Looking Back towards Home: Clayton Goodwin Reports about an Initiative to Get the "Transplanted Africans" in the Caribbean to Build Bridges with Their African Home and Heritage. (Diaspora)

By Goodwin, Clayton | New African, April 2001 | Go to article overview

Looking Back towards Home: Clayton Goodwin Reports about an Initiative to Get the "Transplanted Africans" in the Caribbean to Build Bridges with Their African Home and Heritage. (Diaspora)


Goodwin, Clayton, New African


"People within the African Diaspora must not be content with their hapless state", says Professor Rex Nettleford, vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies. He was speaking in the 25th "Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture". His paper, titled: "The Caribbean, The African Diaspora And The Third Millennium", was given at the Frank Collymore Hall in Barbados towards the end of last year.

He told his audience that the people of the Caribbean should not continue to accept the notion of Africa "as a dark continent" which did not contribute to their region's historical development.

In his view, "the Diaspora in the new millennium needs to ask not just where one stands in matters of human dignity in pursuing these desired ends, but on issues of economic globalisation, crippling external debt of poor countries, the HIV/Aids pandemic affecting East and Southern Africa and the Caribbean".

This is high-powered advice. It is difficult to imagine anybody with greater academic "clout" in the Caribbean. Indeed an entire tome would be needed to set out even a precis of Nettleford's qualifications and credentials.

He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University (England), after which he founded the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, of which he is still artistic director and principal choreographer.

He has toured extensively as a lecturer with UNESCO, and holds numerous positions in education, the arts, the media, and in international research and studies. Even more important is the esteem in which he is held as an individual.

And his admonition could not be more timely. The fall-out from the recent death of the Nigerian schoolboy, Damilola Taylor in southeast London, has shown how communities deriving respectively from continental African and the Caribbean, though sharing the same deprivations and social conditions, can still turn against each other in emergency.

Their aspirations and sense of history are too often incompatible, due to an education and political system which have emphasised the relationship between each and the United Kingdom to the exclusion of that between each other.

Caribbean schools are proud of being based on the "British model" -- to the extent that Barbados, appropriately where Prof Nettleford delivered his lecture, is known regionally as "Little England" -- and, increasingly, of their links with the USA.

Of course, there have been Pan-African movements in the Caribbean, particularly in the late-1970s and early-1980s, but these have tended to be restricted to intellectuals, artists, entertainers and Rastafarians. Too many, too, have been hijacked by North Americans, whose agenda has been often different to that envisaged.

An increasingly number of Caribbean public figures have expressed their feelings for their African heritage. Actor Rudolph Walker, who spends his time between his family home in Trinidad and his professional home in London, has spoken of the intense feeling of coming "home" when he arrived first in Ghana and Nigeria -- so much so that he was obliged to touch the ground as he came from the aircraft.

That was something which came straight from the spirit, because, hitherto, he had been known to cherish little, if anything, about the historical and cultural ties between Africa and the region in which he had grown up.

Prof Nettleford commenced his address with stories of how the "savages" and "black asses" of the Caribbean islands had been denigrated and denied a sense of place and purpose in the world relevant to their historical experience.

He spoke of the "severance, suffering and survival that have characterised a half millennium of encounters between Africa and myriad cultures and civilisations on foreign soil", and referred to "that turbulent passage, much of it (crossed) without rights but always with the opportunity for testing the invincibility of the human spirit against all odds". …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Looking Back towards Home: Clayton Goodwin Reports about an Initiative to Get the "Transplanted Africans" in the Caribbean to Build Bridges with Their African Home and Heritage. (Diaspora)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.