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Commentary: True emancipation
Published on December 23, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Christopher Famous

Good day to my Caribbean brothers and sisters.

My name is Christopher Famous. Currently I live in Bermuda. My parents are from Antigua, St Kitts and British Virgin Islands. I have spent most of my childhood and adult life living in and travelling around our entire Caribbean Paradise.

Christopher Famous is a Caribbean real estate developer and business owner. Raised in various Caribbean islands such as; Bermuda, Jamaica, St Eustatius and St Kitts and Tortola. He has a weekly social and political column in The Bermuda Sun
Through this medium of Caribbean News Now, I would like to communicate with you, to speak to political, social and environmental issues that impact our beloved Caribbean Paradise.

It is my firm belief that we are seeing an evolution in the Caribbean that we as Caribbean nationals must be ahead of the curve and act in a unified pro-active manner. Isolationist and separatist mentalities are the gifts imparted unto us after 400 years of slavery and colonial division.

We stood in political and emotional solidarity behind Mandela whilst he was imprisoned. We stood up and cheered the West Indian cricket team bring Fire Inna Babylon. And recently we stood together and voted for Tessanne Chin to become “The Voice.”

So, now as we face economic and social challenges we must stand by each other.

“So don't care where you come from As long as you're a black man, you're an African
No mind denomination
That is only segregation, you're an African”
Peter Tosh

Shocking Self Truths

Over the weekend I had a conversation with my daughter who is in university in London. She made mention of a conversation she had with some fellow students. Two of them were from Africa and made some comments that she found rather unexpected and unsettling.

1. One young lady stated she will never date a fellow African. Nor does she wish to date anyone who is black.

2. Another young man stated that many Africans viewed blacks in the west, who are descendents of slaves, as “tribal rejects” that were gladly sold off to the colonial powers.

Needless to say, this left my daughter in a state of bewilderment. I explained to her that due to colonization and classism, we as blacks suffer from disunity on multiple levels:

• Some Caribbean blacks don’t value Africans.
• Some Africans See Caribbean blacks as rejects.
• Some African Americans see Caribbean blacks as lowly immigrants.
• Blacks in and from Latin America consider themselves Spanish not black.
• Each Caribbean island thinks the other is less than them.
• Light skinned blacks are thought better than darker skinned blacks.
• Some blacks reject their own hair type.
• Blacks do not support each other enough, when it comes to business ventures or social events.

Self Division

The net result is that we are not only divided, but we are conquered. We all have read about the horrors of slavery and we live the repression of colonialism. Yet do we continuously harp on these things or do we look to chart a way forward?

Do we continue to backstab each other? Or do we learn to co-operate and co-exist? There is no time like the present to learn that unity is the only way forward. Neither church nor governments can get us to learn to do what is best for us. This can only come from us realizing what is best for us.

We complain bitterly about our youths fighting each other in gangs. Yet we ourselves fight each other socially, politically, economically, every day. We sit and plot how to outdo each other on the jobs, schools and parliaments throughout the Caribbean.

When are we going to learn those actions are no different than a cancer eating away our internal organs? You want to defeat racists? Stop falling for their game of disunity.

And at the end of the day we have no one to blame but ourselves by continuing the colonial mindset of internal division amongst ourselves. Stop looking at MTV, VH1 or BET for sub-standard examples of what life should be about. Pick up a book and educate yourselves and others.

True Emancipation

We cannot look only to reparations or empty apologies, to uplift our status in life. We have only each other. That is true emancipation that the Honorables: Michael Manley, AR Robinson, Robert Bradshaw, Dame Eugenia Charles and Madiba Fought for.

How good and how pleasant it would be before God and man, yea-eah! -
To see the unification of all Africans, yeah! -
As it's been said a'ready, let it be done, yeah!
Bob Marley

“Rally Round the West Indies”
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