BVI News

C’bean people should embrace each other, we all came from Africa


Minister for Education and Culture Myron Walwyn said he wants all Caribbean nationals to embrace each other without discrimination.

He expressed those sentiments at the annual emancipation service at the Sunday Morning Well in Road Town on August 5.

“It is not just about talking – it is a lot more than saying fancy words. It is about accepting your brother and your sister regardless of where he or she comes from because we all landed on different islands coming out from Africa,” he said.

The minister said whether in the BVI or elsewhere, Caribbean nationals should treat each other with kindness and respect.

“Let the time go when we try to pull each other down, where we can never say a good word about each other, where – rather than celebrating the success of our brother – we use it as a referendum to say we are not doing as well and so we pull him down. Let us all rise together. Let emancipation mean that to us,” he said.

“[We should] look for solutions not for problems,” he added.

Proposed changes

Walwyn, in the meantime, is also calling for changes to the annual emancipation service programme.

He said persons who are not legislators should be given more time to speak during the programme.

“We want to hear about our history, the culture, where we came from as a people and where we can go. We don’t want when we wake up, in the news tomorrow, that a politician said this [and] a politician said that. This is not the time for it. So, moving forward, I’m asking publicly that we reduce that part of the programme and let our emancipation and the people who come to speak to us about emancipation shine through.”

“The politicians will have their time.”

The Virgin Islands Heritage Month Committee presented this year’s emancipation service.

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  1. Soo says:

    Honourable Walwyn shoulder the other Caribbean Islands people know that they have to and must respect us also.

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    • Hmm says:

      Double like!

    • Love for my Country says:

      The Minister spoke some well meaning words. But I wish that he would lead by example. Why did he used d—–ng words to p— d–n his s—-r colleagues of the NDP just so he could gain p—r? His words means nothing if he does not live by them!

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  2. Kenneth Dreger says:

    Interesting, a good start might be right here Sir! Have you and your staff start responding to postings made, get the reactions started…..

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  3. Hmm. says:

    Pure politics again.

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  4. SMDH says:

    This man will say and do anything to get power.

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  5. No joke says:

    This minister thinks he’s smart. All he is doing is trying to d—- the BVI so he can c—- us but it will not qork.

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  6. Please says:

    The people of the BVI have been embracing our Caribbean people for years so I don’t know where he’s going with this now.

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    • VICKIE says:

      We are embracing that is why you were born here did you forget that. Stop talking p**s and start to help and not to control for your own gain we people are not stupid anymore you can fool some of the youths but not all.

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  7. We all came from Africa Indeed says:

    All of us brown folks in the Caribbean are the descendants of African Slaves. However, according to some, we are “indigenous” to these lands which is the most far fetch and laughable claim I have ever read.

    Clearly those people have no idea what indigenous people means, and are spreading this falsehood and misinformation to create faux divisions locally.

    We are local to these these lands period. Our forefathers were brought here in chains against their wills. Not one of us brown folk are indigenous to these (foreign) lands. That’s why we celebrate our emancipation each August.

    The damage from our ancestor’s enslavement still lingers among some. For those who have been misinformed along the way, they need to understand that all brown Caribbean folks have something in common.

    If they were to accept the fact that the DNA that resides in all of us stretches all the way back to the African continent, we all will be able to embrace our other Caribbean brothers and sisters in love.

    “If you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.”

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    • Nonsense says:

      Before the slave trade started there was already a sailing route from Africa into Brazil and this is fact.

      There have also been artifacts and statues having negro features found by archaeologist in this part of the world including central america that have been found that dates back ancient times.

      History has not been good to black people and has refuse to tell us who we really are and our contributions that we have made.

      So dont come on here trod ding us down telling us we might not have been indigenous to these islands . If this is not so bring facts not fable.

      Just like whites were the first set of slaves to be brought here the Irish and that is fact.

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      • Interesting says:

        Carry on indigenous one. Believe what you wish, but history is not on your side.

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        • Joseph says:

          The Olmecs of Mexico/Central America were Blacks, living in that area prior to Columbus’s arrival in 1492.

          Also read Ivan Van Sertima’s “They Came Before Columbus.”

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          • Youtube says:

            Where did you get that information. From? Tell me it isn’t YouTube…Anyone can sell their own beliefs there…

        • Janice says:

          History is on his/side. Muslims from Africa started the ugliness.

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      • ThUncle Buck says:

        That original sailing route you speak of was the slave trade, you idiot. Only back then white man wasn’t involved, it was African selling African.

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        • Lost says:

          NO NO you are the idiot the route was started way before any slavery started in Africa to move the slaves transatlantic.

          The Arabs were the first to enslave Africans and transfer them to Saudi Arabia more blacks died going through the Desert than across the Atlantic.

          There is evidence that commerce was going on with blacks throughout the world even before there was any records of white people existence.

          And let me also educate you that the slave trade had nothing to do with enslaving blacks as they were hundreds of thousands of blacks in Africa and america that were freed and that were victims of the transatlantic slave trade.

