by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to a handful of Jamaican nationals in Toronto seemed to be enough to deter their plans to purchase guns and send them off to the Jamaica Labour Party in Kingston.

They denied the allegations. "We hate the guy but we were not setting out to kill him," one said. (It is still not clear whether they had made any shipments prior to the visit of the RCMP).

Nevertheless, with or without their help, terror descended on Jamaica. Marlon James in his true-to-life novel “A short History of & Killings” makes repeated reference to a large shipment of guns that landed on a Kingston wharf… and disappeared!

The death toll between 1975 and 1980, in the downtrodden areas of Kingston and lower St. Andrew, was over 2,000, as urban terror was unleashed on People=s National Party (PNP) youth group members and party supporters who then tried to retaliate.

Superficial commentators point to violent elections while Manley was Prime Minister as the cause of the killings, instilling the impression that he instigated the violence.

Significantly though, of the 20 general elections between universal adult suffrage in 1944 and 2016, the only ones marked by gun terror and hundreds of deaths were in 1976 and 1980 – when somebody was trying to terrorize Manley out of power.

On the other hand, there was hardly a fuss in 1972 and 1989 when Manley was campaigning to get into power at the expense of Hugh Shearer and Edward Seaga respectively.

Why was this happening?

On November 4, 1977, a full-page advertisement was run in the New York Times for the December issue of a popular US magazine, Penthouse. I still have a laminated copy of that New York Times advertisement.

The story that was being promoted in this unusually grand fashion was written by Ernest Volkman and John Cummings, two of America's top investigative journalists. The advertisement featured a huge picture of Uncle Sam with a glint in his eye and a loaded gun in his hand. The headline was, "Murder As Usual."

It went on to state:

"Last year, the CIA conspired to assassinate Prime Minister Michael Manley of Jamaica. While official Washington reverberated with mock hysteria over the assassination of Allende of Chile, and indulged in self-castigation and guilt over the covert operations of the CIA, (Secretary of State) Henry Kissinger approved a plan to overthrow yet another government."

In Jamaica, Manley's government played down the story officially. But it was never refuted by any agency of the US government. Indeed, it is now known that there were at least two attempts on his life. Not only murder as usual, it was also business as usual.

The main reason for the attacks on Manley and Jamaica, was business – US business; specifically, the business of bauxite and alumina which three American companies and one Canadian company were busy mining out of Jamaican soil for peanuts.

The trouble began when Manley, ever the trade union negotiator, attempted by entirely legal means to get them to increase the returns from peanuts to cashew nuts. (For an idea of the Armageddon that was unleashed on Jamaica see Michael Manley’s book, Jamaica: Struggle in the Periphery).

The thing is, up to that time, nobody ever said that the complaints of American bauxite companies constituted the main reason for the destabilisation. This reason was well camouflaged. Most Jamaicans still have no idea.

Michael dedicated his life to the service of his people, especially the downtrodden.

This, perhaps, he did too well. This was his Achilles tendon. He later said he recognized this as a problem. But great man that he was he did not stop there. He went on to express regret publicly for this fault, which he acknowledged led to his ignoring other faults.

Michael aroused strong feelings. First it was love and admiration, excitement and enthusiasm. You had to be there in Jamaica when he won in 1972 to understand the euphoria, the intensity of the adulation. All around the island, people were overcome with joy, and for three whole days, they went out on the streets in the main towns to express their happiness.

Then, like a marriage gone bad, it was, for some after a few years, an equally intense hatred. The arguments will continue.

And so, as Jamaicans still analyse the meaning of his life, their writings bear the unmistakeable signs of stress and a continuing struggle to define him. Yet they all find themselves compelled to "Hail the Man." For it was Manley who gave them a sense of belonging, a sense of pride in themselves.

And THAT is his lasting legacy: He held up a mirror of pride to his people. Captivated, they stared intently in this mirror and believed.

Here then are the voices of two of these believers, quite appropriately in the language of Jamaica. The first is Louise Bennett:

"Dark night got peenie wallie,
Sun-hot got shady tree
Yuh struggles fi human dignity
Tun stalwart victory."

The other is Jennifer Keane-Dawes:

"Missis, when it comes on to dat man, me hab nuff tings fi seh. But the main one is dis. God bless him. Cause if it wasn't fi him dat open the floodgates to university education to poor people, nuff picky-picky head smaddy like meself couldn't tun lawyer, doctor and Indian Chief."

A striking testament on Michael's signal achievement -- what somebody has called "the smaddytization of Jamaica."

It is not surprising that these tributes came from women because it was under Michael's administration that his People's National Party developed its Women's Movement and began promoting women.

Ms. Keane-Dawes’ comment on his impact on education is worth a pause.

It was his father, Norman Washington Manley, who opened the education floodgates to the children of the masses with one thousand free place scholarships in 1957 for the first time, thus providing a way out of persistent poverty.

Michael became Prime Minister in March 1972 and by his 1973 budget, extended his father’s efforts by presenting free education for all to the country, as he put it, “for the first time, at last!”

Central to his thinking was a belief in the capacities of his people, a belief that all ideas should contend freely, and that the greater would prevail. When the assessments come to be made, when they add up the pluses and take away the minuses, the historians will set Michael Manley high on the list of those illustrious servants who have made the greatest impact for good on the people of Jamaica.

While the liberal use of the “C” words "Communism," “Castro,” and “Cuba” opened purse-strings in the US, the main trigger for the US support was that Manley had taken his advocacy for the downtrodden beyond Jamaica, seeking increases for the prices that Third World producer countries received for their goods from consumer countries.

Above all, he had upset American bauxite companies in Jamaica, not by "nationalising" bauxite as he was sometimes accused of in US media, but by finding a completely legal means - a Bauxite Levy - of securing from them improved returns for the bauxite they were extracting daily out of Jamaican soil.

Angry that they now had no recourse through the courts, the companies went complaining to Uncle Sam. And the response came through extra-legal means, hence the increased flow of anti-Manley resources. Hence the assassination attempts. Hence the massive anti-Manley press, both abroad and at home.

And so, tired and unwilling to put his people through more of the murder and mayhem that had descended on Jamaica since 1976, he was actually relieved to be kicked out of office in the general elections he called for October 30, 1980.

In short order, massive inflows of aid that had been withheld from the Manley administration by the IMF and the World Bank, came pouring into the Jamaica that was now led by Edward Seaga. Goods that had vanished from the supermarket shelves (and would only appear in brown paper bags to dearly cherished customers) were now once again abundantly available.

Consumer goods of all types, models and descriptions flooded the various markets. No longer could the foreign press take photographs of empty grocery shelves; no longer would they turn their TV camera lenses on hopeful blades of grass sprouting between sections of concrete sidewalk in New Kingston and proclaim that this represented a decaying economy. Everything was all right – if you had money. Seaga was riding high.

But there was a price to be paid.

President Ronald Reagan, happy that the so-called pro-American, pro-business, Harvard-educated Edward Seaga had taken control of the country, set up something called the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) and declared that he was going to make Jamaica, "the showcase of the Caribbean." Hundreds of Americans had taken up residence, jobs and consultancies in post-Manley Jamaica.

David Rockefeller of the famous wealthy US family was one of these; he headed a team of Americans "the Rockefeller Committee" who came down to Kingston "to assist Jamaica."

Back in the US, right-wing Americans got the news media including the Wall Street Journal to champion their cause: they wanted Manley's celebrated bauxite levy to be removed and the time had come, at last. An editorial in that paper early in 1980 clearly stated that Seaga would succeed Manley and that he would remove the bauxite levy.

But then, even with Seaga now installed as Prime Minister, a curious thing happened on the way to American happiness. Seaga himself failed to remove the levy.

And so, without surprising any Jamaicans, most of whom had quickly dubbed the CBI, the "Caribbean basin-pan" (basin-pan being known as a humble, mostly rural domestic utensil used to facilitate evening ablutions), the aid that had been flowing like a river in spate suddenly dried up. In the mid-1980s, America, which had made Jamaica its Caribbean home, took up its belongings and fled... amidst an astonishing flood of rabid anti-Seaga commentaries in the US press.

With no more external "backative", Seaga's cause was lost. Unlike trade unionists William Alexander Bustamante, Hugh Shearer and Michael Manley, or the deeply respected Norman Washington Manley – all previous national leaders – Seaga drew his support neither from a trade union background nor from either love or towering respect.

If Machiavelli was right that the two towering political forces are love and fear, then Seaga's was certainly fear. But the fear he generated was purchased with external support and when it dried up the field was levelled once more.

And so it was that love conquered all. Manley, whose main 1972 campaign slogan was "the word is love," Manley, whose love for the Jamaican people was equalled only by their love for him, was returned to power in 1989.

He returned a changed and chastened man. If he now cast his democratic socialism in a new market-driven light, it was still the politics of participation. The new approach, he said, was to embrace the market system in a way that would benefit every Jamaican, not just the 21 rich families who had owned most of the country=s wealth and wielded most of its power.

It soon became obvious that the changed Manley lost much of the youth support he had attracted in 1972.

But nobody has been able to calculate how much of the change was the product of intellectual rigour, how much a matter of political pragmatism and how much the simply human reaction of self-preservation after the assassination attempts and the thought of the bitter civil war of the seventies.

The one thing that can be said is that filthy lucre had no part in it; Manley may have succumbed to terror, but he was not bought out.

In any event, his own personal lonely struggle to maintain his health now began to intensify. He stepped down in 1992 after spending weeks in a Miami hospital fighting a debilitating double pneumonia. The year before there was word of prostate cancer. For several years before that he had wrestled with a painful and persistent inflammation of the colon known as diverticulitis.


//

 
bimbo 2016-08-21 18:08:29 

In reply to Ewart

I have watched his videos to try and apeak like him....i still trying lol

What a man!

 
FanAttick 2016-08-21 18:24:43 

In reply to Ewart

Joshua was a man ahead of his time.....

It was he who got me interested in politics....

I can't forget the day he landed at 'Chesta in a JDF helicopter....for the first time at last, fundamentally lol


It is amazing to draw parallel between Joshua and the 2016 US election


1. Free Education: Tuition Free College
2. Minimum Wage: $15 Minimum Wage
3. Equal Pay for Women: Wage Equality
4. Housing: Affordable Housing
5. No Bastard no deh Again: Path to Citizenship

Etc, etc... lol

 
Ewart 2016-08-29 09:42:08 

In reply to FanAttick

Just listened again to that powerful song. And in the middle of it are these four most powerful and significant lines:

Me a satta wid discipline
Me inna de struggle too
No bastard no deh again
Everyone lawful

The second line that identifies Me in the struggle, conveys the notion that the people bought into the struggle and were at one with the program. It was/is evidence that his "politics of participation" was embraced and working...



//

 
Timpy 2016-08-30 04:20:59 

In reply to Ewart

The Message. To me its the Best political associated song of all time. It touches the soul even now. This song was done the year of my birth.

Thanks for this thread. I am up in the early hours of the morning yah reading

 
mikesiva 2016-09-03 05:30:39 

In reply to Timpy

It has been a very informative thread....

I've learnt a lot on this thread.

"William Knibb, OM (7 September 1803 – 15 November 1845) was an English Baptist minister and missionary to Jamaica. He is chiefly known today for his work to free slaves. On the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire, Knibb was posthumously awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit. He was the first white male to receive the country's highest civil honour. Knibb's elder brother Thomas was a missionary-schoolmaster in Jamaica. When Thomas died at 24, William volunteered to replace him. A dedication service was held in Bristol on 7 October 1824, two days after he had married Mary Watkins (or Watkis). The newly-weds sailed to Jamaica on 5 November 1824. William was aged just 21. Knibb found six English Baptist missionaries, African-Caribbean Baptist deacons, and thriving congregations already in Jamaica when he arrived. Together they were following the pioneering work of the African preacher George Lisle, a former slave from Virginia who had arrived in 1782 and founded a Baptist church in Kingston. Knibb began work as the schoolmaster of the Baptist mission school in Kingston and worked closely with fellow missionaries Thomas Burchell and James Phillippo, who formed a trio. In 1828 he moved to Savanna-la-Mar. In 1830 he became the minister responsible for the Baptist church at Falmouth, which had regular congregations of 600 when he arrived. He remained there as minister until he died."

More here

 
buds 2016-09-03 06:48:13 

In reply to Ewart

Ironic that the people who castigated Manley are the ones who benefited greatly from his foresight, wisdom and love for the Jamaican people..The man was magnetic and his oratorical skills was second to none--Way ahead of his time but, his opponents could not envision an equal and just society for all Jamaicans..

 
Ewart 2016-09-03 08:31:46 

In reply to mikesiva

Yep! I am currently writing about him in a book on the William Knibb memorial High School.

Lots of work!


//

 
Ewart 2016-09-03 08:38:35 

In reply to buds

Agreed. Came about 40 years before his optimum time... Just think of what he would be able to accomplish in this time-frame!


The main reasons so many people were caught up in opposition to him were
a) ignorance and
b) partisan political propaganda or just plain partisanship (without the propaganda).

If a political opponent said he was a liar, they just repeated that because they were of that political hue (see certain contributors on this MB talking about "Lying Hillary" for example).


Press along Joshua, Press along...


//

 
Timpy 2016-09-03 12:16:53 

In reply to Ewart

I can see the legacy of Manley. Even today, people vote PNP because of Manley, question though:

Why did so many people migrate leaving there property during that period? Why did he have to access the IMF, I heard that he started with a good economy. Were the various cash programs a success? I particular dont like the land lease program.

 
Ewart 2016-09-03 16:05:48 

In reply to Timpy

I don't know that I have all the answers... But here's a beginning.

Migration
For Jamaicans, migration has always been a necessary thing because no government of Jamaica has ever been able to provide jobs for all its people. There was mass migration in the early part of the 20th century and late 19th century to work on sugar plantations in Cuba and other Central American countries. There was also early migration to Panama to work on the canal.

Migration peaked again in the late fifties and early sixties as people had fears about what Independence would mean. They were unsure that independent jamaica could provide for them. In any case, England was shopping for workers in the wake of WW2.

The wave of migration in the seventies was spurred by the propaganda that Jamaica was going communist. However, it should be noticed that the highest migration of the period came in the eighties... after Michael was out of power and Seaga was PM.

But it was not only the charge of "communism." It was also true that Michael's enemies inside Jamaica, with the help of powerful people outside, had an interest in wrecking the economy so he could look bad. The wave of foreign press attention on Jamaica has not been replicated since. (We can talk more about that later). The driver of much of that wave was US business interests who revolted when they were forced to pay a reasonable price for bauxite.


Good economy
The answer to this is partly contained in the answer above. In addition, the economy of the sixties co-incided with the building of the major bauxite mining complexes in Jamaica. What this meant was that hordes of farmers left farming and got jobs in bauxite, as did many other people from other sections of the economy. When the bauxite plants were built and came into production, there was a natural drop in the economy, especially since at the time we were getting peanuts for bauxite.

Crash Programs
These were always going to be temporary measures. But here is the reasoning. I told you Jamaica was never able to accommodate all the people who wanted to work.

What this meant was that a job was a precious thing and jobs became controlled by the unions, especially the BITU in the period between 1944 and 1972. Practically, that meant that only members of the BITU could get construction jobs which were controlled by the JLP government. This led to jobless members of the TUC resorting to acquiring two union cards - one for the BITU as well! But that did not impact a whole lot of people.

When Michael came in in 72 he left things as they were for about six months. But this left PNP-NWU members fuming. (The NWU replaced the TUC as the PNP affiliate after the expulsion of the four Hs).

NWU-PNP members were teased by BITU workers who taunted them: "When my government in power, me have job, you no have no job. Now your government in power, me still have job, you no have no job. Wha' 'appen to you??"

Good question indeed!

So Michael had to deal with that backlash from his people and he launched the Crash Programme which basically paid people to clean up sidewalks and roadways, and get a cheque every week for doing so.

It also meant that his people were on the streets where they could see and report on anything they did not like, for he had always believed that political power was cemented by control of the streets of Kingston.

Land Lease
I am not really up on this one. What I can say is that several of those kinds of initiatives fell short because of inept management and poor reporting, and not because they were bad programmes.

Land Lease, as far as I can recall, was initiated to take pressure off urban drift by getting people to go back to the land and strengthen agriculture. But, as I said, I am not really up on it.

Hope that helps.

//

 
Timpy 2016-09-03 22:08:28 

In reply to Ewart

Respect and thanks. What you mentioned about the inept management and poor reporting is exactly whats wrong with land lease. I cant even say much about it cos I am too close to that programme currently.

 
Timpy 2016-09-03 22:27:08 

In reply to Ewart

Have you heard about a letter that Bustamante wrote from his cell to the then Governor about what he will do if he should get release from prison. There was a guy on Profile some time back who said that he has a copy of it, which he took from a museum in England. According to him Bustamante did everything as promised in the letter, including separating from the PNP. The man on profile was the one that brought back a copy of a peace treaty that was signed by the maroons, I think he gave it as a gift to the accompong Maroons.

 
Timpy 2016-09-03 22:27:11 

 
Timpy 2016-09-03 22:37:49 

In reply to Ewart

Talking about the Maroons. Did anyone mentioned Nanny on this thread? My valley in Portland is where all the great wars occurred between Nanny and the British. We have some stories in that area about Nanny that the rest of Jamaica dont know. Some of the stories sound like myths but we hold them dearly in the valley.

 
Ewart 2016-09-03 23:00:59 

In reply to Timpy

Yes, I did!

As a matter of fact, there is a very well researched book by Colin Palmer, a Jamaican professor in the US, that details that entire period. And I mean details.

The book is Freedom's Children.

Palmer went to great lengths in his research and he has letters that he got from British Library sources including some Bustamante wrote to Kings House and some Kings House wrote to the Secretary of State and vice-versa.

It really is amazing how rewarding the research can be.


//

 
Timpy 2016-09-03 23:09:25 

In reply to Ewart

Cool, Maybe Palmer was the interviewee on Profile. I am going to search for that book. It should make a good read.

 
mikesiva 2016-09-04 04:58:55 

In reply to Timpy and Ewart

Check out Nanny on page three of this thread....
smile
And since we're talking about William Knibb, how about his Baptist predecessor George Lisle?

"Liele, unlike all other 'religionists' to visit Jamaica before, came voluntarily, not part of the 'establishment', of the same colour as the majority, and did not operate as a landowner or slave trader. His presence excited the masses, and within a few years his first congregation at East Queen Street swelled to approximately 500 members. This was the first Baptist church established in Jamaica. Liele had come from the USA where already his life and witness made indelible mark upon US history. He is recognised today as the first ordained black preacher in America, the pioneer of the Black Church in the USA. His conversion at age 23 so transformed his life that his master freed him to preach the gospel. He came to Jamaica as America's first missionary overseas thirty-three years before Adoniram Judson sailed for Burma and became hailed in missions history as the Father of American Missions. In his native Georgia he had preached throughout the War of Independence, and attracted an impressive number of followers. This led to his establishing, in 1779, along with one of his followers, Andrew Bryan, the first Black Baptist Church in America. When he came to Jamaica in 1783, he began preaching in the dusty streets of Kingston, and gradually reached into the canefields in neighbouring parishes, eventually witnessing islandwide. Three Moravian missionaries had preceded him, but they were from Germany, white, kept slaves, operated in one parish (St. Elizabeth), and enforced such restrictions that their growth was slow and minimal. They did not excite the masses. The impact of Liele approximately 30 years later was startling and substantial. The plantocracy were so alarmed that they began to fear the uprising of the slaves. Not surprisingly then, the local Legislature passed a law to effectively put an end to all non-conformist preachers, for Methodists had arrived in 1798 and had begun to make an impact among mulattos. The law required all non-conformists (non-Anglicans) to get a licence to preach, from the Bishop of London, in London. While the white non-conformists were prepared to challenge the law, the blacks (Baptists) were in no such position. However, one of their member made a master move by writing to the British Baptists for help. In response, the Baptist Missionary Society (BMS) in England sent their first missionary to Jamaica ­ John Rowe. He arrived in 1814 but died of a fever in 1816. The BMS sent successors, and they did noble, spiritual work, leading in the struggles that led to the Emancipation of slavery in 1838."

More here

 
Ewart 2016-09-04 05:30:37 

In reply to Timpy

Check your PM...


//

 
Timpy 2016-09-04 20:54:57 

In reply to mikesiva

I have never heard about any peace treaty that was signed by Nanny. My grand father would turn in his grave if you tell him that.

 
mikesiva 2016-09-05 04:43:31 

In reply to Timpy

Yes, Maroon oral history tends to play down this fact...a document about a land grant which was found by Edward Kamau Brathwaite in the 1970s, and published in a book that's now out of print. However, it can be found in Mavis Campbell's "The Maroons of Jamaica, 1655-1796", pp. 174-5.

I have some excerpts here:

'And now we come to the most intriguing land grant of all. This was made to "a certain Negro woman called Nanny and the people now residing with her." Entered in the official book of patents, where records of land grants to white settlers are kept, and written in the elaborately formal language of the day reserved for such legal documents, with no attention paid to punctuation whatsoever, we find the document...It then gave "unto Nanny and the people now residing with her and their heirs and assigns a certain parcel of land containing five hundred acres in the parish of Portland"...It was in the north east, close to the town of Titchfield in the parish of Portland...that the land was laid out and allotted to Nanny and her people....Nanny and her people and their heirs "shall upon any insurrection mutiny rebellion or invasion which may happen in our said Island during her or their residence on the same be ready to serve us"...It was also pointed out that this was a legal document, made good, firm and valid after enrollment in the chief court of administration, within six months of the undermentioned date (August 5, 1740). The land grant received the Governor's signature on August 5, 1740, was surveyed on December 22, 1740, certified by the commissioners of surveys on December 23 of the same year, and enrolled in the patents on April 20, 1741.'

I'm currently doing my PhD on the Maroons after the treaties, and one of my arguments is that Nanny was no different from Cudjoe and Quao, and all Maroon leaders felt that they had to come to peace terms with the colonial authorities, in order to protect the liberty and well-being of the occupants of their Maroon towns.

 
mikesiva 2016-09-05 04:56:58 

In reply to Ewart

We've spoken about Busta...how about Alan Coombs?

