February 13, 2012

Jamalco Hosts Black History Month Celebration

Over 300 students from twenty primary and secondary schools located close to Jamalco’s operations in Clarendon and Manchester and representatives from government and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) participated in the 4th annual Black History Month exposition, panel discussion and Bob Marley One Love Concert at the Halse Hall Great House recently.

The event which was coordinated by Jamalco in collaboration with the Bob Marley Foundation, was organized during Bob Marley week in an effort to highlight the contribution of Bob Marley and other outstanding Africans to Jamaica’s culture and economy.

Jamalco’s Managing Director Jerome Maxwell who addressed the gathering said it is significant that our Black History Month celebration is being held at the Halse Hall Great House, as it is a Nationa Heritage site. “We have organized this event to help all of us, especially you our young people to understand more about our history and the contribution of people of African descent to nation building,” Mr. Maxwell said.

In his remarks, Corporate Services Manager Leo Lambert implored the children to grasp as much as they could from the displays and presentations as they highlight our descendants of Africans who came to Jamaica and shed their blood, sweat and tears so we can be free.

In quoting from the British Singer Labi Siffre’s song ‘Something Inside So Strong” Mr. Lambert encouraged the children not to let anyone set their boundaries. “Only you can limit yourselves. As descendants of Africans, you should be proud black people because in you, our future is bound up and I urge you to always remember that there is something inside you so strong,” Mr. Lambert charged.

Special guest panelist and Professor of Social History & Director, Institute of Gender & Development Studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona Verene Shepherd commended Jamalco for organizing the event. She said as Africans we have come a long way. “We no longer have to go through back doors or sit at the back when we attend functions.”

Director/Curator of Liberty Hall Donna McFalane who also served as a panelist said as descendants of Africans, it is fitting that we are honouring our ancestors upon whose shoulder we now stand. “We pour libations to our ancestors because they struggled and toiled so we could be here.”

The students viewed exhibits displayed by six high schools which depicted the life and contribution of Africans around the world. These exhibits were judged and Foga Road High school which researched the great American Rosa Parks captured the top prize.

The students also participated in the event by asking questions during the panel discussion and performing cultural items that highlighted African history and celebrated Bob Marley’s music. Cutting Edge Cultural Inity also made a special appearance and participated in the panel discussion. Cen C Love and the Tough Gangs from Bob Marley Foundation put the icing on the cake with a special interactive entertainment package

A photo of Foga Road High school’s winning display

Click image to enlarge.

A photo of Foga Road High school’s winning display.