RECENTLY, a caller to the programme, Know Thyself, on Liberty FM, brought to my knowledge, the existence of a Marcus Garvey Hall in the village of Choiseul. He wanted to know if Marcus Garvey’s 1921 visit to Saint Lucia, had taken him to part of the island. So the question is out there. If you have any information to enlighten us on his query, please let me know.
My reasoning though was that, I did not think that Mosiah got to that part of the island, but that a conscious individual or group who appreciated the impact of Garvey’s UNIA movement and the overwhelming crowd that witnessed and supported his arrival in Castries, must have named that hall in his honour. But that consciousness is gone.
People like George Charles and Sir Arthur Lewis were influenced by Marcus Garvey. George Odlum and the black power movement. But these men are gone and we are in a drought for intellectual minds.
Believe me, many of us, if we say John George Melvin Compton, many of us will go, “who?” Of those are the many of us would want to forget what he has done for Saint Lucia and the great statesman he was. The others are the young people who are not taught their history.
So Marcus Garvey is forgotten history. So his birthday will pass as a much of a do about nothing. Which of our serving politicians have that black consciousness? Name one.
A lot of people say that we are a lost people and the only way to save the nation is my inspiring the younger generation. That is not a theory that I necessarily subscribe to. Don’t mind my taunting. I am no scholar or officianado of black or Saint Lucian history but it is that dearth that elapses generation after generation that makes the chasm so deep. What we highlight these days and put on the pedestal is Lucian Kuduro and you have people like Rick Wayne and Timothy Poleon defending that travesty. Let me tell these gentlemen that development is not one sided. It is not just about the economic.
We are in the doldrums. This land is denuded. Capitalist, egoistic minds run this country. The land is being plundered by those seeking to “build a new Saint Lucia”. A new type of thinking is needed; a new ethos. A grassroots movement has to take root. Believe me Mr. Politician, Mr Businessman all the riches you are abounding, you ain’t going anywhere with it. You leaving it right here.
What if I told you this was not what I intended to write about but I suppose a aggravated soul and spirit needed release.
“A country without the arts is a cultural dessert.” Rest in peace Arthur Lewis. But how could you when we have treated your profound teachings with such disdain? I will return to my original intent in my next article.