'Coombs, who was also a product of this environment, described the very modest circumstances in which he and Buchanan started the JWTU. "On the 17th day of May, 1936, I contracted six labourers in the Kingston Race Course and they pledged themselves to be members of the society, which they asked me to find a suitable name for." He could hardly have known that within a year this organisation would attract islandwide support and lay the foundations for what would emerge from the labour rebellion of 1938. The first phase of organisational effort climaxed in October with the JWTU participating in a labour conference at Liberty Hall along with members of the UNIA, the ex-servicemen and the Masons' Co-operative Union. Finally, on December 30, Coombs and his union felt confident enough to challenge the colonial administration by staging a march of the unemployed. After disregarding the advice of the Deputy Mayor to turn back, the marchers were charged by the police. A description of this event was provided by Coombs in his memorandum to the Moyne Commission: "The people, all unarmed, were only carrying flags and banners bearing the words 'Starvation, Nakedness, Shelterless'. The Union Jack was torn in pieces ? while the poor and unfortunate people received their floggings which necessitated many going to the hospital for treatment." Coombs responded by threatening a larger demonstration, and, more importantly, called on progressive persons island-wide to become representatives of his organisation. It was at this point in the development of the union that Coombs set out to enlist the support of men of "education and intelligence." Alexander Bustamante was one of the very few to respond and, after attending his first meeting, he became the union's treasurer. Both men now moved more decisively to organise dock workers, railway men and employees of the KSAC in the city, as well as workers in Spanish Town and the banana ports of Pt. Maria and Oracabessa. In return for his financial support, Bustamante quickly became the dominant personality with his energy, flamboyance and the status which automatically accompanied a near-white man of affluence. This was the platform which facilitated Bustamante's direct access to the masses and provided him with the opportunity to parade his genius for demagogy and to demonstrate his genuine empathy for the poor, his absolute fearlessness of the colonial authority and his love of country. By October, Bustamante made Coombs an offer that he could hardly refuse - continued financing of the union in exchange for the presidency. Coombs accepted and in handing over the presidency declared, "It gives me sincere and heart felt pleasure to voluntarily relinquish my position as president ... to our esteemed and devoted friend Mr. Alexander Bustamante."'

More here

 
summergon 2016-09-07 16:43:58 

In reply to Ewart

Ewart, Can you provide more details for me regarding Michael Manley's assassination attempt. A vaguely remember a coup attempt about 1976. Is that what you are referring to?

Were there any arrest and trial and if there was a trial who was found guilty?

 
Ewart 2016-09-07 17:07:01 

In reply to summergon

On November 4, 1977, a full-page advertisement was run in the New York Times for the December issue of a popular US magazine, Penthouse. I still have a laminated copy of that New York Times advertisement.

The story that was being promoted in this unusually grand fashion was written by Ernest Volkman and John Cummings, two of America's top investigative journalists.

The advertisement featured a huge picture of Uncle Sam with a glint in his eye and a loaded gun in his hand. The headline was, "Murder As Usual."

It went on to state:

"Last year, the CIA conspired to assassinate Prime Minister Michael Manley of Jamaica. While official Washington reverberated with mock hysteria over the assassination of Allende of Chile, and indulged in self-castigation and guilt over the covert operations of the CIA, (Secretary of State) Henry Kissinger approved a plan to overthrow yet another government."

In Jamaica, Manley’s government played down the story officially. But it was never refuted by any agency of the US government.

Indeed, it is now known that there were at least two attempts on his life. Not only murder as usual, it was also business as usual.

Manley’s friendship with Fidel Castro at a time when Cold War politics was rampant, is always presented as the underlying reason for America’s disaffection.

However, the main reason for the attacks on Manley and Jamaica, was business – US business; specifically, the business of bauxite and alumina which three American companies and one Canadian company were busy mining out of Jamaican soil for peanuts.

- Extracted from my book We Come From Jamaica.

There was another occasion in Old Harbour probably the same year. Michael found himself facing the guns of our own Jamaican military who had pointed guns at him.

Some of his comrades who were present on that occasion still speak in revered awe and praise about his courage.

They say Michael stood up to the soldiers and never flinched.

(As far as I know, nothing was done about it; there was no court case anywhere).

//

 
summergon 2016-09-07 17:27:57 

In reply to Ewart

So the coup wasn't one of the assassination attempts? I think there was a trial for that one. Do you remember the trial?

 
Ewart 2016-09-07 19:05:22 

In reply to summergon

I remember there was a coup reported but I have only a vague recollection of what happened and who was involved etc.

I do not remember if there was an assassination attempt in it...



//

 
Ewart 2016-09-13 18:44:21 

Claude McKay (1889 - 194cool

Claude McKay, renowned author of several novels and anthologies was born in Jamaica on September 15, 1889.

1907 could be considered a significant year in the life of this great contributor to Caribbean literature. In that year he took his first job as an apprentice wheelwright, but more importantly, he met his first significant patron, Walter Jekyll.

At age 22 McKay joined the Constabulary Force in Spanish Town and a year later he published the “Jamaica Constab Ballads and Songs of Jamaica”. Later that year McKay migrated to the United States where he attended Kansas State University. He then moved to New York where he married Eulalie Imelda Edwards. The marriage lasted only six months.

Three years after his marriage ended he met his second significant patron, Frank Harris, editor of “Pearson’s” magazine. He then began publishing poems under the pseudonym “Eli Edwards” and in 1919 he published one of his strongest poems “If we must die” in Max Eastman’s “The Liberator”.

Most US accounts will omit to mention that McKay was one of the leaders of the Harlem Renaissance, the cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem between the end of World War I and the middle of the 1930s. During this period Harlem was a cultural center, drawing Black writers, artists, musicians, photographers, poets, and scholars.

On a sojourn to London in the same year, the writer was introduced to the works of Karl Marx, thus his entry into Marxism. During his year’s stay in London he worked for Sylvia Pankhurst’s Marxist periodical “Workers Dreadnought” and published “Spring in New Hampshire ”.

In 1921 he returned to New York For a year during which time he became Associate Editor of “The Liberator”, and published two essays “How Black Sees Green and Red” and “He Who Gets Slapped”.

In that period he also published the book “Harlem Shadows”. McKay resigned in June 1922 and made a pilgrimage to Russia to the enthusiastic welcome of Soviet bureaucracy and ordinary Russian people.

For a decade (1923-33) he was an expatriate to Europe and North Africa and in 1934 returned to the United States to spend several months in welfare camps. At age 49 he met Ellen Tarry, a Roman Catholic writer whose work inspired him to become Catholic shortly after he suffered a stroke.

In 1948 after living a full and very active life Claude McKay died peacefully at age 59 in Chicago and was laid to rest in New York.

Claude McKay has left an indelible mark on the literature of the region and his works are well-known and well-loved. These are two of his more famous poems:

If We Must Die

If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursèd lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!


Flame-Heart

SO much have I forgotten in ten years,
So much in ten brief years; I have forgot
What time the purple apples come to juice
And what month brings the shy forget-me-not;
Forgotten is the special, startling season
Of some beloved tree’s flowering and fruiting,
What time of year the ground doves brown the fields
And fill the noonday with their curious fluting:
I have forgotten much, but still remember
The poinsettia’s red, blood-red in warm December.

I still recall the honey-fever grass,
But I cannot bring back to mind just when
We rooted them out of the ping-wing path
To stop the mad bees in the rabbit pen.
I often try to think in what sweet month
The languid painted ladies used to dapple
The yellow bye road mazing from the main,
Sweet with the golden threads of the rose-apple:
I have forgotten, strange, but quite remember
The poinsettia’s red, blood-red in warm December.

What weeks, what months, what time o’ the mild year
We cheated school to have our fling at tops?
What days our wine-thrilled bodies pulsed with joy
Feasting upon blackberries in the copse?
Oh, some I know! I have embalmed the days,
Even the sacred moments, when we played,
All innocent of passion uncorrupt,
At noon and evening in the flame-heart’s shade:
We were so happy, happy,—I remember
Beneath the poinsettia’s red in warm December.

- Mostly from NLJ

//

 
mikesiva 2016-09-16 05:42:34 

In reply to Ewart

Great one on one of the island's greatest poets....
cool

 
mikesiva 2016-09-21 04:26:23 

St William Grant....

More here

'In 1934 he served as a delegate to the UNIA convention in Jamaica, where he was expelled from UNIA by Marcus Garvey himself for "misrepresenting the aims and objectives of the organisation". Remaining in Jamaica, Grant continued both to earn his living as a cook and participate in activism, this time as a labour leader. In May 1938 the dockworkers of the United Fruit Company were on strike. Bustamante and Grant were known as orators promoting and directing the strike. Both were arrested on 24 May, and remanded in custody by a police inspector. While Bustamante submitted to arrest, St. William Grant protested and was badly beaten. Both were charged with inciting unlawful assembly and obstructing the police, were refused bail and as a form of humiliation were stripped down to their underwear. The events led to further strikes and riots, until Bustamante and Grant were freed by a court on 28 May. According to Dr Orville Taylor, a senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies, "had it not been for St. William Grant, history might not have known Bustamante". Grant had a falling out with Bustamante and never became part of the Jamaica Labour Party. In 1947 he contested the West Kingston division for the People's National Party in the first Municipal (KSAC) elections after adult suffrage and was beaten by more than 2 to 1. He never resurfaced in any other political contest. However, in 1950 Bustamante recommended that Grant be appointed watchman at the central Housing Authority (later the Ministry of Housing) in which post he remained until his death.'

 
Ewart 2016-09-21 08:58:35 

In reply to mikesiva

Nevertheless, it was Saint William Grant who is regarded as the father of labour unions in Jamaica. But Grant soon realised that, as a Black man, he would not get very far with the Colonial Government and so he entrusted Bustamante with the responsibility of taking the union struggles to the next level.


- From my book, We Come From Jamaica.


//

 
mikesiva 2016-09-30 06:16:20 

In reply to Ewart

One of these days, I want to get your book....

The outstanding Richard Hart

"Richard Hart was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on 13 August 1917, of mixed heritage that included Sephardic Jewish and African. He was the son of Ansell Hart, a Jamaican solicitor and author of a 1972 historical study of George William Gordon. Hart was educated in Jamaica and in England, where he was sent to boarding-school at Denstone College in Staffordshire. He returned to Jamaica in 1937, and became a founding member of the People's National Party (PNP) in 1938; he was on the party's Executive Committee from 1941 to 1952. He had the responsibility of drafting a model trade union constitution as a member of Norman Manley's 1938 Labour Committee assisting Alexander Bustamante in the formation of a trade union, and in 1940 was arrested for organising a demonstration demanding Bustamante's release from prison. Hart sat the English Law Society examinations in Jamaica, qualifying as a solicitor in 1941. In 1942 he was imprisoned without trial by the British colonial government for his political activities. In 1954, Hart – who self-identified as a Marxist – was one of four PNP members who were expelled from the PNP for their (alleged) communist views. The other three members were Frank Hill, Ken Hill and Arthur Henry, and they were collectively referred to as "the four Hs". Hart was also very active in the trade union movement in Jamaica in the 1940s and 1950s, and worked as a member of the Executive Committee of the Trade Union Council from 1946 to 1948. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Caribbean Labour Congress from 1945 to 1946 and Assistant Secretary from 1947 to 1953. Believing in the importance of popular education to empower people and raise the level of political consciousness in the community – to which his first book, The Origin and Development of the People of Jamaica (1952), was dedicated – Hart helped establish the People's Educational Organisation (PEO), which organized a bookshop and held meetings and debates, including on the type of political party that was needed. Together with other radical thinkers and activists he then formed the People's Freedom Movement (which was later renamed the Socialist Party of Jamaica). The party disbanded in 1962."

I have a couple of Hart's books on my shelf...they're excellent! One of them is one of my key texts for my PhD.

 
JoeGrine 2016-09-30 08:11:24 

I guess, given the topic, Dr. Arthur Wint is still alive. It is ridiculous that Herb McKenley is seen as this iconic figure yet scrutiny will show that the true icon is Dr. Wint.

I rest my case..................

 
Ewart 2016-09-30 14:54:48 

In reply to JoeGrine

I don't think anyone was putting down Dr. Wint...


Wint was captain of the Jamaica team, a medical doctor and a High Commissioner. Those attributes/qualifications make him esteemed and loved.

McKenley was an equally beloved athlete and an insurance salesman who, at the invitation of Prime Minister Hugh Shearer, ran for the JLP in one election and lost. Nothing great there...

But what Herb will be forever remembered and extolled for is his coming back to Jamaica and giving selflessly of his time and experience to thousands of boys at Calabar and St Georges College. He was unique in this and that widespread impact is at once undeniable and indispensable especially in terms of the aspirations of thousands of Jamaican school children who can now clearly see athletics as a way forward for them.

 
JoeGrine 2016-09-30 15:03:13 

In reply to Ewart


I don't think anyone was putting down Dr. Wint...


I never said anyone was putting down Wint, only that we were not "putting him up". I am also saying, Arthur Wint should be the first name in Jamaican athletics!

This thread mirrors the perception around McKenley and Wint. As athletes, Wint was our first gold medalist at the Olympic Games and he remains the only Jamaican to win double medals at 800m.
McKenley's 1952 relay exploit has somehow woven its way into the Jamaican conscience as the Olympic moment and render Wint's pioneering feat as merely an additional Olympic item. Scan our history books, glean from the writings of our "journalists" and you will draw a conclusion not dissimilar to mine.

But what Herb will be forever remembered and extolled for is his coming back to Jamaica and giving selflessly of his time and experience to thousands of boys at Calabar and St Georges College


But what Wint will be forever remembered and extolled for is his coming back to Jamaica and giving selflessly of his time and medical experience to (thousandsLOL) hundreds of boys and girls and men and women in St Catherine and beyond.

 
Ewart 2016-09-30 15:19:45 

In reply to JoeGrine

Not closing my eyes at all to Wint's work.

But you laugh at

"thousands" of boys
. Multiply 50 boys per year by 40 years and see what you get.

And when I say "selflessly" I mean he did not get paid for his services.

Because I admire them both (after all both are Rabalacians) I have no interest in continuing this discussion as it can only lead to where it should not.

What you should do is to post a piece about Wint. It will be well received, and nobody is going to quibble about that.


//

 
JoeGrine 2016-09-30 15:30:57 

In reply to Ewart

You are the Calabar man it would be more fitting that you make the post. This discussion will not end up where it should not as from your posts over the years, you are not of that ilk and neither am I.

Case closed!

 
Chrissy 2016-09-30 21:47:31 

In reply to Ewart

I know people who were there Old Harbour

 
mikesiva 2016-10-01 05:37:50 

In reply to JoeGrine

The great Arthur Wint....

More here

"Arthur Wint, known as the Gentle Giant, was born in Plowden, Manchester, Jamaica. While at Calabar High School, he ran sprints and did both the high jump and long jump. He later transferred to Excelsior High School, where he finished his secondary education. In 1937 he was the Jamaica Boy Athlete of the year, and the following year won a gold medal in the 800 metres at the Central American Games in Panama. In 1942 he joined the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and set the Canadian 400 metre record while training there. He was sent to Britain for active combat during World War II as a pilot. He left the Royal Air Force in 1947 to attend St Bartholomew's Hospital as a medical student. In the 1948 London Games, Wint won Jamaica’s first Olympic gold medal for the 400 metres (46.2 seconds), beating his team-mate Herb McKenley. In the 800 metres he won silver, after American Mal Whitfield's gold. Wint missed a probable third medal when he pulled a muscle in the 4 x 400 metres relay final. In Helsinki 1952 he was part of the historic team setting the world record while capturing the gold in the 4 x 400 metres relay. He also won silver in the 800 metres, again coming second to Mal Whitfield. Wint ran his final race in 1953 at Wembley Stadium, finished his internship, and graduated as a doctor. The following year he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1955 Wint returned to Jamaica, eventually settling in Hanover as the only resident doctor in the parish. In 1973 he was awarded the Jamaica honour of the Order of Distinction. He served as Jamaica's High Commissioner to Britain and ambassador to Sweden and Denmark from 1974 to 1978. He was inducted in the Black Athlete’s Hall of Fame in the US (1977), the Jamaica Sports Hall of Fame (1989) and the Central American & Caribbean Athletic Confederation Hall of Fame (2003). Arthur Wint died on Heroes Day in Linstead, aged 72."

Another great Jamaican....
cool
I was coming around to Wint. This thread is not even halfway yet. There are many more great Jamaicans to come....

 
mikesiva 2016-10-06 12:35:36 

Donald Sangster, the forgotten prime minister....

"He was appointed minister of social services between 1949 and 1953, minister of finance from 1953-55, and again from 1962 to 1967. He was his own minister of finance. By 1955, B B Coke had joined the People's National Party (PNP) and defeated Sangster by a few thousand votes. It was upon the disqualification of George Perrier — the member of the House of Representatives for the old North Clarendon constituency — on the grounds of defamation of character of another candidate that Sangster won a by-election in December 1959. Incidentally, the late Rose Leon was also disqualified for same reason. Sangster was re-elected every election thereafter until his death in 1967. His greatest contribution took place during his years as the deputy prime minister of Jamaica. Bustamante was ill for roughly three years before he finally left politics, during which time he was practically bedridden. So it was Sangster who 'ruled' the country during those years. As Jamaica was new to political independence, the framework had to be set. That lot fell on Donald Sangster. As finance minister, he introduced legislation for industrial expansion, with a stated emphasis on local production, in continuation of all the efforts done by previous governments. It is so unfortunate that in the 1990s Jamaica was forced by globalisation to take foreign goods, and that has killed so much of this initiative."

More here

 
mikesiva 2016-10-11 04:12:01 

Noel Nethersole....

"Nethersole helped found the People's National Party (PNP) in 1938 and served as its vice-president from 1938 until his death in 1959. Norman Manley was president. During World War Two he was prominent in the Jamaican trade union movement, and made a reputation as a conciliator. He stood unsuccessfully for the PNP in the 1944 Jamaican national election, but succeeded at the next election in 1949 and entered parliament as a member of the opposition for the constituency of Central St Andrew. In the early 1950s he chaired the PNP committee whose determinations led to the expulsion of extreme leftist members of the party. He became the first president of the National Workers Union, which was a more moderate successor to the Trade Union Council. In the 1955 elections the PNP won office. As party deputy to Norman Manley, the new First Minister, Nethersole became Second Minister and took the post of Finance Minister. Nethersole was determined to modernise Jamaica's financial institutions to give the country economic independence, in preparation for its political independence, which came in 1962. He played an important part in ensuring that when Jamaica became the world's largest producer of bauxite in 1957, the proceeds helped in Jamaica's development. He spent two years on negotiations to raise a substantial loan on the New York City money market, he laid the foundations for a central bank, and founded the Development Finance Corporation."

More here

 
Ewart 2016-10-11 05:55:26 

In reply to mikesiva

More on Nethersole...

From: A Short Study by James Carnegie published by Bank of Jamaica
November 1975

Noel Newton Nethersole, Minister of Finance and second Minister in the Jamaican Government from 1955 to the time of his death in 1959 For although Nethersole did not live to see the Bank of Jamaica come into existence, it would not have been possible without him. It is also unlikely that the Bank would have reached its present position physically and materially at the end of the third quarter of the century without his work and perception.

The building and the statue probably represent the beginnings of the redress of history as far as Noel Nethersole is concerned...

In an article published in the Daily Gleaner shortly after his death, Nethersole was called “... the preceptor of planning for a Central Bank...most beloved politician of all parties and sectors that modern Jamaica has known, he was a most unusual person.

Nethersole was not regarded as having the colossal status of Norman Manley, National Hero and great advocate who was his friend, party leader and Premier. But Manley’s stature should not obscure the fact that Nethersole was a most unusual man indeed, and ended his life with more of an apparent grasp of technocracy than Manley himself.

Similarities

In the early years, there were some similarities between these two unusual men - similarities which remained to the end. They both went to Jamaica College where a plaque was erected in honour of Nethersole long before a portrait of Manley was hung in a place of honour in the school.

Both were also Rhodes Scholars in days when these awards were just not normally given to men of a certain complexion. But Manley’s stature was such that he could not be refused this award. Almost a decade later, when the same rules applied, Nethersole was also given the award.

There were, of course, differences of personality. Manley, the mercurial, was a superb runner, while Nethersole, the placid and tenacious, called “Crab”, had excelled at the reflective game of cricket. Both turned to law after their studies at Oxford - Manley to
the glories of the bar, Nethersole to the comparative quiet of a solicitor’s chambers.

Their political roles were also contrasting - Manley, the hero of the hustings and lion of parliament. Nethersole the planner, conciliator and political economist.

When he returned home from Law School at Oxford Nethersole, true to character, did not confine his activities within the bounds of his legal practice. His professional colleagues had differing opinions of him. Hugh A. Levy, who had been articled to him, thought that he was uninterested in money, but also said that “in his practice as a solicitor he displayed a degree of erudition and astuteness equalled only by his application and patience. His patience and tolerance were indeed monumental.”

A.C.V. Graham, a country lawyer and judge, said on the other hand, “He never had a big practice because he sacrificed himself in service for his country.”

Early Roles
One of the earliest important political roles had been as Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Kingston & St. Andrew Corporation, a post which must have given him ideas.

Manley made his reputation at the bar not long after returning from England and was famous and respected long before he turned to public life. It seems true to say that Nethersole shone as a team man both in cricket and politics, and also certainly the respect, popularity and experience he gained on the cricket field and in the Committee rooms, made him an obvious choice to lead the National Reform Association in 1937.

The National Reform Association was but the crossing of the Rubicon for Nethersole, if a man with his temperament was capable of worrying about personal risks. The Reform Association went on to prepare the way for the People’s National Party by affiliating itself with the Jamaica Progressive League in which W.A. Domingo, who was to be regarded by Governor Richards as a really dangerous radical, had great influence.

Nethersole has thus been judged as “one who gave stimulus to the 1938 movement” and “as contributing towards the dissolution of rigid class distinctions between the lower and middle classes, if only temporarily”.

It was only logical then, that he was almost to guarantee a large place for himself in the history of 20th century Jamaica, by becoming the first Vice-President and Deputy Leader of the P.N.P.


//

 
mikesiva 2016-10-12 05:10:22 

In reply to Ewart

I remember Jimmy Carnegie from my JC days....

He wrote a few history and sports books of note.

Another Jamaican literary luminary...Andrew Salkey.