          For they were not enslaving blacks but a particular tribe of blacks.

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          • Uncle Buck says:

            Read very carefully: every trade route was a slave route. Humans were bought and sold since the beginning of trade. If ships were sailing from Africa to South America you can be sure as heck there were slaves being traded. All of this occurred long before the white man took over the trade.

    • Not2Sure says:

      There are plenty of Caribbean people who are not of African descent. Large numbers of Indian indentured labourers were also brought to the Caribbean, as well as Irish and Chinese. Africans may be the largest population, but they are certainly not the only Caribbean people.

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  8. Both Sides says:

    I would like to have heard the full text of this speech. Did the good Minister look at both viewpoints? Did he ask our other Caribbean brothers and sisters to speak well about us BVIslanders also? I hope he did, as it works both ways.

    And while he is at it, the overall festival programme, especially the religious part of it, could do with a top-up as well. Every year, same ole, same ole. Where is the vision?

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    • james says:

      religion is out dated over used waste of time. jesus already reached heaven leaving us here. as part of culture religion can be useful [singing dancing fairy tales etc to pass our time but over doing it to the point of making us stupid and ignorant –no.

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  9. Maria Louisa Varlack says:

    No stupid. We all came from Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, Central America, South America and Antartica. We are all humans living together here on planet earth.

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  10. DIG DEEP says:

    @ we all came from Africa indeed….you need to do a lot more research and find out the facts before puffing up and trying to sound like you know it all.
    Black people are indigenous to the entire planet. You need to recognize that not every black person came to the West in a slave ship. I can understand that you can only speak from the paradigm of your understanding. Please remember half the story has never been told. Its so sad when blacks appoint themselves as front line soldiers against the TRUTH. Listen and learn you’ll be amazed.

    Listen and learn you’ll be amazed.

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  11. Wiffy says:

    “look for solutions not for problems,” So… if we don’t see a problem why are we looking for a solution ? YOU are part of the problem. Just how stupid do you think we are ?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Prove to us that brown people are indigenous to the British Virgin Islands. I am anxious to learn.

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  13. Ausar says:

    And this will continue to be the rhetoric for the next millenium

    For — will try to be a P——- for as long as he can. It will be interesting to see when it is his time to retire, how he will handle opposition!

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  14. OneAfricaMovement. says:

    We VIlanders have always been a more chill group and we don’t take kind to anything different. If you disrupt the environment there will be a response. Its like telling the home owner hey this is how things should be done in their home while being a quest in their home.

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  15. Divided we fall says:

    What is all this bitterness and acrimony about? I thought the speech spoke of unifying as a people but I guess politics has a way of dividing rather than mending. Great message Hon Walwyn. Those without an agenda get the point!

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  16. CW says:

    These comments are a great example of the attitude which makes it hard to speak positively about people in the BVI. Many of you are saying the equivalent of “ok, but them first”, which is about as 5th grade of an attitude as you can get.

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  17. White man says:

    What happen to the slave owners descendants that reside here

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    • @White Man says:

      Who? Who are you talking about? Do you know if any single such person? Slave ownership was for a very select group of individuals while most Europeans were poor farmers or worked in mills that were closer in conditions to the slaves here, not the same but not pleasant and pretty indentured, than the slave owners. Descendants of black slave owners do live here however. Also people who have taken wealth out of the country while keeping its citizens down.

  18. Richgdgy says:

    This thing CW is a TOTAL idiot!Always looking down on people,maybe it should actually go to H___!

  19. Rubber Duck says:

    Note that Mr Walwyn excludes any mention of white people from his lets be nice speech. So 10% of the population and 95% of the tourists who come here are not to be treated nicely in Mr Walwyns world?
    Actually no surprise to those who have met him.

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  20. Vicki says:

    I wonder which other Caribbean minister is focusing on this and is lobbying for BVI belongers orbothers in their countries. I guess mr minister has an u———— motive and I am sure he had an audience.

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  21. Time will tell says:

    Is this why the Prime Minister of Antigua said that people from Caricom need to go back home? When they leave Antigua where are they really going? No harm embracing others but after we did our immigrating problems that people like Myron seems to be blind about!!!

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  22. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Undoubtedly, the heritage/lienage/ancestry of the Caribbean archipelago from Bahamas to Belize to Jamaica to Barbados to Trinidad & Tobago including Guyana and Bermuda are mostly of African descent. Due to the divide and rule conditioning (Willie Lynch impact real or imagine) during slavery and a 184 years since Emancipation (01August 1834) in Anglophone countries, the divide and rule conditioning and the crab-in-bucket syndrome still persists.

    Freedom of movement is a persistent problem, for the most part, in the wider Carribean; it ruined the ill-fated West Indies Federation (1958-1962). It was big islands (Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana) against small islands (Windward and Leeward Islands). Incidently, immigrants from the big islands are now flooding the smaller islands, including the BVI.

