BASIL WALTERS Observer
Dr Julius Garvey has charged that as a people, we are suffering from cultural amnesia, and said that we have found ourselves in this position because of an educational system which allows us to deny our own culture.
Dr Garvey was delivering the keynote address at a banquet at the Medallion Hall Hotel on National Heroes Day. The function was held to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Marcus Garvey division of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and the African Communities League (ACL).
Small in numbers, guests attending the event listened attentively as Dr Garvey bemoaned the pitfalls that have beset us because we have too long ignored our own culture.
"If we give up our culture and allow it to be replaced by somebody's else's culture, then we have given up our power to control reality and have become servants of someone else.
"This is a position in which we are, because we have an educational system which has been brought us up to deny our own culture which has been denied us," said the second son of Jamaica's first national hero, Marcus Garvey.
"And because of that," he stressed, "we have a cultural amnesia for our real history and our real culture."
Speaking on the theme 'Culture as the basis for national development' he emphasised the point that culture counts.
"Drama is the enactment of that relationship in movement and speech. Art is a meaningful expression in any medium. Clearly the individual is the lynch-pin, and how he or she expresses his or herself, is what makes up culture," the distinguished surgeon said.
Symbols, myths and rites are all expressions of culture, he pointed out before asserting: "It is important to recognise that the most important distinctions among people, are not idealogical, political or economical. They are cultural."
One cultural item on the agenda saw well-known cabaret diva, Sabrina Williams decked in African outfit, performing Letta Mbolu's Many Rains Ago. She was ably assisted on keyboards by Michael Ibo Cooper who doubled as master of ceremonies. Tony Scott's poetry presentation went over well.
Dr Julius Garvey is the son of the Beloved Marcus Garvey who died in 1940
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