"Salkey was educated at St George's College, in Kingston, and at Munro College, in St. Elizabeth, before going to England in the early 1950s to attend the College of St Mark and St John. According to Stuart Hall, Salkey "quickly took his place at the centre of a small but outstanding circle of Caribbean writers and intellectuals. For a critical period he was the key figure, the main presenter and writer-in-residence in the Caribbean section of the BBC World Service at Bush House, London, and his programmes became a glittering showcase for a generation of writers, including Sam Selvon and George Lamming, who had made London their second home. Established and aspiring authors were chivvied, cajoled, gently chastised, inspired and schooled to produce new work for radio on the Caribbean Voices programme over which Andrew Salkey often presided." After reading V. S. Naipaul's first story Salkey encouraged him to continue writing. At the BBC, he also helped write the production My People and Your People with D. G. Bridson, a radio play about a love affair between a West Indian migrant and a Scottish skiffle player. Salkey was a part of the West Indian Students Union (WISU), which provided an effective forum for Caribbean students to express their ideas and provided voluntary support to the "harassed" working-class Caribbean immigrant community, during the 1960s, '70s and '80s. The association also included Gerry Burton, Arif Ali, Chris LeMaitre, John La Rose and Horace Lashley. In the mid-1950s Salkey taught English at Walworth Secondary School (also known as Mina Road school), an early comprehensive just off the Old Kent Road in South-east London. His first novel, A Quality of Violence – set around 1900 in a remote area of Jamaica, and narrated in a Jamaican patois – was published in 1959, and his second, Escape to An Autumn Pavement, in 1960. That same year Salkey edited one of the first anthologies of Caribbean short stories, West Indian Stories, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of folklore and popular culture. His novels that followed were The Late Emancipation of Jerry Stover (1968 ), The Adventures of Catullus Kelly (1969) and Come Home, Malcolm Heartland (1976). He was a prolific writer and subsequently published several books for children, poetry, travelogues, books that drew on folk traditions, including Anancy's Score (1973), as well as editing anthologies including Breaklight (1971)."

More here

 
JoeGrine 2016-10-12 07:29:42 

Jimmy Carnegie was a journalist of the highest order, He was the first principal of GC Foster College. He will always have my utmost respect.

Sleep on Great One!

 
mikesiva 2016-10-12 09:17:48 

In reply to JoeGrine and Ewart

I only have fond memories of Jimmy....

Ewart, do you have anything on James Carnegie?
smile

 
Ewart 2016-10-12 16:39:18 

In reply to mikesiva

No.... but I will try to come up with something later...



//

 
JoeGrine 2016-10-13 06:06:20 

In reply to Ewart

Make sure to mention Sydney I "Foggy" Burrowes and Errol Townshend when you do the Jimmy Carnegie piece

big grin big grin big grin

 
mikesiva 2016-10-16 09:56:37 

In reply to JoeGrine

'Sydney Ignatius (Foggy) Burrowes attended Kingston College (K.C.) between 1943 and 1947. Many believe that he was the most influential student to wear the school’s colors. As skipper (captain) of athletics and cricket, and a key member of the football (soccer) forward line, he was involved in every phase of school life. On joining the teaching staff he became sports master, while studying for the Inter-B.A. Degree of London University. He represented Lucas Club at cricket and football until polio ‘struck him’ in 1954. He returned to teach at KC aided by metal braces and a motorcar fitted with manual controls. It was for many students their first object lesson in adversity and how one may deal with it. He then sold insurance and finally published “Sports Life Magazine”, along with Errol Townsend. Many stories are told and written about him and his theories, among them: Jamaicans should regard any Olympic finalist as a hero; G. B. Grant (the Flying Farmer – School of Agriculture Athlete) and G. C. Foster were the best ever athletes; Jamaican women would be the future bearers of our Olympic hopes. He encouraged his students to write poems and plays praising K.C. and Jamaica. But it was his motivational talks, attitudes and schemes that affected every boy at KC in his time. He organized the “Faculty” of old boys who coached the Inter Scholastic Track Athletics Championship Team to its remarkable fourteen (14) year run, and “never ceased convincing boys that each one had a kernel of greatness in them”.'

Foggy Burrowes

 
mikesiva 2016-10-18 06:20:16 

The outstanding master painter Barry Watson....

"Watson was born in Lucea, Hanover in 1931 . He was educated at Kingston College, the Royal College of Art, London (1958-1960) and continued his study of the works of European masters at the Rijksacademie, Amsterdam, the Academia de las Bellas Artes in Madrid and other major European art schools.

He returned to Jamaica in 1962 to become the first director of studies at the Jamaica School of Art (now part of the Edna Manley College) and spearheaded a new curriculum which allowed graduating artists to filter into the areas of teaching, advertising and television, as well as the conventional fine and applied arts.

As a founding member of the Contemporary Jamaican Artists Association in 1964, along with his fellow painters Karl Parboosingh and Eugene Hyde, he quickly became one of the leading artists of the post-Independence period in Jamaica, whose work represents a turning point in the development of Jamaica's cultural and artistic aesthetic and professionalised the local artistic practice.

His many accolades include the Institute of Jamaica's Gold Musgrave Medal and the Order of Jamaica."

More here

 
JoeGrine 2016-10-18 08:47:22 

In reply to mikesiva

Foggy was astute, brilliant and well read. I am a better person for having known the man!

 
Ewart 2016-10-18 09:14:49 

In reply to JoeGrine & MNikesiva

Foggy was indeed a great individual who did not let his circumstances prevent him from excelling. He was a great inspiration to many even beyond his Fortis clan members.


//

 
JoeGrine 2016-10-18 10:11:16 

In reply to Ewart

Forgot to add, he was a key figure behind the Dolfin Bronx International track team

 
mikesiva 2016-10-18 12:11:12 

In reply to JoeGrine

After Foggy left KC, he did a brief stint at JC, and he got me involved in swimming for my school....
smile

 
JoeGrine 2016-10-18 13:18:21 

In reply to mikesiva

He was instrumental in the sprinting resurgence at JC in the late 70s. "Woppy" Morrison and that Class 2 sprint team of Patrick Haynes, Bond, Campbell (aka Kareem Ali) and Walters were among his handiwork. They won the 4x100 at Gibson in 1977 (43.4) then lost at Champs to Dinthill (43.2) and CHS (43.3) running (43.6) the same time as St.ATHS.

Campbell is of course Prince Buster's son.

 
mikesiva 2016-10-19 10:08:12 

In reply to JoeGrine

Thanks for that info....

"Gerald Claude Eugene Foster (30 November 1885 – 25 February 1966), best known as G. C. Foster, was a Jamaican sportsman who excelled at sprinting, cricket, and tennis, and later became a well-known athletics coach and cricket umpire. Born in Spanish Town, Foster was educated in Kingston, and participated in organised sport from an early age. Aged 19, he set a national record for the 100-yard dash, becoming recognised as one of Jamaica's top sprinters. Foster unsuccessfully attempted to participate at the 1908 Summer Olympics, and subsequently defeated several competitors at post-games meetings. On return to Jamaica, he concentrated more on cricket, playing irregularly at first-class level until the mid-1920s. Foster would go on to become one of Jamaica's foremost athletics coaches, helping to train athletes for both the Summer Olympics and Commonwealth Games. He died in 1966, with Jamaica's principal sporting college, the G. C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport, later being named after him."

More here

 
mikesiva 2016-10-21 05:07:37 

Michael Garfield Smith....

'Born in Kingston, Jamaica, M.G. Smith was always a brilliant scholar. As a schoolboy at Jamaica College, one of the island's leading secondary schools, his schoolmates claimed him as their "intellectual hero." In 1939 at age seventeen, Smith achieved the highest marks of all Higher Schools Certificate candidates in the entire British Empire. More than a student scholar, he later emerged as a published poet of very considerable promise. His scholarly feats earned him the prestigious Jamaica Scholarship, which did not bring him to Bombay as he had wished, but to Canada, where he went to study English Literature at McGill University. Joining the Canadian army during the war, he served briefly on the frontline in Europe, in France, Holland and Germany. Demobilized in London in 1945, he turned from literature to law, which he studied for a year before the fateful switch to anthropology. As his wife Mary reported, Smith found the law "an ass" and not, as he had hoped, about justice. He took to anthropology quickly and anthropology to him. Soon he became a prize student in Daryll Forde's department at University College London, completed his undergraduate work in short order, and after very successful field research in Northern Nigeria, was awarded the Ph.D. in 1951. He subsequently carried out extensive field research in Northern Nigeria, Jamaica, Grenada, and Carriacou. Smith served as the Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Social and Economic Research University of the West Indies (Jamaica); Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles; Senior Research Fellow, Research Institute for the Study of Man, New York City; Franklin M. Crosby Professor Emeritus, Human Environment at Yale University; and as Professor and Head of the Department of Anthropology, University College, London.'

More here

 
mikesiva 2016-10-22 06:31:43 

Peter Tosh....

'Tosh began recording and released his solo debut, Legalize It, in 1976 with CBS Records company. The title track soon became popular among endorsers of marijuana legalization, reggae music lovers and Rastafari all over the world, and was a favourite at Tosh's concerts. His second album Equal Rights followed in 1977. Tosh organized a backing band, Word, Sound and Power, who were to accompany him on tour for the next few years, and many of whom performed on his albums of this period. In 1978 the Rolling Stones record label Rolling Stones Records contracted with Tosh, on which the album Bush Doctor was released, introducing Tosh to a larger audience. The album featured Rolling Stones frontmen Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and the lead single – a cover version of The Temptations song "Don't Look Back" – was performed as a duet with Jagger. It made Tosh one of the best-known reggae artists. During Bob Marley's free One Love Peace Concert of 1978, Tosh lit a marijuana spliff and lectured about legalizing cannabis, lambasting attending dignitaries Michael Manley and Edward Seaga for their failure to enact such legislation. Several months later he was apprehended by police as he left Skateland dance hall in Kingston and was beaten severely while in police custody. Mystic Man (1979), and Wanted Dread and Alive (1981) followed, both released on Rolling Stones Records. Tosh tried to gain some mainstream success while keeping his militant views, but was only moderately successful, especially when compared to Marley's achievements. That same year, Tosh appeared in the Rolling Stones' video Waiting on a Friend. In 1984, after the release of 1983's album Mama Africa, Tosh went into self-imposed exile, seeking the spiritual advice of traditional medicine men in Africa, and trying to free himself from recording agreements that distributed his records in South Africa. Tosh had been at odds for several years with his label, EMI, over a perceived lack of promotion for his music. Tosh also participated in the international opposition to South African apartheid by appearing at Anti-Apartheid concerts and by conveying his opinion in various songs like "Apartheid" (1977, re-recorded 1987), "Equal Rights" (1977), "Fight On" (1979), and "Not Gonna Give It Up" (1983). In 1987, Peter Tosh seemed to be having a career revival. He was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Performance in 1987 for No Nuclear War, his last record.'

More here

 
mikesiva 2016-10-23 05:23:22 

Hugh Shearer....

'Shearer was elected to the House of Representatives of Jamaica as member for Western Kingston in 1955, an office he retained for the next four years until he was defeated in the 1959 elections. He was a member of the Senate from 1962 to 1967, at the same time filling the role of Jamaica's chief spokesman on foreign affairs as Deputy Chief of Mission at the United Nations. In 1967 he was elected as member for Southern Clarendon and, after the death of Sir Donald Sangster, appointed Prime Minister on 11 April 1967. Thanks to his work with the Jamaican Worker earlier in his life, Shearer managed to stay on generally good terms with the Jamaican working class, and was generally well liked by the populace. However, he did cause an outcry of anger in October 1968 when his government banned the historian, Walter Rodney from re-entering the country. On 16 October a series of riots, known as the Rodney Riots broke out, after peaceful protest by students from the University of the West Indies campus at Mona, was suppressed by police; rioting spreading throughout Kingston. Shearer stood by the ban claiming that Rodney was a danger to Jamaica, citing his socialist ties, trips to Cuba and the USSR, as well as his radical Black nationalism. Shearer was generally uncomfortable with notions of pan-Africanism or militant black nationalism. He was also insecure about the stability of newly independent Jamaica in the late 1960s. His term as Prime Minister was a prosperous one for Jamaica, with three new alumina refineries were built, along with three large tourist resorts. These six buildings formed the basis of Jamaica's mining and tourism industries, the two biggest earners for the country. Shearer's term was also marked by a great upswing in secondary school enrolment after an intense education campaign on his part. Fifty new schools were constructed. It was by pressure from Shearer that the Law of the Sea Authority chose Kingston to house its headquarters. In the 1972 elections, the JLP was defeated and the People's National Party leader, Michael Manley, became Prime Minister. Between 1980 and 1989, during the prime ministership of Edward Seaga, who had succeeded him as leader of the JLP in 1974, Shearer was deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs.'

More here

 
Ewart 2016-10-23 14:52:49 

In reply to mikesiva

You are on a roll!

Nice!


However, I am not sure why your source credits Shearer with the matter of the Law of the Sea when it was really Dudley Thompson who was behind it:

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which took place between 1973 and 1982.
-Wikipedia

The thing to note here is that all this took place while Michael Manley was Prime Minister, Shearer having lost the election of February 29, 1972. Dudley then became Jamaica's chief representative to the Law of the Sea, and was responsible along with Solicitor General Ken Rattray, Ambassador Don Mills and Dennis Francis of the Jamaica Consulate-General in New York for establishing Jamaica as its headquarters.


//

 
mikesiva 2016-10-24 08:02:49 

In reply to Ewart

The perils of Wikipedia....
smile
Dudley Thompson....

'Born in Panama, to Daniel and Ruby Thompson, he was raised in Westmoreland, Jamaica, where he was a student at The Mico (now Mico University College) in the 1930s. After a short period as headmaster of a rural school, he joined the Royal Air Force during the Second World War - one of Britain's first black pilots - and saw active service (1941-5) as a flight lieutenant in RAF Bomber Command over Europe, being awarded several decorations. Thompson married Genevieve Hannah Cezair in 1945; they had a son and two daughters. In 1946, he went to England to attend Merton College, Oxford, where he studied jurisprudence, as a Rhodes Scholar, obtaining degrees as a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Civil Law. From his university days he was a close associate of pan-Africanists such as Kwame Nkrumah, George Padmore and C.L.R. James. After qualifying as a barrister at Gray's Inn in the early 1950s, and doing tutelage with Dingle Foot, QC, Thompson went on to practise law in Africa - in Tanganyika and Kenya, where he became involved in the nationalist movements. He assembled the international legal team that defended Jomo Kenyatta in his trial after he had been seized by the British colonialists in 1952 and subsequently charged with treason, accused of being an instigator of the Mau Mau rebellion. Later as President of Kenya, Kenyatta memorably placed his hand on Thompson sitting beside him and said: "This man saved my life." In Tanzania, where he was a friend of Julius Nyerere, Thompson is remembered as a founder of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). In 1955 he returned to Jamaica, and continued to educate people about furthering the links between Africa and the Caribbean, visiting schools to deliver inspirational addresses about the continent (Jamaica-born writer Lindsay Barrett was inspired to decide to live in Africa by one such visit that Thompson paid to his school, Clarendon College, in 1957). He practised law in Trinidad, Barbados, St. Kitts, Dominica, Bermuda, Grenada, The Bahamas, Belize and elsewhere in the West Indies, playing a role in the independence movements of both Belize and the Bahamas. He was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1963. He served as a member of the Jamaican Senate from 1962 to 1978, and a member of the House of Representatives from 1978 to 1983. In the People's National Party (PNP) administration under Prime Minister Michael Manley, he was Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (1972-7), Minister of Mining and Natural Resources (1977-8 ), and Minister of National Security and Justice (1978–80). He was also a vice-president and later chairman of the PNP.'

More here

 
mikesiva 2016-10-25 12:03:43 

Dub poet Mikey Smith....

'Smith was educated at Kingston College and the St George's College Extension School. He also studied at the Jamaican School of Drama with Jean "Binta" Breeze and Oku Onuora. Linton Kwesi Johnson released some of Smith’s work on his LKJ label. Smith appeared on the BBC television series Ebony and the BBC also broadcast a documentary based on his association with Johnson. "Mi Cyaan Believe It" is most remembered for Smith’s heartfelt phrase: "Laaawwwd - mi cyaan believe it - mi seh - mi cyaan believe it." In 1982, Smith released his debut album and performed extensively in Europe supporting such acts as Gregory Isaacs. He recorded a session for John Peel, which was broadcast by the BBC on 4 May 1982. He continued to work as a social worker representing prisoners in Gun Court. His outspoken commentary on the "isms and schisms of ‘politricks"’ in Jamaica led to his life being cut short. Linton Kwesi Johnson, during a presentation on Smith’s life and work at the second Caribbean Conference on Culture at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, had the following to say: "The late Jamaican poet, Michael Smith, was to my mind one of the most interesting and original poetic voices to emerge from the English-speaking Caribbean during the last quarter of the 20th century." Johnson, who produced Smith's first and only album in London, also wrote the following in an article for the Jamaica Observer: "In 1978, Michael Smith represented Jamaica at the 11th World Festival of Youth and Students in Cuba. That year saw the release of his first recording, a single titled, 'Word', followed by perhaps his most famous piece 'Mi Cyaan Believe It' and 'Roots'." In 1981, Smith performed in Barbados during CARIFESTA and was filmed by BBC Television performing "Mi Cyaan Believe It" for the documentary From Brixton To Barbados. In 1982, Smith took London by storm with performances at the Camden Centre for the International Book Fair of Radical Black and Third World Books, and also at Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton for "Creation for Liberation". While in Britain, together with Oku Onoura, Smith also did a successful poetry tour and recorded the Mi Cyaan Believe It album for Island Records.'

More here, including his tragic death

 
mikesiva 2016-10-28 06:08:59 

'Mais published more than a hundred short stories, most appearing in Public Opinion and Focus. Other stories are collected in Face and Other Stories and And Most of All Man, published in the 1940s. Mais' play, George William Gordon, was also published in the 1940s, focusing on a politician and martyr of the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865. It played an important role in the rehabilitation of the eponymous character. In conventional colonial history Gordon was described as a rebel and traitor, but on the centenary of the rebellion, he was declared to be a Jamaican National Hero. On 11 July 1944, Roger Mais published, "Now we Know", a stinging denunciation of British colonialism in Public Opinion, in which he explained that it was now clear that World War 2 was not a fight for freedom but a war to preserve imperial privilege and exploitation:

"That the sun may never set upon privilege, repression and exploitation and upon the insolence and arrogance of one race to all others ...That the sun may never set upon the great British tradition of Democracy which chains men and women and little children with more than physical chains, chains of ignorance and the apathy of the underfed, and the submissiveness, which is a spiritual sickness in the thews and sinews of a man; chains them in dungeons of gold mines and silver mines and diamond mines, and upon sugar plantations, and upon rubber plantations and tea plantations. For the great idea of Democracy which relegates all “niggers” of whichever race, to their proper place in the scheme of political economy"

For writing this denunciation of Churchill's declaration that the end of World War 2 would not mean the end of the British Empire, the Jamaican novelist was tried for sedition and imprisoned for six months. This period was instrumental in his development of his first novel, The Hills Were Joyful Together (1953), a work about working-class life in 1940s Kingston. "Why I Love and Leave Jamaica", an article written in 1950, also stirred emotions in readers. It characterized the bourgeoisie and the "philistines" as shallow and criticized their influential role on art and culture. In addition, Mais wrote more than thirty stage and radio plays. The plays Masks and Paper Hats and Hurricane were performed in 1943, Atlanta in Calydon in 1950; The Potter's Field was published in Public Opinion (1950), and The First Sacrifice in Focus (1956). Mais left Jamaica for England in 1952. He lived in London, then in Paris, and for a time in the south of France. He took an alias, Kingsley Croft, and showcased an art exhibition in Paris. His artwork also appeared on the covers of his novels. In 1953, his novel The Hills Were Joyful Together was published by Jonathan Cape in London. Soon afterwards, Brother Man (1954) was published, a sympathetic exploration of the emergent Rastafarian movement. The next year Black Lightning was published. While Mais' first two novels had urban settings, Black Lightning (1955) featured an artist living in the countryside. In 1955 Mais was forced to return to Jamaica after falling ill with cancer; he died that same year in Kingston at the age of 50. In 1968 he was posthumously awarded the Musgrave Gold Medal by the Institute of Jamaica. His short stories were collected in a volume entitled Listen, The Wind, thirty-two years after his death. Mais' novels have been republished posthumously several times, an indication of his continuing importance to Caribbean literary history. He also had an influence on younger writers of the pre-independence period, notably John Hearne. Many of Mais' manuscripts have been deposited in the library of the University of the West Indies, Jamaica.'

More here

 
Ewart 2016-10-28 10:00:33 

In reply to mikesiva



If you have not read his novel Brother Man, make great haste to do so.

The denouement is partly based on the Whappy King murder of two lovers on the Palisadoes Road around 1950 and the persecution that rained down on Rastas and bearded men afterwards.


//

 
mikesiva 2016-10-31 07:10:11 

In reply to Ewart

Wonderful novel, "Brother Man"...did if for Lit in second form.
cool
Another outstanding novelist, Anthony Winkler....

'Winkler's literature has been published and sold all over the world. More famous for his novels and two screenplays, he has also contributed to a number of post-secondary English textbooks for almost four decades. Writing textbooks has been his full-time job, writing fiction has been his second job. Along with the series of novels that Winkler published throughout his career, there are also a few autobiographical works, but none more important than Going Home to Teach. This book is about the experiences Anthony and his wife, Cathy, share when returning to Jamaica to work at a teacher trainer college in 1975. Winkler wrote a number of novels, though his very first — called The Painted Canoe — took more than 10 years to get published. His next book, The Lunatic, was published in 1987, just a year after his first novel. The Lunatic received great success, propelling the book to be adapted into a movie in 1991. In 2004, Winkler published a collection of short stories, The Annihilation of Fish and Other Stories, from which the story "The Annihilation of Fish" was made into a film starring James Earl Jones, Lynn Redgrave and Margot Kidder. Winkler also wrote two plays: The Burglar, produced at the Little Theatre in May 2003 had a Canadian premier in Toronto in 2005 with the help of fellow Jamaican Paul Harrington-Smith, as well as in Kingston with the help of another good friend Maxine Walters, and The Hippopotamus Card in 2004. Winkler's last novel was The Family Mansion, about Europe's colonisation of Jamaica that he started in his previous novel God Carlos, which won the Townsend Prize for Fiction. In 2014 he was awarded a Gold Musgrave Medal by the Institute of Jamaica for his contribution to literature.'

More here

 
Ewart 2016-10-31 10:42:30 

In reply to mikesiva

The Lunatic was the first of his books that I read. Loved it! Big big time! Spent hours and $$$s reading passages to friends and relatives long distance!

I believe I have also read all but the very latest of his books and loved them with the possible exception of Dog War which I found revolting in its description of a rich white American woman and the dog she loved dearly (in word and in deed).

