St Kitts and Nevis: February is celebrated as Black History Month in St Kitts and Nevis. The twin-island Federation has one of the longest written histories in the Caribbean, both islands being among Spain’s and England’s first colonies in the archipelago.
It is known as the time to celebrate, educate and raise awareness of the African and Caribbean cultures across society and the entire world.
St Kitts Nevis Riddim took to Facebook and shared the history of the country and black history month. It stated that with Black History Month in effect, they think of how many of them still take history (OUR—HISTORY) for granted.
St Kitts Nevis Riddim stated that they learnt that the theme of history in the twin island federation highlighted and glorified Europeans and their achievements as well as their technology, their intellect and a created illusion of their superiority.
At the same time, Africans and their descendants were portrayed as almost being lucky to have had any interaction with Europeans from 1492 until today. This theme was clear not just in the classroom but also in everyday life whereas their dwelling place still remains today in the same place they breathed—In the neighbourhood, the street and at church.
“We were influenced by the Greeks, the French, and Europeans and then there’s our own —Our African Heritage. Came with it, was a contradictory illustration of African enslavement and subsequent genocide, “said the St Kitts Nevis Riddim.
It was not clear then as it is now how the consciousness of African people, though once falsified during slavery, has not yet fully recovered.
It thinks that if history is a guide to a people’s future, then they need to continuously study and reassess the facts painted before them. Stories can be told in so many ways… passed down from generation to generations through song, dance and theatre; written down in books and in objects, illustrated in paintings and cloth. Each of them have many stories to tell and each object has many stories for us to listen to.
When celebrating Black History Month this year, remember its origin and explore the works of Valon’s Masquerades Group. As craft holders, they are fortunate enough to be the embodiment of what our ancestors lived and as we continue to share its origin and it’s connectedness, we understand it’s vitality and it’s importance to having different diversities which everyone can enjoy.
“I am so proud of my heritage and culture and firmly believe that it has had a positive influence over the years and continues to do so today—in the lives of all our people and those who share our culture as their own.”