By Hudson George
When the European slave ships left West Africa coast with captive Africans on board as human cargo, under the control of European slave traders sailing across the Atlantic Ocean towards the Americas, there were spirituality on board.
The slave traders were Roman Catholic Christians but they were thieves and the Africans had their spirituality but they were held in bondage at the bottom of slave ships. This is the original story of black people in the Americas
However, from that day on the Africans were labelled as primitive, ungodly and lazy people. And up this present era there is no solution to bring closure to that unfortunate period of history.
Furthermore, it explains why we love to dance, sing and create different genres of music and body movements to the beat of musical sounds. So, we can easily say: “It is, as it is”
So, whenever we as black people come together to have a good time or to decide what is best for our future, there must be some critics who will make negative comments to degrade our needs and wants.
Now, within our Grenadian population as a people, we have elements of cross cultures that need to coexist in our secular society based on the Westminster version of British democracy but it appears as though some people of influence within the subcultures seem to want a society that function within their own personal moral values.
But then again, within the various subcultures there is a commonality among the conservative elements, regardless of their political and religious beliefs and affiliations. They tend to create an alliance to discredit activities and events that are not inclined with their social class. Therefore, the main function of conservative minded people is to label activities that they do not like as public vulgarity and nuisance to society.
On the other hand, the vast majority of Grenadians believe in the existence of a supreme being, while there is a small percentage who are atheists. However, sometimes Christian believers and atheists share the same social values and opinion about what is considered to be appropriate for society and what is vulgar in society based on their class socialisation.
In addition, in our present house of parliament there are elected and selected parliamentarians, who do not share the same religious moral beliefs but their role as parliamentarians is to make sure that the society is stable. Therefore, in order for the society to be stable, people must learn to respect secularism but the conservative elements will never accept openness as the norms.
So, as Spicemas Corporation launched the carnival May 4th, 2019, it is expected that the conservative elements within society will protest as usual, throughout the carnival season about loud music noise pollution, abuse of alcohol and indecent dressing by masqueraders. And this is where the conflict of secularism ends up in public melee.
Therefore, I personally believe that if the conservative elements are not participating in carnival culture, they should not condemn others who chose to play mas for entertainment and enjoyment.
However, it is expected that the show will go on and foreign visitors will be coming to Grenada to enjoy themselves in the carnival activities, and as usual our African spirituality will be the highlights. And as long as the African spirituality is present in our culture, the conservative forces will continue to criticise.
But the big question is: How can we as black people “de-Africanised” ourselves, when we were born with our African spirituality? We were not born conservative.