Nevertheless, for me the Painted Canoe is the better book. A story about an old fisherman who gets lost at sea and fights an epic battle with a monstrous denizen of the deep, it is at the same time grounded on land in Portland complete with religion, politics and sex of the kind only Winkler can relate.

Based on the design of the classic novel, it is a far better tale than Hemingway's celebrated Old Man and the Sea.


//

 
mikesiva 2016-11-01 04:51:18 

In reply to Ewart

My favourite was the "Great Yacht Race"...having lived in MoBay for a number of years, I have to say that Winkler got the Montego Bay Yacht Club down to a tee!
big grin
Now a man who was arguably our first great novelist....

'Herbert George de Lisser CMG (9 December 1878 – 19 May 1944) was a Jamaican journalist and author. He has been called "one of the most conspicuous figures in the history of West Indian literature". De Lisser was born in Falmouth, Jamaica, to parents who were of Afro-Jewish descent, and attended William Morrison's Collegiate School in Kingston. He started work at the Institute of Jamaica at the age of 14. Three years later he joined the Jamaica Daily Gleaner, of which his father was editor, as a proofreader, and two years later became a reporter on the Jamaica Times. In 1903, De Lisser became assistant editor of the Gleaner and was editor within the year. He wrote several articles for the paper every day. In 1909 he published a collection of essays, In Cuba and Jamaica, and 1912 saw the publication of his second book, Twentieth Century Jamaica. He went on to produce a novel or non-fiction book every year. His first work of fiction, Jane: A Story of Jamaica, is significant for being the first West Indian novel to have a central black character. Another famous novel of his, The White Witch of Rosehall (1929), is linked to a legend of a haunting in Jamaica. De Lisser also wrote several plays. In December 1920 he began publishing an annual magazine, Planters' Punch. De Lisser devoted much time and effort to the revival of the Jamaican sugar industry and represented Jamaica at a number of sugar conferences around the world. He was also general secretary of the Jamaica Imperial Association, honorary president of the Jamaica Press Association, and chairman of the West Indian section of the Empire Press Union. He was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 1920 New Year Honours.'

More here

 
mikesiva 2016-11-02 05:43:53 

'Dennis Emmanuel Brown CD (1 February 1957 – 1 July 1999) was a Jamaican reggae singer. During his prolific career, which began in the late 1960s when he was aged eleven, he recorded more than 75 albums and was one of the major stars of lovers rock, a subgenre of reggae. Bob Marley cited Brown as his favourite singer,[1] dubbing him "The Crown Prince of Reggae", and Brown would prove influential on future generations of reggae singers.'

Much more here

 
mikesiva 2016-11-03 07:10:49 

Alexander Bedward....

'After spending time in Panama, he returned to Jamaica and was baptized by a local Baptist preacher. He became not merely leader of a Revival branch but of a new movement, the Bedwardites, with affiliated groups all over Jamaica and in Panama. In the 1880 he started to gather large groups of followers by conducting mass healings services. He identified himself with Paul Bogle, the Baptist leader of the Morant Bay rebellion. In this connection he stressed for changes and developments in the race relations in Jamaican society. He supposedly said ”There is a white wall and a black wall. And the white wall has been closing around the black wall: but now the black wall has become bigger than the white.” Bedward was arrested for sedition but sent to a mental asylum. On release he continued his role as a Revival healer and preacher. He stressed his followers to be self-sufficient and at its height the movement gathered about 30,000 followers. He told his followers to sell their possessions including owned land and give him all the profits. Some of these followers did just that. On one occasion, he told his followers that they all would fly back to Africa, however to do so they had to climb up into a breadfruit tree in August Town while wearing bed sheets for the liftoff. However, they told him to go first and it resulted in him breaking his legs where he was submitted to the university hospital of the West Indies. He led his followers into Garveyism by finding the charismatic metaphor: Bedward and Garvey were as Aaron and Moses, one the high priest, the other prophet, both leading the children of Israel out of exile. Garvey's middle name was considered by people to be a mix of the two names Moses and Messiah. Later Bedward proclaimed that he was a reincarnation of Jesus Christ and that, like Elijah, he would ascend into heaven in a flaming chariot. He then expected to rain down fire on those that did not follow him, thereby destroying the whole world. In 1921 he and 800 followers marched in to Kingston “to do battle with his enemies.” This however didn’t result in him flying to heaven. Bedward and his followers were arrested and he was sent to mental asylum for the second time where he remained to the end of his life. His impact was that many of his followers became Garveyites and Rastafarians, bringing with them the experience of resisting the system and demanding changes of the colonial oppression and the white oppression. Rastafari has taken the idea of Garvey as a prophet, while also casting him in the role of John the Baptist, by virtue of his "voice in the wilderness" call taken as heralding their expected Messiah, "Look to Africa where a black king shall be crowned."'

More here

 
Ewart 2016-11-03 08:56:11 

In reply to mikesiva

There is at least one flaw in this report, though.

Bedward who died in 1930 could not have been sent/admitted to the University Hospital of the West Indies because it just did not exist until nearly 20 years later! (UCWI began what, 1947?)

However, I am taken by the readiness of the Colonial mind to treat as mad all those who defied colonialism. And Bedward did so in a very strong and open way.

This is a good example of why we should be researching and writing our own history ourselves. Bedward played an important role in the development of a national spirit, and yet, all they can focus on is the story of him flying off the breadfruit tree... (smh)


//

 
mikesiva 2016-11-04 06:22:53 

In reply to Ewart

Yeah, I noticed that about UHWI/UCWI too!
big grin
John Hearne....

'Hearne's first published work was the novel Voices under the Window, issued in 1955. Set in Jamaica in the late 1940s or early 1950s, it uses the framing device of a progressive politician's injury and death in a riot to narrate the story of a man who, born into racial and economic privilege, decided to cast his lot with the underprivileged. Hearne followed this with four novels written between 1956 and 1961 -- The Faces of Love, Stranger at the Gate, The Autumn Equinox and Land of the Living—set in the imaginary island of Cayuna which is a fictionalized Jamaica (the map of Cayuna included with the novels bears a remarkable resemblance to Jamaica), and which referred to issues relating to Jamaican life at the time, such as the beginning of the bauxite industry and the Rastafari movement, or to events in nearby territories such as the Cuban Revolution. He also wrote a number of short stories, one of which, "At the Stelling", set in Guyana, was included in the Independence Anthology of Jamaican Literature. Hearne then turned to the academy and journalism—writing a regular column for the Gleaner newspaper, first under the pseudonym "Jay Monroe", and later under his own name, and administering the Creative Arts Centre (now the Sir Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts) at the University of the West Indies. In the late 1960s and early 1970s he collaborated with planter and journalist Morris Cargill on a series of three thrillers -- Fever Grass, The Candywine Development, and The Checkerboard Caper—involving an imaginary Jamaican secret service. These were written under the pseudonym "John Morris".'

More here

 
mikesiva 2016-11-05 06:16:41 

Another outstanding artist, Carl Abrahams....

'Abrahams was born in Kingston, Jamaica and began his career in commercial art at the age of 17 as a cartoonist and an illustrator for The Daily Gleaner and the Jamaica Times. In 1937, while on a working holiday in Jamaica, Augustus John, the iconic British artist, encouraged Abrahams to begin painting professionally. Abrahams taught himself to paint through self-study courses and manuals and by copying masterpieces from art books. In 1944, during World War II Abrahams served in the Royal Air Force in England. By the mid-1950s he had found his calling as a painter of religious subjects. The National Gallery of Jamaica said of his monumental series of 20 paintings of The Passion of Christ that "the devout sentiment of a true believer marked Abrahams as Jamaica and the Caribbean's finest religious painter." He was awarded the Musgrave Gold Medal for his work by the Institute of Jamaica in 1987. His final decades saw few new developments in his style and he often repeated or created variations on many of his earlier paintings. Abrahams died peacefully at his home in 2005 of cancer and a brain tumor.'

More here

 
mikesiva 2016-11-08 04:16:26 

Desmond Dekker....

"Desmond Dekker (16 July 1941 – 25 May 2006) was a Jamaican ska, rocksteady and reggae singer-songwriter and musician. Together with his backing group the Aces (consisting of Wilson James and Easton Barrington Howard), he had one of the earliest international reggae hits with "Israelites" (1968 ). Other hits include "007 (Shanty Town)" (1967), "It Mek" (1969) and "You Can Get It If You Really Want" (1970)."

Much more here

 
mikesiva 2016-11-10 06:18:39 

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day, so I thought we could remember a Jamaican who was awarded the Victoria Cross for valour with the West India Regiment....

"William James Gordon VC (19 May 1864 – 15 August 1922) was a West Indian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was 27 years old, and a Lance-Corporal in the West India Regiment, British Army during the Second Gambia Campaign when, on 13 March 1892 at Toniataba, Gambia, the major who was in command of the troops was superintending a party of 12 men who were trying, with a heavy beam, to break down the south gate of the town. Suddenly a number of musket-muzzles appeared through a double row of loopholes, some of them being only two or three yards from the major's back and before he realised what had happened, Gordon threw himself between the major and the muskets, pushing the officer out of the way. At the same moment the NCO was shot through the lungs. He later achieved the rank of sergeant. The medal is on display at the Jamaica Defence Force Museum."

More here

'The story can be continued using the citation from the London Gazette for a Victoria Cross to No 2829 Lance Corporal William James Gordon, a 28-year old Jamaican of The West India Regiment:

"During the attack on the town of Toniataba, Major G.C. Madden, West India Regiment, who was in command of the troops, was superintending a party of twelve men who were endeavouring with a heavy beam to break down the south gate of the town, when suddenly a number of musket muzzles were projected through a double row of loop-holes which had been masked.

Some of these were within two or three yards of that Officer’s back, and before he realized what had happened Lance Corporal Gordon threw himself between Major Madden and the muskets, pushing that officer out of the way, and exclaiming ‘Look out, Sir!’ At the same moment Lance Corporal Gordon was shot through the lungs. By his bravery and self-devotion on this occasion the Lance Corporal probably saved the life of his Commanding Officer.”

And here

 
mikesiva 2016-11-12 10:40:10 

Gregory Isaacs....

'International stardom seemed assured in 1978 when Isaacs signed to the Virgin Records offshoot Front Line Records, and appeared in the film Rockers, in which he performed "Slavemaster". The Cool Ruler (which became one of his nicknames) and Soon Forward albums, however, failed to sell as well as expected, although they are now considered among his best work. In 1981, he made his first appearance at the Reggae Sunsplash festival (returning annually until 1991), and he moved on to the Charisma Records offshoot Pre, who released his The Lonely Lover (another nickname that stuck) and More Gregory albums along with a string of increasingly successful singles including "Tune In", "Permanent Lover", "Wailing Rudy" and "Tribute to Waddy". He signed to Island Records and released the record that finally saw him break through to a wider audience, "Night Nurse", the title track from his first album for the label (Night Nurse (1982)). Although "Night Nurse" was not a chart hit in either the UK or US, it was hugely popular in clubs and received heavy radio play, and the album reached number 32 in the UK. This success for Isaacs coincided with drug problems with cocaine that saw him serve a six-month prison sentence in Kingston in 1982 for possession of unlicensed firearms. Isaacs claimed that he had the weapons only for protection, but it emerged that this was his 27th arrest and that he had become involved in drug dealing and was addicted to crack cocaine. He celebrated his release from prison with his second album for Island, Out Deh! (1983). He was featured in the 1982 documentary Land of Look Behind. When his contract with Island ended, Isaacs returned in 1984 with the "Kool Ruler Come Again" single, and began a period of prolific recording, working with producers including Prince Jammy, Hugh "Redman" James, Bobby Digital, Tad Dawkins and Steely & Clevie, maintaining a consistent standard despite the volume of work produced. Isaacs then built a strong relationship with Gussie Clarke of the Music Works label. They began with Isaacs' 1985 album Private Beach Party, and had a massive hit with "Rumours" in 1988, which was followed by further popular singles including "Mind Yu Dis", "Rough Neck", "Too Good To Be True" and "Report to Me". The association with Clarke continued into the early 1990s, teaming up with singers including Freddie McGregor, Ninjaman and J.C. Lodge. He dueted with Beres Hammond on the 1993 Philip "Fatis" Burrell-produced "One Good Turn", Burrell also producing Isaacs' 1994 album Midnight Confidential. In the 1990s the African Museum label continued to release all of Isaacs' music, and that of artists he produced. In 1997 Simply Red covered "Night Nurse" and had a hit with it. Isaacs continued to record and perform live in the 2000s. In 2005 Lady Saw produced another version of "Night Nurse" with her toasting over the original lyrics. Isaacs' drug addiction had a major impact on his voice, with most of his teeth falling out as a result. Isaacs said of his addiction in 2007: "Drugs are a debasing weapon. It was the greatest college ever, but the most expensive school fee ever paid – the Cocaine High School. I learnt everything, and now I've put it on the side." He also performed at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 Inauguration at Jamaica. In 2007 he collaborated with the Spanish rap group Flowklorikos / Rafael Lechowski album Donde Duele Inspira. In 2008, after some 40 years as a recording artist, Isaacs released a new studio album Brand New Me, which was nominated for the Grammy Awards for 2010. The album received positive reviews from critics, such as this review from Reggae Vibes: "Gregory is back, and how! 'Brand New Me' is a very suitable album title for the cool ruler's new album. He is back in a different style, more or less like we were used to from this great 'lovers & roots' artist" This was followed in 2009 by the album My Kind Of Lady. In 2010, Gregory Isaacs put out the last of his albums to be released while he was still living; Isaacs Meets Isaac, with Zimbabwean reggae singer King Isaac. In November 2010, Isaacs Meets Isaac was nominated for Best Reggae Album for the 2011 Grammy Awards, giving Gregory Isaacs his fourth Grammy nomination, and Zimbabwe's King Isaac his first.'

More here

 
buds 2016-11-12 19:11:35 

In reply to mikesiva

The Cool Ruler--My favourite Artist--
Love is Overdue--

HIsaacs aka Buds

 
mikesiva 2016-11-16 09:22:50 

In reply to buds

What a silky, smooth voice....
cool
I've been listening to a CD of him while driving. And I just watched a BBC programme of Reggae at the BBC, and sure enough, Gregory was there, singing "Night Nurse".

John Figueroa....

'Figueroa was born in Jamaica, where he was educated at St George's College. He won a scholarship to attend Holy Cross College, Massachusetts, graduating in 1942, after which he taught at St George's College and at Wolmer Boys' College in Jamaica. In 1946 he went on a British Council fellowship to London University to study for a teaching diploma and a master's degree in education. He subsequently taught in some London schools, and spent six years as an English and philosophy lecturer at the Institute of Education. He also contributed criticism, stories and poetry to the BBC's Caribbean Voices radio programme produced by Henry Swanzy. In Jamaica Figueroa became the first West Indian to be appointed to a chair at the University College of the West Indies, and the first Dean of the Faculty of Education. Between 1964 and 1966 he was a visiting professor first at Rhode Island University and then Indiana University. In the early 1970s he became Professor of Humanities leading the Department of Education of the Centro Caribeno de Estudios Postgraduados, Puerto Rico. He later spend time as a professor at the University of Jos in Nigeria. In the 1980s he moved to the UK, where he worked for the Open University, was a Fellow at the Centre for Caribbean Studies, University of Warwick, and an adviser in multicultural education in Manchester. He edited the pioneering two-volume anthology Caribbean Voices (vol 1: Dreams and Visions and vol 2: The Blue Horizons, 1966 and 1970 respectively), comprehensive landmark collections of West Indian poetry. He was also the first general editor of the Heinemann Caribbean Writers Series. He also played an important role in the development of Caribbean studies as a founder member of the Caribbean Studies Association and the Society for Caribbean Studies. His own poetry "reflects his origins as a Jamaican of [Hispanic] descent and a Catholic who, whilst deeply committed to the Caribbean, was concerned to maintain [the diversity of its] heritage without apology. He insisted that drums were not the only Caribbean musical instrument (no doubt a dig at Kamau Brathwaite) and championed Derek Walcott's relationship to the classical and European literary tradition. Ironically, one of Figueroa's most effective poems is in Nation language." In the words of Andrew Salkey, "The phrase 'cosmopolitan poet' does not really adequately describe him or the impact that he has had on Anglophone Caribbean poetry, but it certainly goes some way in defining a part of his concern in not being tagged as regional or provincial. This is so because he is absolutely free from national limitations."'

More here

 
mikesiva 2016-11-19 07:23:18 

'Trevor Rhone, was the last child of twenty-one, grew up in a tiny town of Bellas Gate in Jamaica. After seeing his first play at the age of nine he fell in love with theatre. Educated at Beckford & Smith High School now known as the St. Jago High School, , He began his theatre career as a teacher after a three-year stint at Rose Bruford College, an English drama school, where he studied in the early 1960s on scholarship. He was part of the renaissance of Jamaican theatre in the early 1970s. Rhone participated in a group called Theatre '77, which established The Barn, a small theatre in Kingston, Jamaica, to stage local performances. The vision of the group that came together in 1965 was that in 12 years, by 1977, there would be professional theatre in Jamaica. His prolific work includes the films The Harder They Come (1972), co-author; Smile Orange (1974), based on his play of the same name; Top Rankin′; Milk and Honey (1988 ), winner; One Love (2003), Cannes Film Festival favorite. He was awarded the Musgrave Gold Medal in 1988 for his work by the Institute of Jamaica.'

More here

 
Ewart 2016-11-19 13:38:57 

In reply to mikesiva


Nice. Trevor was my bredrin since we met together on stage at the Ward Theatre in the fall of 1957 rehearsing for the LTM Pantomime, Busha Bluebeard.

I rank his play, Old Story Time as the best stage production I have seen in Jamaica, and the best internationally along with a 1975 staging of Richard III at Stratford On Avon.


//

 
mikesiva 2016-11-22 05:22:21 

In reply to Ewart

One great writer deserves another great writer....

'Victor Stafford Reid (1 May 1913 - 25 August 1987) was a Jamaican writer born in Kingston, Jamaica, who wrote with an intent of influencing the younger generations. He was awarded the silver (1950) and gold (1976) Musgrave Medals , the Order of Jamaica (1980) and the Norman Manley Award for Excellence in Literature in 1981. He was the author of several novels, three of which were aimed towards children, one play production, and several short stories. Two of his most notable works are New Day - "the first West Indian novel to be written throughout in a dialect form" - and The Leopard. As a writer, Reid aimed to instil an awareness of legacy and tradition among the Jamaican people. His writings reflected many of the social and cultural hardships that pervade the time periods illustrated in his literary works. As literary critic Edward Baugh has stated, "[Reid’s] writing shows a fondness for the rebel with a cause… he wanted people to learn about their heritage through his writing." Reid was one of a handful of writers to emerge from the new literary and nationalist movement that seized Jamaican sentiment in the period of the late 1930s. From this "new art" surfaced many of Reid’s literary contemporaries, including Roger Mais, George Campbell, M. G. Smith, and H. D. Carberry. A common objective among this new generation of writers was an inclination to "break away from Victorianism and to associate with the Jamaican independence movement." Reid’s emphasis on resistance and struggle is reaffirmed in a 1978 lecture he delivered at the Institute of Jamaica on the topic of cultural revolution in Jamaica post-1938. In the address, Reid contended that the collective discontent of the working class majority was the public assertion of a "new brand of loyalty" that situated itself not only beyond, but more importantly, in direct resistance to imperial rule.'

More here

 
mikesiva 2016-11-27 06:24:45 

Perry Henzell....

'Henzell, whose ancestors included Huguenot glassblowers and an old English family who had made their fortune growing sugar on Antigua, grew up on the Caymanas sugar cane estate near Kingston. He was sent to Shrewsbury School in the United Kingdom at 14 and later attended McGill University in Montreal in 1953 and 1954. He then dropped out of this school, choosing instead to hitchhike around Europe. He eventually got work as a stagehand at the BBC. He returned in the 1950s to Jamaica, where he directed advertisements for some years until he began work on The Harder They Come with co-writer Trevor D. Rhone. In 1965 he married Sally Densham. Henzell also shot some footage for what was planned as his next film, No Place Like Home, in Harder's aftermath, but he went broke before he could finish the film. Fed up by this, and the lack of finance for further production, he went on to become a writer, publishing his first novel, Power Game, in 1982. Both were meant to complete a planned trilogy of films centring on Ivanhoe Martin. The footage for No Place Like Home was lost. Years later, he came across editing tapes in a lab in New York. Just to have a sense of completion, he worked on the project. When he showed it to a few friends, their response was enthusiastic. He eventually was able to retrieve the original footage. No Place Like Home was screened for the public at the 31st annual Toronto International Film Festival in September 2006 at the Cumberland Theatre; it was sold out. Film leads Carl Bradshaw (The Harder They Come, Smile Orange, Countryman) and Susan O'Meara attended and answered audience questions with Henzell after the screening. The film was scheduled to be screened at the Flashpoint Film Festival at the beginning of December 2006 in Negril. Henzell died of cancer on 30 November 2006, aged 70, and is survived by his widow Sally and three children: Justine, Toni-Ann and Jason.'

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mikesiva 2016-11-29 04:07:30 

Byron Lee....

