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Why do we celebrate Black History month in Jamaica?

by Kadian Clarke

Why do we celebrate Black History month in Jamaica?

By Kadian Clarke, Forum Contributor

Black History Month is observed annually in Jamaica in the month of February. Many of us can recall performing cultural activities in schools during this time.

But do we really know why we celebrate Black History Month in Jamaica?

Let’s talk…

Black History Month is a time when the country reflects on those who fought for the freedom and privileges of the nation. Especially our National heroes and heroin.

We can boldly stand and say that because of the hard work, dedication and sacrifices of these great ones, the country is able to rise to civilization and create opportunities for us to excel and be all that it can be.

Take a look at our other Legends

This is deemed true as we also reflect on persons like Oneil Gorden Smith from Denham Town, who, as a teenage boy was great in sports at school and further promoted Jamaica and the West Indies cricket team before he passed away.

Also, this is an opportunity to celebrate the lives of the great and popular reggae artist Bob Marley and other artist like Jimmy Cliff who have contributed to the country in a profound way by means of inspirational reggae music.

Then there is Louise Bennett-Coverly aka Miss Lou, who much can be said about. If you take a look at her biography you will see the numerous titles she held.

This tells me she was an industrious woman in her era. She was a poet, writer, folklorist, actress and an educator. Ms. Louise loved her Jamaican heritage very much and her love and passion is seen through the Jamaican patois language of her writings as well as her creative hard work which she used to help preserve the culture.

Time wouldn’t allow me to talk about other legends such as John Brown Russwurm, Dr. Harold Moody, Mary Seacole, Robert Sutherland, Arthur Wint and others that made our little third world country stand out among all the best in the world.

Does all Jamaican celebrate Black History Month?

But, with all the effort made to highlight and reflect on the wonderful works that have been carried out by our dear ones, there are some who believe that the country needs to find more ways to educate the nation on Black History Month so that it won’t be overlooked by the majority.

Others have the view that when Black History month comes around, more focus is on black legends form other countries. One such person who is claimed to be in the highlights is Martin Luther King – an American Baptist leader.

And lastly, there are others who believe that as important as black history month is to Jamaica, it serves more purpose for black people living in countries away from their homeland where they are in the minority. This they argue makes life harder for them in the sense of being prone to numerous violence and abuse due to rampant racism in those countries.

It seems everybody has different views on black history month in Jamaica, What’s your view on Black History month in Jamaica?

Share with us in the comments section below.


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