Created on 28 April 2017 Hits: 339 Written by Newton Alexander Category: OTHER


This is the third year that the National heritage and Cultural Committee has been charged with "doing something" to celebrate April as National Heritage Month. I served on that Committee for the first two years. Circumstances prevented me from taking part this year.


Not being party to the discussion which went on before the decision was taken to stage the "Reenactment", I'll limit my response to Mr. Edwin's assertion 'That Slave Life should never be reenacted'.

It is ironic that two days ago, The Grenada National Trust received an e-mail from someone called George berating The Trust for not "teaching about slavery" and now this.

I don't know anything about Mr. Edwin's background – where and when he did his history but may I humbly point out that there is no unique method of "teaching history" and most certainly it is not the tedious fashion of stuffing enormous chunks of dates of events down the throats of unwilling students to be regurgitated at appropriate times to the glorification and satisfaction of teachers and ideologues with no one asking or perhaps caring how much the students have learnt or even understood.

At this stage, may I point out to Mr. Edwin that there is such a concept as "living history" where students, particularly young children are encouraged to 'feel' and wherever possible to 'touch' the events about which they are being taught. I am sure he is familiar with the term, "learning by doing".

And no, I am not advocating a reenactment of the Holocaust. However, if we were able to impress sufficiently upon our children, the horrors of particular historical events, we may just manage to get on the road towards ensuring that those events do not happen again.

One last point, he like many people has linked the teaching of heritage with tourism. Valuable as tourism is to our economy, Heritage teaching, preservation and promotion particularly among the young is an activity in its own right. Its purpose is to educate our future generation about the road we have travelled to get to where we are today.

To conclude, I am reminded of a conversation I had with a graduate historian almost thirty years ago. When I suggested that we should look at a certain period in history with the possibility of teaching about it, I was told, "ah caan do dat, ah din study dat in university".


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