'Lee was born in Christiana, Manchester Parish, Jamaica, to an Afro-Jamaican mother and a Chinese father (a language teacher) originally from Kowloon, Hong Kong. His mother was from Auchtembeddie, where mento and junkanoo were popular musical forms, and his family actively upheld the cultural and musical traditions of their African ancestors. The family moved to the Mountain View Gardens area of Kingston when Lee was around 8 or 9 years old. He learned to play piano at a convent school in Mandeville, but put music on hold when he became a member of the Jamaican national football team. He taught himself to play bass on a homemade instrument, and around 1950, along with his friend Carl Brady, he formed the first incarnation of the Dragonaires, named after the college football team that they played for, at that time concentrating on mento. The band turned professional in 1956 and went on to become one of Jamaica's leading ska bands, continuing since and taking in other genres such as calypso, Soca, and Mas. According to Michael E. Veal in his book Dub: soundscapes and shattered songs in Jamaican reggae, Wesleyan University Press, 2007), Byron Lee is known to have introduced the electric bass guitar to Jamaica in late 1959 or 1960. However, the reason Lee began to use the electric bass as opposed to the double bass had nothing to do with sound. Rather, it was a way for Lee to avoid carrying the large and heavy double bass to the truck to move from gig to gig. The bass guitar soon gained popularity throughout the country and soon became the standard. The electric bass's louder, clearer, and more in-your-face sound soon changed the entire sound of Jamaican music entirely, especially after Skatalites bassist Lloyd Brevett took a liking to it. Lee also worked as a producer, producing many of the ska singles by The Maytals, and his entrepreneurial skills led to him setting up the Byron Lee's Spectacular Show tour, which involved several Jamaican acts (including The Maytals) touring the Caribbean. He also became the head of distribution in Jamaica for Atlantic Records. Lee purchased the West Indies Records Limited (WIRL) recording studios from Edward Seaga after fire had destroyed the pressing plant on the same site, and renamed it Dynamic Sounds, soon having a new pressing facility built on the site. It soon became one of the best-equipped studios in the Caribbean, attracting both local and international recording artists, including Paul Simon and The Rolling Stones, who recorded their famous song "Angie" there. Lee's productions included Boris Gardiner's Reggae Happening, Hopeton Lewis's Grooving Out on Life, and The Slickers' "Johnny Too Bad". Dynamic also acts as one of Jamaica's leading record distributors. In 1990, Lee inaugurated what became an annual event, the Byron Lee Jamaica Carnival, held on Constant Spring Road, and attended by hundreds of thousands of people that united the "uptown" and "downtown" residents of Kingston, an event that Lee called "the happiest moment in my life". Lee had performed with the Dragonaires at carnivals around the Caribbean since the mid-1970s, and chose the location for the carnival to attract revellers from all of Jamaica's classes, stating: "The biggest problem was that most Jamaicans said it wouldn't work, that it isn't a carnival country, but I persisted 'cause I believed in it. I wanted carnival to go to the public. You always had other carnivals that were held mostly indoor, where persons had to pay to get in. I went to the people and choose Half-Way Tree where uptown and downtown meet. That is where the route will remain". While in the early days of ska, Lee was credited in taking it from the ghettos and giving it appeal among Jamaica's "uptown" middle- and upper-classes. He has also been credited with taking soca in the opposite direction, popularising a genre that had previously only been enjoyed in Jamaica among the upper classes, with the island's working class.'

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mikesiva 2016-12-08 06:29:37 

Dennis Scott....

'Scott was one of the most significant poets writing in the early post-independence period in Jamaica, and his first published collection, Uncle Time (1973), for which he won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, is marked by an effective literary use of the vernacular, or "nation language". He has been regarded as one of the main influences for modern Jamaican poetry. His other poetry collections are Dreadwalk: Poems 1970–78 (1982), Strategies (1989) and After-Image (2008 ). His plays include Terminus (1966), Dog, and An Echo in the Bone (1974); the latter was published, together with a play by Derek Walcott and one by Errol Hill, in Plays for Today (1985), edited by Hill. Scott's dramatic work is acknowledged as a major influence on the direction of Caribbean theatre. Who lives in a pineapple by Dennis Scott.'

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pelon 2016-12-08 08:54:37 

[This, perhaps the best thread of all time]




[So enjoyable to read the contributions]

 
Ewart 2016-12-08 11:27:48 

In reply to mikesiva

Your piece on Byron Lee sent me to my archives. This is what I pulled out:


HOW LONG SHALL THEY KILL OUR PROPHETS?

by Ewart Walters
Copyright Ewart Walters 2009

May 1991 - Around this tenth anniversary of Bob Marley's death, one of the biggest talking points in the land of his birth is whether Soca is killing Reggae. Soca (a contraction of Soul and Calypso) is the reigning music of Trinidad and Tobago, the land that created the only musical art form in the Western Hemisphere this century - the steel band. Reggae is the born-in-Jamaica art form that Bob Marley (mainly) popularized the world over. The other big talking point is the wrangling over Bob's shrinking (legal fees are very costly) multi-million dollar estate. Fortunately, it now seems that his heirs have finally decided to come together to fight against a threat to sell his estate to foreigners. So what's the problem, you ask. Well, let's start at the beginning.

Strange as it may seem now to outsiders, Jamaicans have been culturized to look outside themselves for things of value and worth. In food this means having corn flakes and American apples instead of boiled green bananas and Ottaheiti apples. In dance, it meant a suppression of earlier dance forms such as the mento and the quadrille in favour of the waltz and the rock-and-roll. In music Jamaicans of the late 1950s and early 1960s tuned in night after night to the American station WINZ for the latest rhythm-and-blues and rock-and-roll offerings. Reggae's forerunner, the Ska, which displaced the mento and the Jamaica Calypso of the 1940’s and 50’s, was contemptuously dismissed as "dutty ska" (dirty ska) until Jamaicans Millie Small and later Desmond Dekker and Jimmy Cliff who had all migrated to England, shook the very portals of "the mother country" with it and started reaping fame and fortune out of the home-grown art form in England. Once England approved, then it could be good enough for Jamaica.

It was about this time Byron Lee formed his Dragonaires and took his own path to popularity through the new Ska sounds that were wailing all over Jamaica. Urged by a young Minister of Development and Welfare in the person of Edward Seaga, Byron Lee took on the task of popularizing the new Jamaican sound both in Jamaica and overseas. Calling himself "Jamaica's Musical Ambassador", Lee went on several tours around the Caribbean playing mostly Ska, did a lot of work with the Calypso King of the World, the Mighty Sparrow, and eventually became a fixture at Trinidad Carnival, playing mostly Ska and calypso.

The Mona campus of the University of the West Indies was established in the shadow of the Blue Mountains in 1947 and began almost immediately to make an impact on Jamaica. The Students Union at Mona was the venue for some of Kingston's best parties as, for the next two decades, Friday and Saturday nights bore witness to regular meetings between music and dancing feet.


But what was the music? With the exception of the offerings of Carlos Malcolm and his Afro-Jamaican Rhythms, the music was almost entirely Trinidadian. The students quickly formed a steel band, and a very good steel band it was in the late 1950s. The steel band took over as the mainstay of the Students' Union and in acculturizing the Jamaican and other (non-Trinidadian) students with a heavy dose of Trinidadian culture, also succeeded in spreading the gospel of steel band off campus and into greater Kingston.

An Eastern Caribbean culture enveloped the Mona campus much to the distress of the island's newspaper, the Daily Gleaner, which had difficulty making up its mind what it disliked more -- Eastern Caribbean culture or the University's Faculty of Social Sciences. The Gleaner notwithstanding, there emerged such a thing as a "Mona accent" as students, kept apart by miles of Caribbean Sea, finally came together. What is more - as the Trinidadians brought to Mona the whole new world of j'ouvert, bacchanal, play mass, Carnival Queen, Carnival bands and so on - Carnival, which was previously unknown there, came to Jamaica, or at least to Mona.

But the emergence of the made-in-Jamaica music - from Ska through Rock Steady - in the early 1960s could not be held back. As a former habitué of the Student's Union of the late 1950s, I got the shock of my life when I returned to Jamaica in 1968 after four years in Canada.

Taking in a party at the Student's Union I discovered a major change had taken place. Jamaican culture was not simply dominant; it was pervasive. There was no steel band in sight. Rock Steady “was a carry the swing” as they were to say later. I will never forget the obvious joy with which the rock-steady revellers sang with Bob Andy, “I've got to go back home, even if I've got to walk, I've got to go back home”, their voices swelling joyously "taa na na na nap ta-nap, taa na na na nap ta-nap, tap tap, taa taa na na na nap" with the trombone chorus.

By this time too, aided by the accumulated works of Laurel Aitken, the Blues Busters, Wilfred (Jackie) Edwards, the Wailing Wailers, Higgs and Hill, Alton Ellis, Hortense Ellis, Girl Satchmo, the Ethiopians, the Melodians, Prince Buster, Delroy Morgan, Dennis Brown, Stranger Cole, John Holt, Ken Boothe, Don Drummond, the Skatalites, Justin Hines and the Dominoes, and others, there was a growing body of songs and music that had become popular. All these were creators of original music.

Not so Byron Lee, whose Dragonaires in those days made several records covering the newly created Jamaican songs, and had only one original tune themselves in “Dragon's Paradise.” Lee went on to become Jamaica's "musical ambassador", taking the Ska, the first Reggay (sic) and Rock Steady to the US and UK as well as the Caribbean.

But when in the early 1970s, British singer-guitarist Eric Clapton recorded "I Shot The Sheriff", the song did extremely well and catapulted the song-writer to American recognition and fame. And who wrote the song? Robert Nesta Marley, a young man from Trench Town (downtown) who would go on to become the world's best known Jamaican, taking reggae rhythms to crowds in the hundreds of thousands in France, Germany, Europe, Australia and all over Africa, not to mention the US and Canada. It is to Marley that we can attribute the rapid spread of the infectious reggae to the extent that just about every singer of stature has found it necessary to incorporate reggae offerings in their albums and repertoire.


Musically, Jamaica was on the map. And yet, and yet; a music is not without honour except in its own country. Addressing the 1975 Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in Kingston, Indian Prime Minister Indira Ghandi spoke with feeling about the gift of music which Jamaica had given to the world. Anyone listening to Jamaica's radio stations that week would wonder what she was talking about.

Like a spite, the radio music was decidedly not home-grown. But this was not a passing aberration. Friends of Jamaicans overseas have hankered after a Jamaican holiday only to return and say they did not hear any reggae while they were in the island. A visitor to an uptown party in the late 1970s to mid 1980s would find that American music was again carrying the swing. To hear reggae, a visitor would have to go downtown Kingston where “the sufferers” have maintained their love affair with made-in-Jamaica music - along with boiled green bananas.

In the meantime, "uptowners" - many of whom were graduates of the UWI Mona Carnival - began going to Trinidad Carnival each February from the mid 1970s. Back in Jamaica, their appetites for Soca grew - aided and abetted by the proliferation of "dub" and "dance hall" reggae, heavy drum-and-bass and rap "riddims" at the expense of harmony, and sometimes melody, so much so that some wondered aloud if it was still "music."

This led in the 1980s to the development of a small Orange Carnival in a section of St. Andrew to which you came by invitation. This exploded in 1990 and 1991 into a full blown Carnival, so big and so successful that it has the Trinidadians worried. It also has some Jamaicans worrying that "Soca is going to kill Reggae."

And what is the role of Jamaica's "musical ambassador" in all this? Head cook and Soca-winer.

A few years before, Byron Lee was the centre of a controversy because of remarks he allegedly made that reggae losing popularity and not making it overseas, adding that reggae did not employ brass. Who could he possibly have been listening to? Certainly not Lester Bowie (Coming Back Jamaica on the Brass Fantasy album), for one. His own Dragonaires feature a strong brass section that has never prevented him from playing reggae. If he was worrying about how hard it would be to spread Reggae overseas because of (Jamaican) lyrics, how does he explain the fact that only one Soca tune - Arrow's “Hot, Hot, Hot” - has ever made any impact on North America, while US record companies continue to sign up Dance Hallers like Ninja Man, Coco Tea and others? Now, to his dismay, he is seen as the Axeman of Reggae.

But, even if that were his stated intention, Byron Lee cannot destroy reggae. The stone the musical builders continue to refuse had long become the head stone of the corner. More to the point, the success of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Third World, Culture, and others, was predicated also on the movement of the ownership of record-producing facilities from “uptown” people to “downtown” people. Khouri's Federal Record Manufacturing no longer appears in the Jamaica telephone book. Byron Lee's Dynamic Sounds is still there.

But now there are also Tuff Gong, Ziggy's Record Manufacturing, Creative Sounds, Music Works Recording Studio, Sound Lab Recording Studio and others. The impression is that the ownership of most of these reflects the shift from “uptowners” to “downtowners” that has followed the financial success Reggae has brought to Jamaican singers who are almost entirely “downtowners” and many of whom are now in control of the business of reggae. This explosion cannot have taken place without having some impact on the business carried out by Lee's Dynamic Sounds. This, too, is part of Bob Marley's legacy.


If by some extended stretch of the imagination, reggae were to be killed in Jamaica, the country would have to be isolated completely from the rest of the world. While his relatives squabbled over his estate almost up to ten years after he died in a Miami hospital without making a will, Bob's joy is for I an' I, and neither that squabble nor the Soca-St. Andrew syndrome shows any sign of reducing the spread of reggae worldwide. Jamaicans would have to put up with the anguish of hearing foreign reggae coming back into the country of its creation.

So, as we mark the first decade after the Reggae King, Bob's main legacy is still very much in place. However, we should never forget the pained question he asks in the last song of his last album:

"How long shall they kill our prophets While we stand aside and look?" - Redemption Song.


//

 
mikesiva 2016-12-10 10:12:25 

In reply to Ewart and pelon

Fascinating!

cool
'Cicely Delphin Williams (2 December 1893 – 13 July 1992) was a Jamaican physician, most notable for her discovery and research into kwashiorkor, a condition of advanced malnutrition, and her campaign against the use of sweetened condensed milk and other artificial baby milks as substitutes for human breast milk. One of the first female graduates of Oxford University, Dr Williams was instrumental in advancing the field of maternal and child health in developing nations, and in 1948 became the first director of Mother and Child Health (MCH) at the newly created World Health Organization (WHO). She once remarked that "if you learn your nutrition from a biochemist, you're not likely to learn how essential it is to blow a baby's nose before expecting him to suck."'

More here

 
mikesiva 2016-12-13 04:57:21 

'Francis Barber (c1742/3 – 13 January 1801), born Quashey, was the Jamaican manservant of Samuel Johnson in London from 1752 until Johnson's death. Johnson made him his residual heir, with £70 a year to be given him by Trustees, expressing the wish that he move from London to Lichfield, in Staffordshire, Johnson's native city. After Johnson's death, Barber did this, opening a draper's shop and marrying a local woman. Barber was also bequeathed Johnson's books and papers, and a gold watch. In later years he had acted as Johnson's assistant in revising his famous Dictionary of the English Language and other works. Barber was also an important source for Boswell concerning Johnson's life in the years before Boswell himself knew Johnson.'

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mikesiva 2016-12-21 06:38:46 

'Born in Accompong Jamaica, Namba Roy settled in South London after World War Two where he established himself as both a writer and artist. Despite migration, Namba Roy was always conscious of his Caribbean-African heritage especially the tradition of rebellion and courage that was a part of the runaway slaves, maroon history and settlement in his home town, Accompong. His novels Black Albino and No Black Sparrows written in the 1950s recreate this history and are a testament to black culture. The Jamaica Maroons were among the earliest of the black men in the West Indies to achieve and hold their freedom from slavery. They established themselves in remote communities in the mountains. Namba Roy was a Maroon descendant. His novel Black Albino is set in a Maroon community in the Jamaican hills in the eighteenth century. This historical novel imaginatively reconstructs the Jamaican Maroon world. The early Maroons had fresh memories of Africa and Africa appears in the novel in the Maroons' organizational life and language. In the same way, Roy’s paintings and sculpture are suggestive of African themes and a proud past. Many of his images suggest the princely heritage of ancient Africa and whether mythical or otherwise, they serve to uplift the race. Although Namba Roy was self-taught, he was well read with a keen interest in developing his own talents as a painter and sculptor. In this way, he documented his technical understanding of his work, in his book Ivory as the Medium in 'Studio (1958 ) as well as formulating his own material for sculpting (or moulding) images involving a mixture of plastic resin and wood chippings. His proficiency in this medium is evidenced in works such Accompong Madonna (1958 ) currently on show in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Jamaica. He is best known, however for his ivories such as Spirit of the Black Stallion (c. 1952) and Jesus and his Mammy (1956), delicately hewn forms that also pay homage to Africa.'

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np 2016-12-21 16:20:45 

In reply to mikesiva

Mike,
as you may know .. I worked with Dennis Scott during the mid 70s and early 80s before he left JC ... fantastic guy, great talent -- we had some good conversations on art, drama and politics especially because he was such a good listener. I say that because I've talke with many people some hear you, but they really aren't listening (that is making the serious and necessary mental connection with what is being said -- its just words to them).

This man listens .... RIP Dennis Scott.

 
mikesiva 2016-12-23 10:27:09 

In reply to np

Of course...you taught me in third form, and Dennis Scott taught me in first form.
big grin
I remember, as a first former, having an interesting conversation with him about the Hindu god Shiva, and how while it was pronounced Shiva in India, it was pronounced Siva in Sri Lanka. He had no airs and graces, and had no difficulty admitting he didn't know that, and that a new, high school student had just taught him something new.

Of course, I learnt a helluva lot more from him!

 
mikesiva 2016-12-29 09:10:02 

'Louis Celeste Lecesne (c. 1796 or 1798 – 22 November 1847), also known as Lewis Celeste Lecesne, was an anti-slavery activist from the Caribbean islands. Lecesne was on a committee to improve the rights of free men of colour. He was arrested twice, and transported for life from Jamaica with John Escoffery. Their case was taken up by Dr. Stephen Lushington. Lecesne was compensated after successfully having the case reversed by the British government. Lecesne became an activist against slavery and attended the world's first anti-slavery convention. He named his son after the British Member of Parliament who had fought for his case. Lecesne was a supporter when the 1839 Anti-Slavery Society was formed.'

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mikesiva 2017-01-11 04:40:42 

And now, a controversial figure...Nicholas Lawes was a planter, slave-owner, and governor. But he did introduce coffee to Jamaica.

'He was Chief Justice of Jamaica from 1698 to 1703 and Governor from 1718 to 1722. In his capacity as Governor during the Golden Age of Piracy he tried many pirates, among them "Calico Jack" Rackham, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Robert Deal, & Charles Vane. He signed an arrangement with Jeremy, king of the Miskito, to bring some of his followers over to Jamaica to hunt down runaway slaves in 1720. Lawes married five widows in succession. No children survived from the first three marriages. James and Temple Lawes were the sons of his fourth wife Susannah Temple whom he married in 1698. She had previously been married to Samuel Bernard. Her father, Thomas Temple, is said to have given Lawes his Temple Hall, Jamaica estate as a dowry. Lawes later married Elizabeth Lawley (1690-1725). Their youngest surviving daughter, Judith Maria Lawes, married Simon Luttrell, 1st Earl of Carhampton and so became both wife and mother of the Earls of Carhampton. At Temple Hall Lawes experimented with a variety of crops and introduced the very lucrative coffee growing into the island in 1721 according to some sources or 1728 according to others. He is also credited with setting up the first printing press in Jamaica. He died 18 June 1731 in Jamaica.'

Nicholas Lawes

He's an example of how a planter of modest means acquired wealth through marrying widows, and then, through his wealth, engineered a marriage between his daughter and British aristocracy. The daughter of that marriage, Anne, married the brother of King George III, Henry Duke of Cumberland. So, the British royal family has ties to slave plantations in Jamaica.

 
mikesiva 2017-01-20 04:41:23 

'Abrahams' father was from Ethiopia and his mother was Coloured. He was born in Vrededorp, a suburb of Johannesburg, but left South Africa in 1939. He worked first as a sailor, and then as a journalist in London. Hoping to make his way as a writer, he faced considerable challenges as a South African, as Carol Polsgrove has shown in her history, Ending British Rule: Writers in a Common Cause (2009). Despite a manuscript reader's recommendation against publication, in 1942 Allen & Unwin brought out his Dark Testament, made up mostly of pieces he had carried with him from South Africa. Publisher Dorothy Crisp published his novels Song of the City (1945) and Mine Boy (1946). According to Nigerian scholar Kolawole Ogungbesan, Mine Boy became "the first African novel written in English to attract international attention." More books followed with publication in Britain and the United States: two novels —The Path of Thunder (1948 ) and Wild Conquest (1950); a journalistic account of a return journey to Africa, Return to Goli (1953); and a memoir, Tell Freedom (1954). While working in London, Abrahams lived with his wife Daphne in Loughton. He met several important black leaders and writers, including George Padmore, a leading figure in the Pan-African community there, Kwame Nkrumah of the Gold Coast and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, both later heads of state of their respective nations. In 1956, Abrahams published a roman à clef about the political community of which he had been a part in London: A Wreath for Udomo. His main character, Michael Udomo, who returns from London to his African country to preside over its transformation into an independent, industrial nation, appeared to be modeled chiefly on Nkrumah with a hint of Kenyatta. Other identifiable fictionalized figures included George Padmore. The novel concluded with Udomo's murder. Published the year before Nkrumah took the reins of independent Ghana, A Wreath for Udomo was not an optimistic forecast of Africa's future. Abrahams settled in Jamaica in 1956. In 1994 he was awarded the Musgrave Gold Medal for his writing and journalism by the Institute of Jamaica. One of South Africa's most prominent writers, his work deals with political and social issues, especially with racism. His novel Mine Boy (1946), one of the first works to bring him to critical attention, and his memoir Tell Freedom (1954) deal in part with apartheid. His other works include the story collection Dark Testament (1942) and the novels The Path of Thunder (1948 ), A Wreath for Udomo (1956), A Night of Their Own (1965), the Jamaica-set This Island Now (1966, the only one of his novels not set in Africa) and The View from Coyaba (1985). He also wrote This Island Now, which speaks to the ways power and money can change most people's perspectives.'

Peter Abrahams

 
mikesiva 2017-01-27 05:23:30 

'Karl Parboosingh was born in Highgate, St. Mary to Mr and Mrs Vivian Coy in 1923. He went to high school in Kingston, attending both the Calabar High School and the Wolmer’s School for Boys. In 1942, he left Jamaica to attend the Art Students League in New York. From there, he travelled worldwide, initially as a soldier in the US army during World War II in 1945, then to other international art centres to work and study, namely Rome and Paris (years later he was to name his son after the city). In 1952, he studied in Mexico, under the tutelage of Spanish painter, Jose Guttierez and Mexican muralist, David Alfaro Siquieros – the influence of socialist ideology is evident in some of his major works. Karl met and married his second wife Seya Parboosingh in New York, 1957 and credited himself as being instrumental to her, a creative writer, becoming a painter as well. They settled in Jamaica in 1958. Aside from his canvas works, he is additionally credited with the creation of several murals commissioned by the government and other entities – the social potential of public murals was being explored in Jamaica in the late 1950s and 60s. Such examples can be seen at the Norman Manley Law School at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus, the Church of the Resurrection in Duhaney Park and the Olympia International Art Centre in Papine where he was chosen as the centre’s first artist in residence. There he continued to live and worked until he took ill and died on May 18, 1975.'

Karl Parboosingh

 
Ewart 2017-01-27 10:13:33 

In reply to mikesiva


Does it say anywhere how a McCoy became a Parboosingh? Or is it that he took his wife's name??


//

 
mikesiva 2017-01-31 04:39:53 

In reply to Ewart

I was trying to find out why Parboosingh changed his name, but no luck!

