At Good News Jamaica, our mission is to produce and promote positive information and imagery of our nation and people. This includes telling our story, sharing our history and connecting to our roots. It is no secret that there is a large disconnect between our youth and the past. We cannot allow our history to be lost. It has to be preserved, and it starts with us. Join us, as we traverse Jamaica to broadcast our history. Come share, celebrate, boast and discuss our Jamaican culture with us.
“A people without the knowledge of their past, history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” That is one of the most popular quotes by our first National Hero, Marcus Garvey. How much do you know about your country? How much do you know about its historical events and culture? Is your knowledge only limited to what was taught during school?
Quest for More
Recently, I found myself wanting to learn more about my country. Yes, I had a little knowledge about major events and culture, but I was clueless for the most part. After talking to my friends and the seniors in my circle, I noticed that I wasn’t on a ‘one-man ship’. They were also in the dark, and some even questioned the importance of history. Maybe you’re like me, and you’re on your journey of self-discovery. Maybe you’re like my friends, and you too are wondering if history is still relevant. I’m not sure which side of the fence you’re on, but this article is for you.
Why is our History Important?
History is a multifaceted discipline that increases both cultural awareness and moral understanding of our world. It is the knowledge and understanding of the past. History plays a key role in our appreciation of ourselves and the world around us. It also helps us determine how to approach the future with lessons learned.
Being aware of our history allows us to observe and understand how people and societies behaved. Most importantly, it has the ability to help provide us with a sense of identity. I believe this is one of the main reasons that history is still taught in schools worldwide. Historians have been able to learn about how countries, families, and groups were formed. They also learnt how these groups evolved and developed. When someone traces their own family history, they can understand their family’s traits from generations before.
Understanding past events and how they impact the world today can bring about empathy for groups of people whose history may differ from the mainstream. We learn to appreciate the mixture of emotions that it took the make the present possible. For example, on the one hand, we can better understand the suffering our enslaved ancestors experienced to secure our freedom. While on the other hand, we can share the joy they felt when slavery was abolished or when Universal Adult Suffrage was granted.
Keep the Flame Burning
One thing has not changed; The need to draw inspiration and guidance from the past. And through that inspiration, people will find tools and paths that will help them live their lives. Who could not help but be inspired by Marcus Garvey’s commitment to racial justice? Or who doesn’t draw inspiration from the anonymous slave who persevered so that we might be free? Today marks the beginning of Black History Month. Let us keep the fire aflame.