Jamaica’s emancipation from slavery, August 1, 1838 started us on a long historical journey, the culmination of which will be a modern, independent, nation-state. We are not there yet, although some of our political leaders think so. The attainment of political independence in 1962 was just one important historical marker on this road. We would be foolish if we think naively that political independence is the end of the road.
For us a Black Jamaicans, the key high points on our road to political independence included the emancipation rebellion of 1838; the Paul Bogle Rebellion of 1865; the 1938 sugar workers rebellion, the Rasta Riots of the 1960s and the Walter Rodney, Black Power Riot of 1967.
Political fissures burst forth like a violently erupting volcano; spewing fire, ashes and lava. These conflagrations burst rapidly to the surface when the underneath rumblings can no longer be contained.
Here in America we are seeing many unsettled issues of Americas past role as a former slave and segregated society coming once again to haunt the power brokers. The deep racial divides have many unhealed wounds that have been swept into the undergrowth.
Many poor whites do not realize that their own aspirations to escape poverty, is tied to the fate of the Black and Latino minority, in their own country and to the political economic fortunes of the poverty-stricken world.
Many poor whites suffer the same horrible fate as us, but their political economic condition may be slightly better because of who they are; but, just barely so. The bitta truth is that people of all race in the underclass are suffering and no political party or leaders have fundamentally said how they aim to solve this problem.
According to the latest data 45 million people or roughly 15 out of every one hundred Americans live below the poverty line. Forty eight (48) per cent of Black children under 6 live in poverty. Among the underclass, 27% of poor whites live below the poverty line.
Poverty breeds homelessness which affects both black and white.
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Homelessness is a product of deep-rooted poverty. It affects people of all race.
“The West Indian national identity is more easily to be glimpsed in the published writings of West Indian authors.”.... (C.L.R. James, The Black Jacobins).
Bittas Yeye View Editorial Cartoons & Satire, by Eric Johns Snr.