'Following Roots, she starred in the 1978 film Convoy as the Widow Woman, and she played Leona Hamiltons in Cornbread, Earl and Me. Sinclair received an Emmy Award nomination for her role as Belle in the miniseries Roots. Also in 1978 she co-starred in the short-lived sitcom Grandpa Goes to Washington. Sinclair went on to a long-running stint in the 1980s as nurse Ernestine Shoop on the series Trapper John, M.D. opposite Pernell Roberts. She received three Emmy nominations for her work on the show, and critic Donald Bogle praised her for "maintaining her composure and assurance no matter what the script imposed on her". In 1988, Sinclair played Queen Aoleon alongside James Earl Jones' King Jaffe Joffer in the Eddie Murphy comedy Coming to America, which reunited her on screen with her Roots husband and co-star John Amos. Later, both Sinclair and Jones would reunite as Queen and King for the roles of Sarabi, Simba’s mother, and Mufasa, Simba’s father, in the blockbuster Disney animated film The Lion King (1994), respectively. The film became one of the best-selling titles ever on home video. It would also be her last film role. The two also collaborated on the series Gabriel's Fire, which earned Sinclair an Emmy in 1991 for Best Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Series, famously beating out the expected winner, L.A. Law's Diana Muldaur. Sinclair played the role of Lally in the 1991 Channel 4 television miniseries The Orchid House (based on Phyllis Shand Allfrey's novel of the same name), directed by Horace Ové, and also received critical praise for her supporting role in the 1992 television movie Jonathan: The Boy Nobody Wanted with JoBeth Williams. In 1993 Sinclair came to London to appear on stage at the Cochrane Theatre in The Lion, by Michael Abbensetts, directed by Horace Ové for the Talawa Theatre Company. In 1994, she played a supporting role in the short-lived ABC-TV sitcom Me and the Boys, which starred Steve Harvey. Sinclair, in her brief role as the captain of the USS Saratoga in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, is commonly cited as the first female Starfleet starship captain to appear in Star Trek. (Joanne Linville had appeared as a Romulan commander 18 years earlier.) Years later, Sinclair played Geordi La Forge's mother, captain of the USS Hera, in Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Interface". Her final acting role was on the sitcom Dream On just one month later before her death.'

Madge Sinclair

 
Ewart 2017-01-31 09:21:20 

In reply to mikesiva

Yep. Met Madge Walters while she was at Shortwood Training College in the mid fifties...


//

 
mikesiva 2017-02-08 05:25:19 

In reply to Ewart

Really! I'm envious....
smile

'González was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1943. He had a Puerto Rican father and Jamaican mother. González graduated from the Jamaica School of Art (The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts) in 1963 where he majored in sculpture. He later became a faculty member at the school. González earned his Master's degree in Fine Arts from the California College of Arts and Crafts. He taught at schools and institutions in Jamaica, California, and Atlanta, Georgia, during his career. He was influenced by Edna Manley and Pablo Picasso. He lived and worked within the Saint Ann Parish area with his wife and family. González is, perhaps, best known for a 9-foot-tall (2.7 m) statue of Bob Marley, which is currently on display at a museum in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The abstract stautue depicts Marley with a tree trunk for a lower body and a distorted face. The sculpture was pelted with fruit and rocks by angry Marley fans when it was unveiled in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1983 on the second anniversary of his death. González was also well known for creating two bronze reliefs that commemorate Jamaican independence from Great Britain. He also worked on the tomb of the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Norman Washington Manley. Within Jamaica, examples of González's work is displayed at the Jamaica National Heroes' Memorial, the National Gallery of Jamaica, the residence of the Prime Minister and the Bank of Jamaica. He also held both group and solo art shows in Jamaica, the United States, Denmark, Cuba, Canada and Mexico. Christopher González died of cancer on 2 August 2008, in Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, Jamaica, at the age of 65. He was survived by his wife, Champayne Clarke-Gonzalez, and six children Chinyere, Odiaka, Asha, Christina, Abenah, and Nailah Gonzalez.'

Christopher Gonzalez

 
mikesiva 2017-02-15 10:21:10 

'Louis Marriott (22 May 1935-1 August 2016) was a Jamaican actor, director, writer, broadcaster, the executive officer of the Michael Manley Foundation, and member of the Performing Right Society, Jamaica Federation of Musicians, and founding member of the Jamaica Association of Dramatic Artists. Marriott was born on the Old Pound Road, Saint Andrew, Jamaica, the son of Egbert Marriott and Edna Irene Thompson-Marriott. He was educated at Jamaica College. He died in Kingston at age 81 on 1 August 2016.'

Louis Marriott

 
Ewart 2017-02-15 13:07:43 

In reply to mikesiva
More on Louis...

Louis Marriott
The passing of a pasero

by Ewart Walters

Jamaicans have used different words over the years to describe their relationships. I was drawn to remembering this on learning of the death of Louis Marriott.

One by one the words came back. I would not call him a spar or a key-spar. Those were much too flippant for the kind of friends we were. The word in popular usage at mid-20th Century was points. It arose from auto mechanics and the fact that distributors had points, contact points, which transferred current from the spark plugs to each combustion chamber in turn. But points wore out and had to be renewed every so often.

That would not do either.

So neither “friend,” nor “spar,” nor “key-spar” nor “points” satisfied my quest. And then I found it.

Jamaicans returning after working in the Spanish-speaking countries of Cuba, Panama, Ecuador, Costa Rica and others, used a word that was in the early 20th Century. That word was pasero. And in true Jamaican style, it was often shortened to pas, as in "my pas." From the sense of “ferryman” (translation from Spanish), or someone who would take you somewhere, pasero in essence is someone who will take a walk with you – from dar un paseo, to take a walk.

My walk with Louis spans 59 years. We met at the Ward Theatre during the 1957 LTM Pantomime, Busha Bluebeard. But it was five years later when I was Parliamentary Reporter at Public Opinion in 1962 that we saw each other more often and became paseros. It was one of those paseroships that had no need of regular meetings or telephone calls, or going to have a drink. Whenever we spoke or met, it was as yesterday.

More to the point, born in journalism, our paseroship flourished in the theatre and national development. Louis was born in the theatre. His father was a thespian. As he told me, “I made my theatrical debut at the ripe old age of 2, portraying roles in works that my father wrote, produced and directed to raise funds for Garvey’s UNIA and for the PNP; and being a member of a large family that straddled every conceivable area of the arts and crafts.”

Indeed, his uncle, Alvin Marriott, was the sculptor who created the statue at the entrance to the Stadium, the statue of The Jamaican Athlete, incorporating aspects of the quartet of Wint, McKenley, Laing and Rhoden who blazed to gold and glory in Helsinki at the 1952 Olympics and put Jamaica on the track and field map.

Louis’ passion for the theatre led him to found the Caribbean Thespians which included in its membership the supreme comedian Charles Hyatt, among others. So it was not strange for him to be invited to be a part of that pantomime which marked the on-stage transition from things English to things Jamaican and featured several Black high school students for the first time.

But the shadow of colonialism was still in its infancy. Louis himself was originally cast as the junior romantic lead but, to the upset of the entire cast, was mysteriously jettisoned when the mother of his female counterpart insisted that her daughter needed a partner of “a lighter hue.”

It is a patriot we now mourn. A man of unshakeable integrity and rectitude that sometimes worked to his detriment, Louis helped secure pay for pantomime actors. Dumped from that part because of his colour, he was then asked to audition for the part of the Dame, which was Charles Hyatt’s role.

But with Charles as a member of his Caribbean Thespians, he was against it and read without feeling. So the part remained Hyatt’s. It was at this point that Hyatt asked for £25 in payment for his services. Grudgingly given, it led the following year to payment for Louise Bennett and Ranny Williams as well. They had never been paid before.

Louis was never very far from the theatre and theatrical productions. When the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation began in December 1958 he was involved in the new wave of Jamaican culture over the radio as the sound effects specialist in addition to playing parts in radio drama. As many people know, he wrote several dramas including A Pack of Jokers, The Prophet, Playboy, Bedward and Over the Years. He has created and produced several radio programmes many of which have been broadcast throughout the English-speaking world.

He had strong ideas about theatre and felt that “there are in our theatre today so many pretenders who reap what Stanislavski dubbed ‘false success’ on the backs of theatregoers.” He wrote about the need for mastery of theatre craft and felt that “theatre fare today is not only half-baked or totally raw but also lacking in essential ingredients.”

“The theatre fraternity looks to me for facts on our theatre history. More recently, the PNP leadership have labelled me ‘the party historian.’ I don’t know how that came about as I’m not even a party member, but I’ve written for them a little booklet on the history of the party for their 70th anniversary celebration and wrote, directed and narrated a 90-minute multi-media documentary staged on their 71st anniversary to launch their conference.”

He worked in public relations with Development and Welfare Minister Edward Seaga on the 1963 Independence Festival, and with Prime Minister Michael Manley as Press Secretary in 1973 and 1979-80, and was Assistant Public Relations officer for the Ninth Central American and Caribbean Games at our National Stadium in 1962.

Between 1967 and 1970 he was Advisor and Deputy Editor with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. From 1976 to 1979 he was Assistant Director at JAMAL, Director of Publications and Advertising for the Agency for Public Information (now JIS), and was a freelance writer since 1980.

Up to his death, he was the Executive Director of the Michael Manley Foundation, a member of the Performing Right Society, Jamaica Federation of Musicians, and founding member of the Jamaica Association of Dramatic Artists. In 1996, he published the book, “Who's Who and What's What in Jamaican Arts and Entertainment."

Louis described himself as “the son of the 109th member of the PNP.” Often in his father’s company “as a ‘fryers,’” he was exposed to a number of significant political events and developments. His oldest specific recollection is of events relating to the 1938 labour disturbances. It was a theme that was revisited in much of his writing and one that remained with him all his life.

Between 2001 and 2002, he had two-thirds of "Growing Up With Jamaica Part I," of his two-part autobiography, serialised in the Sunday Gleaner. The title reflects his exposure to a number of significant political events and developments including the fact that his parents’ house was often the venue for meetings for Ken Hill’s National Reform Association, which was foundational in the national movement. The first book was to end at Independence Day 1962. He had envisaged 56 episodes but, for a number of reasons, lost momentum and moved on to other things.

Seven years ago I ended an e-mail note to Louis as follows: Our days draw near to their close, Louis. I am trying to get some things down on paper and out into the published world. Hope you are doing the same.

“As for recording our history for posterity, I have sort-of started the process,” he said. “If I live long enough, I’ll complete the two autobiographical books, one on the history of the PNP, and a Michael Manley biography....”

I last saw him at the Jamaican launch of my book, “We Come From Jamaica: The National Movement 1937-1962,” at the UWI, Mona, in October 2014. He was not well but came nevertheless… out of paseroship, and the fact that my subject was the National Movement of which he had been a first-hand observer. Indeed, he was one of the many individuals I consulted in researching the book.

Hasta la vista pasero. Andas bien.

//

 
XDFIX 2017-02-15 14:15:05 

In reply to Ewart

true Jamaican style, it was often shortened to pas, as in "my pas."


Never heard that term used in Jamaica

 
pelon 2017-02-15 14:26:08 

In reply to Ewart

Dear sir, thanks for this. I am jumping in [side note] to ask more about the etymology/context of "paseo"

Jamaicans returning after working in the Spanish-speaking countries of Cuba, Panama, Ecuador, Costa Rica and others, used a word that was in the early 20th Century. That word was pasero. And in true Jamaican style, it was often shortened to pas, as in "my pas." From the sense of “ferryman” (translation from Spanish), or someone who would take you somewhere, pasero in essence is someone who will take a walk with you – from dar un paseo, to take a walk.


Finding context in this (and I continue to praise and thank you for these postings), is that where Pinchers extracts "pasero"? un pasero / empasero = same linguistic context (JA) as per your your post?:
Hey gringos empasero
Uh-when ya make way for di bandilero
'cause if you don't do that my friend
Then your number is zero
Dem lyrics snatch up like the sword of Zorro

Fascinating after all these years to get a context for the word.....
I said so before: this is the best ever thread on cc.com

 
Ewart 2017-02-15 15:09:32 

In reply to XDFIX

Were you alive in the forties? fifties??


What about points? Did you ever hear points???



razz


//

 
black 2017-02-17 10:19:56 

Is this the longest running post on this site?

 
Ewart 2017-02-17 11:16:05 

In reply to Black


Dunno.... Check Ryan or Chrissy for that.

But it is certainly a very enlightening and entertaining post.



//

 
bimbo 2017-02-17 15:58:51 

In reply to Ewart

Do you have any information on Pancho Rankine of St Georges?

 
Ewart 2017-02-17 17:17:02 

In reply to bimbo


Pancho was around and active while I was in JA but I would have to get help or do serious research in order to tell you anything about him except that he was well known.


//

 
mikesiva 2017-02-20 06:23:25 

In reply to black

I'm getting down to my last dozen names, so this thread won't run for much longer....
smile
"Cecil Bustamente Campbell OD (24 May 1938 – 8 September 2016), known professionally as Prince Buster, was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer. The records he released in the 1960s influenced and shaped the course of Jamaican contemporary music and created a legacy of work that would be drawn upon later by reggae and ska artists."

Prince Buster

 
mikesiva 2017-02-27 06:57:53 

In reply to Ewart

Great one on Louis Marriott....
smile
'Among his many experiments, Sir Philip describes as "the biggest course in education" he ever took was his tenure as Education Officer with the Jamaica Welfare Limited. This was a philanthropic organization he joined in 1945 on the invitation of National Hero, Norman Manley where he was able to work at the grassroots to develop leadership in the community. His crowning achievement came in 1964 when he succeeded Sir Arthur Lewis as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, having previously served as Pro Vice-Chancellor. Under his brilliant leadership, the UWI grew in importance and prestige, and stands today as his lasting monument. In this capacity, Sir Philip had also brought with him several years of service to an institution that he had served since the time of its inception in 1948. He had been the first Director of Extra Mural Studies, Vice Principal and Acting Principal of the University College of the West Indies as it was called prior to 1962. He was the founding principal of the new campus at St. Augustine, Trinidad, and undertook the establishment of the Faculty of Engineering as well as transformed and incorporated the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture into that Campus.'

Philip Sherlock....

 
mikesiva 2017-03-02 06:05:46 

'He was born Barrington John Reckord in Kingston, Jamaica, where he grew up in Vineyard Town with his three siblings: two brothers, Carol and Lloyd, and a sister Cynthia. He attended Kingston College and after matriculation went on to study theology at St Peter's College in 1948. He left the island in 1950 after winning an Issa Scholarship to Cambridge University, where he read for a degree at Emmanuel College, graduating in 1953. He began writing plays as a student and several of them were performed at London's Royal Court Theatre (he is claimed as the first Black Briton to have had a play on there), sometimes directed by his brother Lloyd Reckord. Della, Reckord's first play, which (as Adella) had been staged by his brother in a small fringe production in 1954, was produced under the title Flesh to a Tiger at the Royal Court in 1958, directed by Tony Richardson, with a cast that featured Cleo Laine, Pearl Prescod, Nadia Cattouse, Johnny Sekka and Lloyd Reckord, and choreography by Boscoe Holder. The play dealt with the attempts by a cult leader to enforce his wishes on a female member of his congregation. In 1961 the Royal Court also produced You in Your Small Corner, which transferred to the New Arts Theatre and was subsequently adapted for ITV's Play of the Week series in an episode that aired on 5 June 1962, directed by Claude Whatham. This broadcast is now thought to contain the first interracial kiss on television between Lloyd Reckord, the playwright's brother, and Elizabeth MacLennan. Reckord's most successful play Skyvers, first produced in 1963 at the Royal Court (directed by Ann Jellicoe, with an all-white cast that included David Hemmings), is considered by Guardian critic Michael Billington "one of the key plays of the 1960s", prefiguring Edward Bond's 1965 Saved. Skyvers, which deals with the alienation of a group of working-class south London boys in the last few days at their comprehensive school, was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in November 2012 as part of a series of plays curated by Kwame Kwei-Armah, after lobbying to ensure better recognition for black dramatists. Reckord wrote other television dramas, including for the BBC In the Beautiful Caribbean (1972) and Club Havana (1975), as well as a book about Cuba entitled Does Fidel Eat More Than Your Father (Praeger, 1971). In 1973 he received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship to Assist Research and Artistic Creation. Also in 1973, Reckord was awarded the Silver Musgrave Medal by the Institute of Jamaica. After living most of his adult life in Britain, mostly with his companion Diana Athill, in the last few years of his life he returned to Jamaica, where he died in December 2011, aged 85.'

Barry Reckord

 
mikesiva 2017-03-03 06:31:08 

'Lloyd Malcolm Reckord was born in Kingston, Jamaica, on 26 May 1929. He began his theatrical career with the Little Theatre Movement (LTM) pantomime at Ward Theatre. As reported by Michael Reckord in the Jamaica Gleaner, "Reckord's first big role was as Tobias in a production of Tobias and the Angel at the Garrison Theatre, Up Park Camp, when he was in his late teens. Fired from his job at his uncle's hardware store because he insisted that he had to leave early to play his role in the LTM pantomime, Alice In Wonderland, Lloyd left Jamaica in 1951 when he was 21 to join his brother Barry, also a playwright and actor, in England." He auditioned and was accepted as a student at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, subsequently joining the Old Vic Company in London. He would also study theatre in the US, years later, at Howard University, Yale University and the American Theatre Wing. Reckord appeared in the Ted Willis play Hot Summer Night at the New Theatre, St Martin's Lane, London in 1958, with Andrée Melly as his white girlfriend; a later Armchair Theatre adaptation the following year concentrated on the couple's relationship. Reckord participated in the earliest known example of an interracial kiss on television, in You in Your Small Corner. a Granada Play of the Week broadcast in June 1962, in which he kissed actor Elizabeth MacLennan. This claim had earlier been made for Emergency – Ward 10, which post-dates Reckord and MacLennan's kiss. The play was written by Reckord's brother Barry, and directed by Claude Whatham. Reckord also acted in several television series, including four episodes of Danger Man (1960–61, 1964–65) and The Human Jungle ("Enemy Outside", 1964), but feeling typecast as an actor, he wanted to move into direction. With only limited funds, including a grant from the BFI, he made two non-commercial film shorts Ten Bob in Winter (1963, featuring Winston Stona, Bari Johnson, Peter Madden and Andrew Salkey, with a jazz soundtrack by Joe Harriott) and Dream A40 (1965). Reckord later returned to Jamaica, where he worked as a stage director, with rare screen appearances, as in The Lunatic (1991) and Third World Cop (1999). In 2011 his work featured in the Black London's Film Heritage Project, with the compilation Big City Stories including Reckord's 1963 film Ten Bob in Winter, as well an excerpt from the television play by his brother entitled You in Your Small Corner, in which Lloyd Reckord played the lead male character. His short film Dream A40 was shown at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (LLGFF) at the British Film Institute. Reckord died in Jamaica on 8 July 2015 after a short illness, aged 86, and his life was celebrated at a thanksgiving service on 29 July.'

Barry's brother, Lloyd Reckord

 
Ewart 2017-03-07 10:39:33 

Don't remember if one was done on Michael Manley, but yesterday marked 20 years after his death on a day India were opening a Test series with West Indies.


Michael "Joshua" Manley
“The Word Is Love”

by Ewart Walters

It was the West Indies' darkest day. It was also the longest. All day on Thursday March 6, 1997, family members of Jamaica's most lustrous personality gathered round the St. Andrew bedside of Michael Manley as he drifted into the penultimate hours of his final struggle - a mortal combat between his clear, incisive mind and the insurgent prostate cancer that was known to have engaged him some six years earlier.

As the lengthening hours closed in on midnight (o lente lente currite noctis equi), with some 15 minutes left before the new day, the struggle ended and Jamaica's most persuasive voice was stilled. With his family and close friends around his bedside, Michael Manley, 72, journalist, trade unionist, politician, author, prime minister, horticulturalist, lecturer, Third World leader, anti-apartheid fighter, sports enthusiast, cricket writer, and a towering beacon of hope and enthusiasm for millions of his countrymen at home and abroad, lay dead.


It was a remarkable day for it had also begun with death. Before the day was 30 minutes old, the President of Guyana, Cheddi Jagan, 78, son of indentured labourers from India, had been pronounced dead in a U.S. hospital from a heart attack.

To further mystify matters, that dark Thursday was the first day of the First Test match between the West Indies and India who were opening their 1997 tour at Sabina Park in Kingston. The West Indies team then was made up almost entirely of players of African descent and so it was something of a struggle between Africa and India – the old world, in the new. But with India scoring 300 runs for the loss of only two wickets at the close of the first day's play, Manley, the cricket writer, on his deathbed in St. Andrew would have felt that, against India, a team that had traditionally been suspect to hostile pace bowling, the West Indies pace bowlers had failed to regain their once-feared dominance. Was there anything left to live for?

Ironically, Manley's death was reported in Canada by the Toronto Star before the venerable Gleaner, Jamaica's leading and oldest newspaper. Philip Mascoll, a Jamaican reporter at The Star, received a call and quickly added the necessary final details to the story he had written a few weeks before. His story was on The Star's front page on March 7. The Jamaica Observer ran a second edition in the afternoon of Friday March 7 to tell of the death. The Gleaner did not report it until Saturday March 8, although the body of an obituary had been pre-written and left standing months before.

As expected, the electronic media were quickly on to the news, the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation informing its audience shortly after 1.00 a.m. on March 7.

Although only six years separated them in age, in politics Jagan and Manley were not exactly contemporaries. When Manley was in power in Jamaica, his Guyanese counterpart was Lyndon Forbes Burnham, Jagan=s political colleague-turned-rival, on whose shoulders the British and Americans conspired to place the mantle of the leadership of Guyana because Jagan (in the 1950s) professed communism. Indeed, it would be 28 years before Jagan returned to hold the reins of power, and by then, Manley had retired. Like Jagan, Manley attracted unfavourable attention from the United States. Again the Americans tried to blame their actions on Acommunism.@

However, despite his friendship with Fidel Castro – among other world leaders including Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney of Canada, Olaf Palme of Switzerland, Carlos Andres Peres of Mexico, and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania – Manley himself was never a communist. All the time that he was being painted by the media as "left-leaning" or being "pals with Fidel Castro", Manley steadfastly maintained in Jamaica all the institutions of democracy along with the two-party system and democratic elections. He maintained his pro-democratic stance even while he was the target of two assassination attempts in the mid-1970s, which Penthouse Magazine credited to the CIA in a December 1977 article by investigative journalists Ernest Volkman and John Cummings, under the headline, "Murder As Usual."

And what was Manley's "sin"@ What caused his downfall? Why did he attract the rapt attention of right-wing America and the CIA? Mostly his style, but also his reach. In 1974, Eric Williams of Trinidad and Tobago, Burnham of Guyana and Tom Adams of Barbados all joined Manley to clamour for Cuba's admission to the Organization of American States. They all increased their diplomatic relationship with Cuba. But only Manley paid the price. For Manley, a spell-binding orator who once declared that he would "dismantle capitalism brick by brick," was at once blessed and cursed with exceptional personal magnetism and charisma.

But his "sin" was greater than that, for he championed the cause of the poor and downtrodden. And, unlike most of today=s politicians, he didn't do so merely with words. His record of socio-economic legislation for the benefit of the poor and marginalized in Jamaica=s post-colonial society was acknowledged even by Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, never one of his fans. In reaching down with compassion to help these poor Jamaicans, Manley began upsetting the established order and thus stepped on the corns of the privileged, many of whom fled – to Toronto and Miami mainly, and wallowed in bitter recriminations; a few of these new Torontonians went so far as to throw "Blue Book Parties" at which they lit bonfires to burn their blue Jamaican passports.

Some of the well-to-do Jamaicans who remained in Jamaica, simply siphoned their money out of the country and in the process created new intriguing legends about the native creativity and ingenuity of Jamaicans as they sought to outwit the currency cops and export their money.

In one of the more imaginative examples, the story was told of a doctor who arrived at the Norman Manley International airport booked on a flight out of the country. Prominent on his arm was a fresh plaster of Paris cast, sign of a recently broken arm. But the currency cops took one look at him and saw through his scheme. Against his loud protests, they cut and removed the cast, searching for currency. But there was nothing there. The fuming doctor missed his flight. The next day, he was back with a fresh cast, daring the currency cops to make him miss his flight again. This time, sheepishly, they let him through – with hundreds of thousands of dollars in the cast. Or so the story goes.

As it became clearer that Manley's program was directed at the entire population, that not only the usual beneficiaries would reap the political spoils, his political opponents sought to terrorize him out of power. This action began with spectacular fires and shootings in a section of lower St. Andrew called Rose Town in January 1975 at a time when US journalists were present to attend a meeting of the International Monetary Fund. The fires and shooting went on for the better part of two weeks and the ensuing social disruption was splashed lavishly and frequently onto the pages of the US and Canadian press and beamed into living rooms by television.

In September 1976 alone, the Toronto Star alone used up some 800 column inches of space on Jamaica – all of it negative. The Globe and Mail, the Montreal Gazette, the Montreal Star, the Ottawa Citizen, the Ottawa Journal, the Toronto Sun, the New York Times, the Miami Herald, and the wire services were not far behind. In short order, Jamaica became verboten for American tourists. The 1976 tourist season was virtually non-existent.

In their efforts to install a reign of terror in Jamaica, Manley=s opponents were supported by money and equipment from the US and anti-Castro Cuban exile groups in Miami. Between 1975 and 1980, vehicles, two-way radios, guns and ammunition, and millions of US dollars flowed into the pockets of the anti-Manley campaigners. In Canada, a visit by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to a few Jamaicans in Toronto seemed to be enough to deter their plans to purchase guns and send them off to the Jamaica Labour Party in Kingston. They denied the allegations. "We hate the guy but we were not setting out to kill him," one said. (It is still not clear whether they had made any shipments prior to the visit of the RCMP).


Nevertheless, with or without their help, terror descended on Jamaica. The death toll between 1975 and 1980, in the downtrodden areas of Kingston and lower St. Andrew, was over 2,000, as urban terror was unleashed on People's National Party (PNP) youth group members and party supporters who then tried to retaliate. Superficial commentators - and there are many - point to violent elections under Manley, leaving the impression he instigated the violence.

Significantly, of the 17 general elections between universal adult suffrage in 1944 and 2007, the only ones marked by violence were in 1976 and 1980 - when somebody was trying to terrorize Manley out of power. On the other hand, there was hardly a fuss in 1972 and 1989 when Manley was trying to get into power.

On November 4, 1977, a full-page advertisement was run in the New York Times for the December issue of a popular US magazine, Penthouse. I have kept a laminated copy of that New York Times advertisement. The story that was being promoted in this unusually grand fashion was written by Ernest Volkman and John Cummings, two of America=s top investigative journalists. The headline was, AMurder As Usual.@ The advertisement featured a huge picture of Uncle Sam with a glint in his eye and a loaded gun in his hand. It went on to state:

"Last year, the CIA conspired to assassinate Prime Minister Michael Manley of Jamaica. While official Washington reverberated with mock hysteria over the assassination of Allende of Chile, and indulged in self-castigation and guilt over the covert operations of the CIA, (Secretary of State) Henry Kissinger approved a plan to overthrow yet another government."

In Jamaica, Manley's government played down the story. But it was never refuted by any agency of the US government. Indeed, it is now known that there were at least two attempts on his life. Not only murder as usual, it was also business as usual. For the main reason for the attacks on Manley and Jamaica, was business – US business; specifically, the business of bauxite and alumina which three American companies and one Canadian company were busy mining out of Jamaican soil – for peanuts.

The trouble began when Manley, ever the trade union negotiator, attempted by entirely legal means to get them to increase the pay – from peanuts to cashew nuts. (For an idea of the Armageddon that was unleashed on Jamaica see Michael Manley’s book, "Jamaica: Struggle in the Periphery"). The thing is, up to that time, nobody ever said that the complaints of American bauxite companies constituted the (main) reason for the destabilization. This reason was well camouflaged. Most Jamaicans still have no idea.

Michael was a servant. His sense of service arose from his great love. It could be said of Michael, like Othello, that he was "one who loved – not wisely, but too well." Here, of course, I make no reference to the fact that he married five times. Rather, I speak of his love for his people. His love that reflects the true intent of St. Matthew 25, verse 40 which says,

"Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren you have done it unto me."

Michael dedicated his life to the service of his people, especially the downtrodden. This, perhaps, he did too well. This was his Achilles tendon. He later said he recognized this as a problem. But great man that he was he did not stop there. He went on to express regret publicly for this fault, which he acknowledged led to his ignoring other faults.


Michael aroused strong feelings. First it was love and admiration, excitement and enthusiasm. You had to be there in Jamaica when he won in 1972 to understand the euphoria, the intensity of the adulation. All around the island, people were overcome with joy and they went out on the streets in the main towns for three whole days to express their happiness.

Then, like a marriage gone bad, it was, for some after a few years, an equally intense hatred. The arguments will continue. But his death freed him at last from the twin pressures of adulation and animosity. Still, for the entire period between 1972 and his retirement, the opinion polls said he remained the single most popular politician in Jamaica. And so, as Jamaicans still analyse the meaning of his life, their writings bear the unmistakeable signs of stress and a continuing struggle to define him. Yet they all find themselves compelled to "Hail the Man." For it was Manley who gave them a sense of belonging, a sense of pride in themselves. And THAT is his lasting legacy: He held up a mirror of pride to his people. They stared intently in this mirror and believed.

Here then are the voices of two of these believers, quite appropriately in the language of Jamaica. The first is Louise Bennett:

"Dark night got peenie wallie,
Sun-hot got shady tree
Yuh struggles fi human dignity
Tun stalwart victory."

The other is Jennifer Keane-Dawes:

"Missis, when it comes on to dat man, me hab nuff tings fi seh. But the main one is dis. God bless him. Cause if it wasn't fi him dat open the floodgates to university education to poor people, nuff picky-picky head smaddy like meself couldn't tun lawyer, doctor and Indian Chief."

A striking testament on Michael=s signal achievement -- what somebody has called "the smaddytization of Jamaica." Ms. Keane-Dawes’ comment on his impact on education is worth a pause. It was his father, Norman Washington Manley, who opened the education floodgates to the children of the masses with one thousand free place scholarships in 1957 for the first time, thus providing a way out of persistent poverty. Michael became Prime Minister in March 1972 and by his 1973 budget extended his father’s efforts by presenting free education to the country, as he put it, “for the first time, at last!”

Central to his thinking was a belief in the capacities of his people, a belief that all ideas should contend freely, and that the greater would prevail. When the assessments come to be made, when they add up the pluses and take away the minuses, the historians will set Michael Manley high on the list of those illustrious servants who have made the greatest impact for good on the people of Jamaica.

While the lavish use of the words "Communism," “Castro,” and “Cuba” opened purse-strings in the US, the main trigger for the US support was that Manley had taken his advocacy for the downtrodden beyond Jamaica, seeking increases for the prices that Third World producer countries received for their goods from consumer countries. Above all, he had upset American bauxite companies in Jamaica, not by "nationalising" bauxite as he was sometimes accused of in US media, but by finding a completely legal means of securing from them improved returns for the bauxite they were extracting daily out of Jamaican soil.

Angry that they now had no recourse through the courts, the companies went complaining to Uncle Sam. And the response came through extra-legal means, hence the increased flow of anti-Manley resources. Hence the assassination attempts. Hence the massive anti-Manley press, both abroad and at home. And so, tired and unwilling to put his people through more of the murder and mayhem that had descended on Jamaica since 1976, he was actually relieved to be kicked out of office in the general elections he called for October 30, 1980.

In short order, massive inflows of aid that had been withheld from the Manley administration by the IMF and the World Bank, came pouring into the Jamaica that was now led by Edward Seaga. Goods that had vanished from the supermarket shelves (and would only appear in brown paper bags to dearly cherished customers) were now once again abundantly available. Consumer goods of all types, models and descriptions flooded the various markets. No longer could the foreign press take photographs of empty grocery shelves; no longer would they turn their TV camera lenses on hopeful blades of grass sprouting between sections of concrete sidewalk in New Kingston and proclaim that this represented a decaying economy. Everything was all right – if you had money. Seaga was riding high.


But there was a price to be paid. President Ronald Reagan, happy that the so-called pro-American, pro-business, Harvard-educated Edward Seaga had taken control of the country, set up something called the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) and declared that he was going to make Jamaica, "the showcase of the Caribbean." Hundreds of Americans had taken up residence, jobs and consultancies in post-Manley Jamaica. David Rockefeller of the famous wealthy US family was one of these; he headed a team of Americans Athe Rockefeller Committee@ who came down to Kingston Ato assist Jamaica.@

Back in the US, right-wing Americans got the news media including the Wall Street Journal to champion their cause: they wanted Manley=s celebrated bauxite levy to be removed and the time had come, at last. An editorial in that paper early in 1980 clearly stated that Seaga would succeed Manley and that he would remove the bauxite levy. But then, even with Seaga now installed as Prime Minister, a curious thing happened on the way to American happiness. Seaga himself failed to remove the levy.

And so, without surprising any Jamaicans, most of whom had quickly dubbed the CBI, the ACaribbean basin-pan@ (basin-pan being known as a humble, mostly rural domestic utensil used to facilitate evening ablutions), the aid that had been flowing like a river in spate suddenly dried up. In the mid-1980s, America, which had made Jamaica its Caribbean home, took up its belongings and departed amidst a surprising flood of rabid anti-Seaga commentaries in the US press.

With no more external backative, Seaga's cause was lost. Unlike trade unionists William Alexander Bustamante, Hugh Shearer and Michael Manley, or the deeply respected Norman Washington Manley, all previous national leaders, Seaga drew his support neither from a trade union background nor from either love or towering respect. If Machiavelli was right that the two towering political forces are love and fear, then Seaga's was certainly fear. But the fear he generated was purchased with external support and when it dried up the field was levelled once more. And so, it was that love conquered all. Manley whose main 1972 campaign slogan was
"the word is love," Manley whose love for the Jamaican people was equalled only by their love for him, was returned to power in 1989.

He returned a changed and chastened man. If he now cast his democratic socialism in a new market-driven light, it was still the politics of participation. The new approach, he said, was to embrace the market system in a way that would benefit every Jamaican, not just the 21 rich families who had owned most of the country=s wealth and wielded most of its power.

It soon became obvious that the changed Manley lost much of the youth support he had attracted in 1972. But nobody has been able to calculate how much of the change was the product of intellectual rigour, how much a matter of political pragmatism and how much the simply human reaction of self-preservation after the assassination attempts and the thought of the bitter civil war of the seventies. The one thing that can be said is that filthy lucre had no part in it; Manley may have succumbed to terror, but he was not bought out.

In any event, his own personal lonely struggle to maintain his health now began to intensify. He stepped down in 1992 after spending weeks in a Miami hospital fighting a debilitating double pneumonia. The year before there was word of prostate cancer. For several years before that he had wrestled with a painful and persistent inflammation of the colon known as diverticulitis.

** ** **

 
mikesiva 2017-03-18 05:24:26 

In reply to Ewart

He's been mentioned before...but you can never have too much of Joshua!
big grin
My father was one of the doctors who treated Manley at UWHI when he had diverticulitis, and he spoke highly of his interactions with Michael.

"Jacob Raphael de Cordova, Texas land agent and colonizer, was born in Spanish Town (near Kingston), Jamaica, on 6 June 1808, the youngest of three sons of Judith and Raphael de Cordova, British Jews of Spanish descent. Since his mother died at his birth, he was raised by an aunt in England. He was well educated and became proficient in English, French, Spanish, German and Hebrew. In 1834 Jacob moved back to Kingston, where he and his brother Joshua started a newspaper, the Kingston Daily Gleaner, which is still published today. In early 1836 Jacob went to New Orleans, where he shipped cargoes of staples to Texas during its struggle for independence. At this time he served a term as Grand Master of the Odd Fellows. After the Battle of San Jacinto he visited the Republic of Texas to install members in the Odd Fellows lodges, the first established outside the United States."

Jacob de Cordova

 
CWWeekes 2017-03-18 08:29:08 

Mr. Ewart, Mr. Siva:

Anything on Vere Johns who with his talent show "Vere Johns Opportunity Hour", helped to nurture the growth of Ja's popular music. His name comes up so often when artistes of the 50's and early 60's are interviewed. Thanks for this thread.

 
mikesiva 2017-03-19 09:27:30 

In reply to CWWeekes

You're a mind-reader! He was next on my list....
big grin
'Johns was born in Mandeville in 1893, and after working for the Post Office, served in the South Lancashire Regiment in World War I before finding success as a newspaper columnist in the United States in the 1920s. While in the US he divorced his first wife and married his second, actress Lillian May, known as "Lady Luck". He began running talent contests while in the US, and continued on his return to Jamaica in 1939. In the late 1940s he began a long-running "Vere Johns Says" column in the Jamaica Star newspaper, often on the topic of music. He made a major contribution to Jamaican music with his "Vere John's Opportunity Knocks Talent Show" on RJR Radio, which helped to launch the careers of several major recording artists including Lloyd Charmers, Hortense Ellis, John Holt, Bob Andy, Desmond Dekker, The Wailers, Alton Ellis, Jackie Edwards, Dobby Dobson, Boris Gardiner, Laurel Aitken, and Millie Small. His talent contests began as theatre shows held in downtown Kingston venues such as The Majestic, Palace and Ambassador theatres, with the winners judged by audience reaction, and going on to appear on his radio shows. Producers such as Clement "Coxsone" Dodd and Arthur "Duke" Reid scouted for talent at the shows, taking singers to record at Stanley Motta's studio to cut records to be played on their sound systems. Lloyd Bradley, in his book This is Reggae Music, described Johns as "the most influential man in Jamaican music in the second half of the 1950s", a period in which indigenous Jamaican styles were coming to the fore. Johns, despite his antipathy towards Jamaica's Rastafarians, also provided exposure for Count Ossie's group of drummers after singer Marguerita Mahfood refused to appear on his show unless she was backed by Ossie's Mystic Revelation group; The group proved popular with the audience and went on to perform regularly in Kingston. Johns also worked as an actor, performing in Shakespeare plays and solo recitations, and taught acting. Vere Johns died in September 1966.'

Vere Johns

 
CWWeekes 2017-03-19 10:43:44 

In reply to mikesiva

Thank you.

 
mikesiva 2017-03-29 05:19:31 

In reply to CWWeekes

My pleasure...now for something that's not really a pleasure, but is a throwback to when Jamaica was a "great", powerful, wealthy part of the world:

'Edward Long (23 August 1734 – 13 March 1813) was a British colonial administrator and historian, and author of a highly controversial work, The History of Jamaica (1774). Long was the fourth son of Samuel Long (1700–1757) of Longville, Jamaica, son of Charles Long MP, and his wife Mary Tate, born 23 August 1734 at St. Blazey, in Cornwall. His great-grandfather, Samuel Long, had arrived on the island in 1655 as a lieutenant in the English army of conquest, and the family established itself as part of the island's governing planter elite. His sister, Catherine Maria Long, married Sir Henry Moore, 1st Baronet (Governor of Jamaica), and Long, in Jamaica from 1757, became his private secretary. In 1752 Long became a law student at Gray's Inn, and from 1757 until 1769 he was resident in Jamaica. During this period he explored inside the Riverhead Cave, the Runaway Bay Caves and the Green Grotto. He was judge in the local vice admiralty court, and briefly Speaker of the Assembly, elected 13 September 1768. Long was an influential and wealthy member of British society, as well as an established Jamaican planter and slave owner. He moved permanently to England, in 1769, for health reasons. Long died in 1813. He was a polygenist who claimed that the White race was a different species to the Black race. Long's History of Jamaica, first published in 1774 in three volumes but again in the 1970s, was his well-known work. This book gives a political, social, and economic account with a survey of the island, parish by parish from 1665 to 1774. It is comprehensive book, yet it contains some of the most virulent and rather best description of Jamaicans and Africans in general. The book contains a racist description of American black slaves during the Age of Enlightenment. In a similar fashion to his contemporaries, Long's description of race discussed it as a 'natural state' compared to the Romantic period. Long, in his rather shocking descriptions argues that American 'Negroes' were characterised by the same "bestial manners, stupidity and vices which debase their brethren" in Africa. He maintained that 'this race of people' is distinguishable from the rest of mankind in that they embody "every species of inherent turpitude" and imperfection that can be found dispersed among all other races of men. Unlike the most "abandoned villain" to be found in civilisation, argues Long these peoples have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Such racist views were widespread among European writers at the time, some of whom used to write detailed descriptions of Africans and Africa based only on accounts of missionaries and Plantation owners. Long echoes Hume and Kant in his deeply racist descriptions of Africans and finds it astonishing that despite being subject to colonisation for a long time, the 'Negroes' have failed to demonstrate any appreciation for the arts or any inventive ability. He observes that throughout the entirety of Africa, there are few natives who "comprehend anything of mechanic arts or manufacture", and those who do, perform their work in the manner of some under-evolved ape. This is due to them being "void of genius". The book also contains descriptions of interracial marriage.'

Edward Long

"Great" is an interesting description. I have included Long, not because he's someone to admire, but because he was a very influential member of one of the most powerful groups of people in the eighteenth century - the Jamaican planter. Yes, his views are reprehensible, but it's worth noting that his views also represented those of his peers at the time as well....

 
mikesiva 2017-04-04 05:25:14 

'Roy Anthony "Tony" McNeill (1941–1996) was a Jamaican poet, considered one of the most promising West Indian writers of his generation, whose career was cut short by his early death.
McNeill was born in Kingston, Jamaica and educated at Excelsior School and St. George's College (where he was already known to his friends as a poet) before leaving to study in the United States. He studied creative writing at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, from which he graduated with a PhD. He returned to Jamaica in 1975, where he worked as a journalist and assistant editor of the Jamaica Journal (1975–81), as well as in a variety of other jobs, including civil servant, encyclopedia salesman, and janitor.
While a student in the US, McNeill began writing seriously. His first major collection of poems, Reel from "The Life Movie", appeared in 1972 and immediately established his reputation in Jamaica alongside his contemporaries Dennis Scott and Mervyn Morris. This was followed by Credences at the Altar of Cloud (1979) and Chinese Lanterns from the Blue Child, published posthumously in 1998. Other significant work remains unpublished. McNeill was known for his experimental style, influenced by contemporary jazz as well as American poets like Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and E. E. Cummings. He once said, of his first collection, "I don't think I could write if my first concern wasn't for the aesthetic." He also claimed that his greatest ambition was to be a jazz pianist. He was recognised by his peers as a prodigious talent, but McNeill was plagued by alcoholism and drug abuse. In one of his later poems he wrote, "I realised very early I had no gift for conducting a life. So I shifted my focus and sang a wreath." He died while undergoing surgery at the University Hospital of the West Indies on 2 January 1996. In an obituary essay, poet and literary scholar Mervyn Morris wrote: "We have lost one of the finest of our West Indian poets, an extreme talent, recklessly experimental, awesome in commitment to his gift."'

Tony McNeill

 
Ewart 2017-04-04 22:15:13 

In reply to mikesiva

Thom Girvan

"Unnu no fi bill bush fi mek monkey run race."


D Thom Girvan was a pioneer in co-operative and community development. This was a man who hoisted the Jamaican flag in several countries and kept it flying there long before Jamaica even had a flag.

Tapped on a number of occasions by the United Nations to take his gospel of community development to other countries, he did so with the flair, patience and understanding that he honed in the hills of Jamaica. It was a gospel that he had spread in the villages of Jamaica with great success, and the world was watching. His work showed that the approach developed in Jamaica had wider validity and applicability across the developing world.

His instrument was Jamaica Welfare, and his activities are fully documented in the 1993 book, Working Together For Development, by his son Norman Girvan.

His modus operandum was:
Listen to the people; find out their needs and aspirations. Encourage them to work together to help themselves, Stimulate group action and build community organisations. Motivate them to study, and provide training facilities. Develop local leadership and individual character. Co-ordinate external services to the community. Incorporate community development into national development.

Born in the hills of Clarendon above Four Paths, Thom Girvan knew the rural life. However, he had 17 years’ experience as a businessman in Kingston with Lascelles deMercado, and Standard Life, and was Assistant Island Commissioner of Scouts when he was hand-picked by Norman Manley to work on Jamaica Welfare two years after it began in 1937. Girvan became its General Manager and applied the model of community development with great success to several communities including Lucky Hill, Walkerswood, and Guys Hill.

So effective was his method that the good news of its success spread far and wide, and he was invited to take Jamaica’s model of community development to a number of Caribbean, Central American and African countries, which he did with equal success.

Through this, he communed with communities in Ecuador (1958-1961) and Chile (1962-1967), and saw his methods spread swiftly through Barbados, Tobago, St Vincent, the Leeward Islands, Nevis and Dominica. He eventually retired to Jamaica in 1967 and began lecturing in the Social Work course at the UWI.

As Philip Sherlock notes, it was Norman Manley who first enunciated the principle of community development as the release of the creative potential in an individual, a community, a nation. Norman Manley then transmitted his vision to Thom and that remarkable group of pioneers who made Jamaica’s development their great cause.

Among them were Leila James Tomlinson, Eddie Burke, Jimmy Kirlew, Chester Dowdy, Margery Stewart, Reggie Fletcher, Sybil Francis, Kathleen Robins, Arthur Carney, Sylvia Leslie, Martin Rennalls, Stella Brown and many others.

Thom Girvan threw himself heart and soul into his task. As often as he could, he would be with the people in some rural area listening to them and holding discourse with them, in the process learning from them. As a scout and scout leader he had learned something about leadership and motivating people. Now he had the opportunity to paint on a much wider canvas.

His activities took him to the Jamaica Agricultural Society, the YMCA, the Clerk’s Credit Union, the Jamaica Co-operative Union, the Jamaica 4-H Clubs movement, the Mid-Clarendon Development Co-operative, and the Port Royal Brotherhood, in almost all of which he played a leadership role.

Happily, through all of these ran the common thread of community service and community development and he became what Norman Girvan describes as “a role-model for a whole generation of Jamaicans for whom commitment to nation-building and the upliftment of rural folk was a special vocation.” “He loved his country and he loved people,” was the epitaph given by his wife Rita.

When Girvan returned to Jamaica from Ecuador in 1961 to his old job at Jamaica Welfare, it had become re-named and was known as the Jamaica Social Welfare Commission. He was dismayed by the kinds of changes he saw in the organisation. Things were not going the way they should, and applying a memorable old Jamaican proverb he warned the volunteers about the futility of “billing bush fi mek monkey run race.”

The island itself had also seen many changes. Rastafarianism and the Back-to-Africa movement had affected the drive towards the Jamaican nation. Jamaica’s entry into and exit from the West Indies Federation, along with the divisions that exercise generated, had further torn the country away from its set purpose.

Within months of his return he too found himself isolated; although he had conscientiously and rigorously steered himself away from any partisan political attachments or statements, he was regarded as a PNP sympathiser, and that was enough.

The scrupulous principles of roots-up community development he had so painstakingly taught were now jettisoned and replaced by ministerial decree. As such, the work was no longer fulfilling and he resigned and went to Chile.

The obvious question of what role politics had played in his decision to resign was raised, as Norman Girvan writes. But when Norman asked his mother Rita about it she did what most people of that time and circumstance would do, took the cautious route, and said she did not think politics had anything to do with it.

In fact, Thom Girvan had worked amicably and easily as General Manager of a board appointed by the JLP under the chairmanship of Donald Sangster when that party took over the government in 1949.

But when the April 1962 election returned the JLP to power, it brought Edward Seaga as Minister of Development and Welfare in charge of Jamaica Welfare; things changed and the old guard was viewed with suspicion. In a classic display of “divide and rule,” he split the Commission into four separate agencies under the now re-named Social Development Commission and started re-creating it in his own image with a “100 Villages Programme.”

It was too much for Thom Girvan and he was happy to take up the United Nations call to go to Chile. In addition, his health was now a factor and it could be said that he was disheartened; he had suffered a heart attack in late 1961 and this would have obviously had an effect on his ardour. Thom Girvan died seven years later. He was only 64.

Looking back, this approach of the new government of 1962 that led Jamaica into Independence had a major negative impact on the spirit of volunteerism that had blanketed Jamaica for so many years. New people entered the system, yes, and many as volunteers.

But the volunteer spirit was suffocated and the corporate knowledge in the volunteer stream was eroded, as what used to be a national enterprise was now being wrecked by a partisan divide.

As Pansy Rae Hart (wife of Richard Hart) was to write later, the original philosophy and spirit of Jamaica Welfare were abandoned and the organisation became one of the casualties of Jamaica’s post-Independence politics.

The National Movement, in the very year of Jamaica’s attainment of nationhood, was derailed. Norman Manley’s son Michael strove to put it back on the rails when he campaigned successfully for the February 29 election of 1972 using as one of his slogans, “The Word is Love.”

But the rare spirit of delight that propelled the community development movement had fled. It had fired the imagination of Thom Girvan and a generation of rural leaders. Now that fire was quenched.

 
mikesiva 2017-04-17 06:30:37 

In reply to Ewart

Great one on Tom Girvan...I didn't know much about him.
cool
Another powerful champion of the plantocracy when Jamaica's whites were among the wealthiest in the world....

'Sir William Anglin Scarlett (1777-1831) was Chief Justice of Jamaica. Scarlett was the son of Robert Scarlett who owned property in Jamaica. His elder brother, James, was to become Attorney General. He was educated in Edinburgh and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1802. In 1809, Scarlett married Mary Williams of Luana estate in St. Elizabeth. Scarlett became Chief Justice of Jamaica in 1821. In 1823, Scarlett successfully descended a man against a charge of libel brought by the Duke of Manchester, the Governor of Jamaica. Scarlett was successful, but even as a Chief Justice, was abused as he left. He was involved again in another case where he opposed the governor. Scarlett released prisoners but they were rearrested and exiled from Jamaica. Scarlett's decision was in time upheld by the British Parliament. The case began when Louis Celeste Lecesne and John Escoffery were arrested on 7 October 1823 under the Alien Act by a warrant of the Duke of Manchester, the Governor of Jamaica. They were considered by the Attorney General, William Burge to be of a dangerous character and to be aliens as they were clained to be Haitians. Luckily they had time to raise a writ of Habeas Corpus in the Supreme Court of Jamaica. Scarlett released them, but it took Parliament to uphold his decision. Scarlett was knighted in 1829. Scarlett died in 1831. His obituary noted that he had been ill and that even his detractors noted his "love of justice". His wife died the following year.'

William Anglin Scarlett

 
mikesiva 2017-04-24 04:00:23 

'Virtue was born in Kingston, Jamaica, was educated there and was employed by the Jamaican Department of Public Works. On his retirement from the civil service in 1960, he moved to London. He served as the assistant secretary, librarian and later vice-president of the Poetry League of Jamaica. He was a founding member and vice-president of the Jamaican Center of PEN International. He was also a member of the British Royal Society of Literature and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Virtue translated poetry by José-Maria de Heredia from French into English as well as poems in Spanish by other Caribbean and Latin American poets. He received the Silver Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica in 1960. On the occasion of the Commonwealth Arts Festival in 1965, he was commissioned to write a poem in honour of Marcus Garvey. His work appeared in various journals, anthologies and the collection Wings of the Morning (1938 ). He frequently appeared on the BBC's Caribbean Voices radio programme. Virtue died in London in 1998 at the age of 87 after an extended illness from heart disease and bronchopneumonia.'

Vivian Virtue....

 
mikesiva 2017-05-08 18:26:28 

In reply to Ewart

'After 10 years in Haiti, Love moved to Jamaica in 1889. There he started the Jamaica Advocate, which became an influential newspaper on the island. Love used the paper as a forum to express his concern for the living conditions of Jamaica's black population. He was a staunch advocate of access to education for the majority of the population. He believed that girls, like boys, should receive secondary school education. In 1906, Love won the St. Andrew Parish seat in Jamaica's general elections. He also served as chairman of the St. Andrew Parochial Board, as well as a justice of the peace in Kingston, the Kingston General Commissions and as a Wolmer's trustee. Love published two works, Romanism is Not Christianity (1892), and St. Peter's True Position in the Church, Clearly Traced in the Bible (1897). In 1906 Love's health began to deteriorate, and by 1910 he had been forced to end his political career. He died on 21 November 1914, and was buried in the parish church yard at Half Way Tree, near the city of Kingston. Love's activism in favour of Jamaica's economically depressed black majority influenced later Jamaican and Caribbean activists, including Marcus Garvey.'

Robert Love

Inspired by your book....
cool

 
mikesiva 2017-05-16 04:03:11 

'Colonel Peter Beckford (1643–1710) was acting Governor of Jamaica in 1702. Peter was the son of another Peter Beckford, of Maidenhead. Sir Thomas Beckford, Sheriff of London was his uncle as was Captain Richard Beckford, who was trading in Jamaica from 1659. Peter emigrated there in 1662, afterwards becoming President of the Jamaican Council and acting Governor in 1702. He arrived in Jamaica with two or three enslaved Africans shortly after it became an English colony and engaged himself as hunter and horse catcher. When he died suddenly in a fit of passion in 1710, he was the wealthiest planter in Jamaica, and it was claimed he was "in possession of the largest property real and personal of any subject in Europe." Having served as a seaman, he was granted a thousand acres (4 km²) of land in Clarendon by Royal Patent on 6 March 1669. He took an active part in island politics, representing St. Catherine in the Assembly in 1675, and was later called to the Council where he was appointed President. He was appointed Chief Justice of Jamaica in 1703. He was the first Custos of Kingston, and a street was named after him there. He was renowned for being haughty with a strong temper and was involved in many heated debates. He was twice married - to Bridget who died in 1691, and to Anne Ballard in 1696. He had two sons. Peter was the elder. The death of Peter senior resulted from an accident when he rushed to the defence of his son, who had caused such a commotion in the House of Assembly that swords were drawn.'

The wealthy slave-owning planter Peter Beckford




His son founded St Jago High School

 
mikesiva 2017-05-31 03:40:18 

Morris Cargill CD (10 June 1914 – 8 April 2000, Kingston) was a Jamaican lawyer, businessman, planter, journalist and novelist. Educated at Munro College, a prestigious Jamaican secondary school, and the Stowe School in England, Cargill was articled as a solicitor in 1937. During World War II, he worked for the Crown Film Unit in Britain. After the war, he played a role in the development of the coffee liqueur Tia Maria. Returning to the Caribbean he worked as a newspaper editor in Trinidad, and, having acquired a banana plantation in Jamaica, began a career as a columnist for the Gleaner newspapers in 1953 which was to last, with some interruptions, until his death. Until the late 1970s, his articles appeared under the pseudonym "Thomas Wright". In 1958, he was elected to the parliament of the Federation of the West Indies, as a candidate of the Jamaica Labour Party, and served as deputy leader of the opposition in that legislature for the next four years. In 1964 he persuaded his friend Ian Fleming to write the introductory article for a guidebook to Jamaica called Ian Fleming introduces Jamaica. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he collaborated with novelist John Hearne, under the pseudonym 'John Morris', on a series of three thrillers -- Fever Grass, The Candywine Development, and The Checkerboard Caper—about an imaginary Jamaican secret service. Cargill makes an appearance, in the surprising guise of a high court judge, at the end of Fleming's novel The Man with the Golden Gun. For two years in the late 1970s, he left Jamaica because of his opposition to the government of Michael Manley, returning in 1980 to join the campaign against Manley. During this period he lived in the United States and worked for the publisher Lyle Stuart, editing a study of the Third Reich in Germany called A Gallery of Nazis, and writing a memoir called Jamaica Farewell (an expanded version of which was reissued in 1995).

The controversial Morris Cargill

 
mikesiva 2017-06-20 11:48:06 

'Peter Beckford (junior), (1672/3 – 1735), was the son of Peter Beckford, founder of one of the most powerful families in colonial Jamaica. Peter joined the Jamaican House of Assembly and became the Speaker. In 1710, during a debate at the Assembly, things became extremely heated and some members drew their swords and threatened Peter, the Speaker. The Governor responded to shouts for assistance and the doors of the chamber were forced open. The Assembly was dissolved in the name of the Queen. The aged Peter Beckford senior was amongst those who had come to his rescue. In the general confusion, he slipped and fell down the long staircase. Suffering a mortal injury, he died soon after. Like his father, Beckford suffered a severe temper. As a young man, he was accused of killing the Deputy Judge Advocate of Jamaica in a fit of temper. He was finally acquitted after a lengthy court case. In 1720, he was one of the prominent people in Jamaica about whom the governor Sir Nicholas Lawes complained had "anarchical principles". He went into business with Alexander Grant, leasing a storehouse from which the partners sold supplies to other plantation owners. Peter married Bathshua Herring and they had thirteen children. He died in 1735. His will included a legacy of £2,000 to found a school in Spanish Town, which was started there in 1744. This school merged with another school started with £3,000 donated by Francis Smith forming the Beckford and Smith School in 1869. His son, William was born in 1709. William emigrated to England and had a prominent career in politics, defending the West Indian interest as a Member of Parliament and Lord Mayor of London.'



It was Peter Beckford the son who founded St Jago High School.

 
mikesiva 2017-06-23 11:12:41 

'William Beckford (19 December 1709 – 21 June 1770) was a well-known political figure in 18th-century London, who twice held the office of Lord Mayor of London (1762 and 1769). His vast wealth came largely from his plantations in Jamaica and the large numbers of slaves working on these plantations. He was, and is, often referred to as "Alderman Beckford" to distinguish him from his son William Thomas Beckford, the author and art collector. Beckford was born in Jamaica the grandson of Colonel Peter Beckford. He was sent to England by his family in 1723 to be educated. He studied at Westminster School, and made his career in the City of London....As a rich patron, he used his 'interest' in favour of William Pitt the Elder, sponsoring and encouraging his political rise, supporting the Whig cause in general and the West Indies sugar industry (from which his fortune came)in particular.'

William Beckford, one of the wealthiest men in Britain during the eighteenth century

 
POINT 2017-06-23 11:42:18 

In reply to Ewart

What was or is his relationship to
Sir Philip Sherlock ?

 
Ewart 2017-06-23 13:40:09 

In reply to POINT



You mean Thom Girvan?? Not sure... but I will ask. Come to think of it, I do believe they are related.


//

 
Ewart 2017-06-24 15:43:00 

In reply to mikesiva

I am currently doing research for my PhD which will show that Quashie most likely changed his name to John Reeder, and later he and two other Maroons named Sam Grant and William Carmichael Cockburn, formerly Little Quaco, claimed credit for killing Jack, and received pensions from the colonial authorities for many years for this claim.



Did you get the PhD yet? What is the title of your thesis?



//

 
mikesiva 2017-06-28 10:13:48 

In reply to Ewart

William Robinson Clarke was born in Kingston, Jamaica, on 4 October 1895. With the outbreak of war, ‘Robbie’ Clarke paid his own passage to Britain and joined the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) on 26 July 1915. At first, he served as an air mechanic, but on 18 October he was posted to France as a driver with an observation balloon company. Clarke wanted to fly, however, and in December 1916 he was accepted for pilot training in England. On 26 April 1917, Clarke won his ‘wings’ and was promoted to Sergeant.

On 29 May 1917, Sergeant Clarke joined 4 Squadron RFC at Abeele in Belgium and began flying R.E.8 biplanes over the Western Front. While on a reconnaissance mission on the morning of 28 July, he and his observer, Second Lieutenant F.P. Blencowe, were attacked by enemy fighters. He described the action in a letter to his mother:



“I was doing some photographs a few miles the other side when about five Hun scouts came down upon me, and before I could get away, I got a bullet through the spine. I managed to pilot the machine nearly back to the aerodrome, but had to put her down as I was too weak to fly any more … My observer escaped without any injury.”

Robbie recovered from his wounds, and after the war returned to Jamaica to work in the building trade. He was an active veteran and became Life President of the Jamaican branch of the Royal Air Forces Association.

William Robinson Clarke, the first Black pilot to fly for Britain, died in April 1981.

----------------------------------------------------------

I'm in my final year...I hope!
big grin
"A Social, Economic and Demographic History of the Maroons in Jamaica, 1739-1842"

My final two contributions will come from evidence I put together for my PhD.

 
mikesiva 2017-07-18 04:21:04 

My penultimate entry, Cuffee, the leader of a group of runaway slaves, who successfully resisted the Jamaican colonial authorities, and the Maroons....

Just two years after the conclusion of the Second Maroon War, the planters and Governor Balcarres were complaining about a community of runaway slaves that was terrorising western Jamaica. In 1798, a slave named Cuffee escaped from the Peru estate, owned by James McGhie, and led his runaways to the mountains of south Trelawny, at a place that was formerly under the control of the Trelawny Town Maroons. Balcarres believed that a number of Cuffee’s runaways either fought on the side of Trelawny Town, or secured their freedom during the Second Maroon War. It is very likely that the men of Cuffee’s community received weapons from the Trelawny Town Maroons. They were well armed, and planters expressed the concern that, ‘the maroons must have left in the woods…an immense quantity of ammunition.’ In late 1796, Balcarres had complained that the Trelawny Town Maroons had only surrendered weapons of poor quality, and, ‘that they left in the woods other arms’. Since it is likely that the Trelawny Town Maroons gave arms to Cuffee’s runaways, then there is not enough evidence to support Campbell’s claim that these Maroons betrayed the runaways who fought on their side. Rather, the evidence seems to show that the Trelawny Town Maroons, upon surrendering, left most of their weapons with the runaway slaves who fought on their side, and that these runaways joined other runaway communities, such as those led by Cuffee.

Cuffee and his men were a bigger problem to western planters than any runaway community since the Leeward Maroons signed the treaty of 1739. Planters received reports that, ‘the mountains where the rebellion exists are covered with provisions’. As a result, Cuffee’s community was able to thrive for years outside the control of the colonial authorities. Because of Cuffee’s attacks, ‘many of the back settlements are already abandoned, and the families of some of the proprietors of the estates in that vicinity are removing to situations of more safety.’ Cuffee and his band of runaway slaves, ‘descended from his haunts in the Trelawny mountains, and committed depredations on the settlements in the neighbourhood’. Balcarres complained that, ‘upwards of 30 Settlers have been driven from their Habitations’. More runaways rallied to Cuffee’s banner, and some planters even expressed the fear that this group might be more dangerous than the Second Maroon War. In London, the Colonial Office worried about the rise of Cuffee, and the Duke of Portland expressed his concern about, ‘the increased alarm occasioned by the outrages committed by the runaway slaves’. While the communities of the Congo Settlement and Brutus barely got a mention in colonial records, Cuffee’s community attracted the concern of the British government. The attacks launched by Cuffee’s group of runaways caused significant disruptions to the way of life of the inhabitants of coastal western Jamaica, who were only just recovering from the economic setbacks of the Second Maroon War.

Colonial writers differed on the number of runaways who supported Cuffee, and Balcarres initially downplayed the threat posed by the community to the Jamaican government. At first, the governor said that, ‘the force of Cuffee I have every reason to think is 43.’ Later, he added that, ‘it is supposed that there is another party very near him, of 30 rebels more, under the command of a Negro who has been out since the Maroon Rebellion.’ Planters filed reports of a party of 50-60 ‘well armed’ runaway slaves attacking plantations. In addition to these numbers, there were other reports that Cuffee’s men were joined first by ‘twenty other negroes,’ and then by ‘twenty more’. There were complaints that slaves ran away on a daily basis to join Cuffee. In the first three months of 1798, more than twice as many slaves ran away in Trelawny than in all of 1797. The writings of contemporaries referred to Cuffee’s community of runaway slaves numbering about 100, and causing problems to the planter class of western Jamaica. It seems possible that most of the runaways who fought on the side of Trelawny Town eventually secured freedom by joining Cuffee’s community.

The governor’s attempts to subdue Cuffee’s community came to naught. An initial party of militia from the parish of St James, ‘came up with the rebel Negro Cuffee and his gang,’ but Balcarres reported with regret that, ‘this very favourable opportunity of putting an end to the rebellion was entirely lost’. The governor did not provide any further details, but we can assume that the runaways escaped into the Cockpit Country, and that they re-formed the community once the militia left. Urged on by the planters, Balcarres put together a force, including Maroons from Accompong Town, because of, ‘their knowledge of the country,’ after ‘high rewards’ were offered to them. This party came across, ‘a little town of huts, capable of holding more than 100 Negroes, with many well-beaten trails leading to it and from it in various directions’. The Accompong Maroons only found a group of uninhabited huts, and they were unable to subdue the members of Cuffee’s community.

More on Cuffee here

 
mikesiva 2017-07-31 10:55:40 

My final entry...Quao, one of the leaders of the Windward Maroons during and after the First Maroon War.

Once the colonial authorities had secured peace with the Leeward Maroons, they could demand more exacting terms from the Maroons in the eastern end of the island. The militia leaders informed the Windward Maroons that Cudjoe had signed a peace treaty. There was a minor delay when the two British commanders quarrelled over who should actually sign the treaty. After that, Robert Bennett agreed peace terms with Quao, and they signed their own peace treaty in 1740, and after which the commanders and Maroon leaders, ‘cut their fingers, and mixed their blood in a calabash bowl’. The colonial authorities were unable defeat the Windward Maroons in battle, but once they had secured peace with the Leeward Maroons, they knew their eastern counterparts would feel compelled to follow suit.

The Crawford’s Town dissension occurred partly because the white superintendent had usurped the authority of the Maroon officers, and partly because the governors had overridden the 1740 treaty in appointing a more pliant Maroon officer in charge of the Windward Maroon town. Clause 14 of the 1740 treaty named Quao, or Quaw, as the leader of the Windward Maroons, and his successors as Thomboy, Apong, Blackwell and Clash. However, Edward Crawford emerged as the leader of the Maroon town eventually named after him in the 1750s, ahead of the four successors listed in the treaty, even while Quao and Clash were alive. Edward Crawford was the first Maroon leader to take an Anglicized Christian name and surname, and the colonial authorities favoured him, while Quao represented a Maroon faction that wanted to re-establish the authority of the Maroon officers. The fact that the colonial authorities felt strong enough to replace Quao with Crawford shows how weak the Maroon leadership was in Crawford’s Town. They did not try to replace Cudjoe, Accompong or Nanny as the heads of their respective Maroon towns while they lived.

In 1754, supporters of Quao murdered Crawford and burnt a large part of Crawford’s Town in an attempt to retake control of the Maroon town from the white superintendents. Three white men were resident in Crawford’s Town when the uprising occurred, and according to Knowles, Quao’s Maroons ‘had seized on all the Arms, and detained the three White Men, and the well disposed Negroes Prisoners in the Town’. Crawford’s wife escaped and gave a similar account of the dissension to a planter named Colin McKenzie, who was also the commanding militia officer in the parish. Those ‘well disposed Negroes’ were the Crawford Town Maroons who supported the colonial authorities and opposed Quao’s takeover. Governor Knowles sent Lieutenant Ross to bring about a peaceful reconciliation, because he had previously, ‘resided in Crawford Town several years’. However, Quao’s Maroons rejected his overtures, and Ross, a former superintendent, had to leave the town, taking the ‘white men’ who had been imprisoned by the rebels. In the immediate aftermath of the dissension, Quao expelled the white superintendent and his deputies from Crawford’s Town, and re-asserted his authority as a Maroon officer over his fellow Maroons.

More on Quao here