    The transitioning from a subsistence agricultural economy to tourism and financial services economy (service) required import of both skilled and unskilled workers from regional countries and else to grow and sustain the economy, promoting growth and development. As such Virgin Islanders for the most part embraced immigrants. The VI is no different from other countries, including other Caribbean countries, in feeling threatened by immigrants. They see immigrants, though hard working, impacting their quality of life, employment……..etc by being more motivated to work for less.

    This is a universal problem, ie, USVI, Antigua, St. Martin, US, Puerto Rico, DR….etc. Some Virgin Islanders are nativists, xenophobes………etc. They are not totally off base in their fears though, for qualified Virgin Islanders should have the first opportunity at jobs from Premier to laborer. Nonetheless, Virgin Islanders should show immigrants appreciation and respect.

    However, appreciation and respect is a two way street. Some immigrants from larger countries come to the BVI and call down the BVI and BVIslanders. They wax about how their home countries are bigger, standard of living higher, level of education higher, lots more to do, they are doing the BVI a favour, health system is better, better infrastructure, people not as lazy and more ambitious, embrace immigrants (not totally true)………etc. When people emigrate from the region to US, UK and Canada, they respect these countries and their people. Similarly, the BVI should expect the same. No one should go into another’s home and disrespect the home owner.

    Moreover, in regards to the Hon Walwyn appeal, well, it is election season so no one should be surprised on the actions of combatants for public office. The Machiavellian approach , ie, by any means necessary is in play.

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    • Joseph says:

      Great points.

      However Guyana was nor part of the 1958-1962 Federation.

      • PO says:

        @Joesph, Guyana (formerly British Guiana was not listed as one of the Big Islands vs Small Islands, not part of the ill-fated West Indies Federation. It was probably my inartful sentence to sentence transition that could have implied that Guyana was part of the Federation.

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    • Being Human says:

      A thought-provoking analysis…Well argued!!! I will ask you to ponder though on the ramifications of the psychical, political and even geographical divisiveness of the colonial project. Are we still buying in to, and even validating the creation of boundaries initially delineated by European colonialism? I concur that as a people we are all guilty of building fences. I concur that our politicians have been politicking this issue. I concur immigration has created problems. I concur we are all Africans and need to assemble in brotherhood/sisterhood to amicably work out our differences. I also submit that at the level of political and academic leadership we should be at the vanguard of unifying our people. The question is “Does our respective self-interests stand in the way? Asante!!!!!

  23. GOD'S PLAN says:

    It’s true because Dominicans or people from another island have to wait a long time to get papers or the children who are born here and discriminate against them in schools where outsiders are doing the work and we never get the merit God bless all ✌.☝

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  24. Islander says:

    All politician want is power…to gain in their own pocket…forget the poor…they have to survive for there own that is what they have been thought…infact is tax payers money they spent…ppl living in the bvi should get explanation on how they money is spent…

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  25. Uncle Buck says:

    Hey wait, I thought we ALL came from Africa? Or is this about our skin pigmentation more than geographic origins? Yeah I though so, typical racist bigoted chain-loving rat.

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  26. Gerance P. says:

    The message is absolutely clear and valid even if his details may or may not be 100%. Love thy neighbor! How on Earth is that a bad thing?
    And as to knowing your heritage. Yes, it’s lovely to know your family roots but they by no means make you who you are right now are or where you are going. That is decided by you all by yourself. No excuses. Don’t blame our African slave roots on your own unsuccessful (or successful) situation today. It’s embarrasing.

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  27. Diaspora says:

    As a person who is in line possibly to be the next Premier and leader of the country, should not Walwyn be promoting positive interpersonal relationships between Virgin Islanders and all other ethnicities (100+) that call BVI home, if only temporarily? Is there a major rift between Virgin Islanders and other? Or Walwyn is micro targeting C’bean expats for political benefits? Is this a solution looking for a problem?

  28. BBC says:

    If these are the comments after a messge of asking us to embrace each other then our country has really gone on the rocks. I bet if this was on Facebook not even a minute fraction of you would type these things under your true name because you would have been ashamed to do so. So instead you hide behind pseudo names to bring out the nastiest inner feelings you could find. Guess what? God is still seeing you. And we wonder what God is saying to us about the bad weather. If He is speaking to us it might be about those feelings of hatred and prejudice that so many of us have inside. We are talking about celebrating emancipation but holding the same prejudice that the white Europeans had for us as black people against our brothers and sisters. Tell me that we don’t need some serious help!
    Then again I might just be two or three blogging all this nonsense with politics in mind as usual.

  29. Arthur James says:

    We need true love in our hearts and true love comes from us crucifying self and submitting or humbling ourselves to God. There is no need to smear others, it’s always right to love and respect each other. Do what Jesus would have done.

  30. @BBC says:

    No, you are not blogging non sense. You do know brother or sister that we as a people are deep, deep deep into the devastating effects of mental chain and psychological chains.

    We must therefore educate our children by teaching them about themselves and their magnificent history, and be sure to teach them to teach their children also.

    There is extensive literature on the history of our people available. No longer do we have to settle for the lies that have been parading as truth and the standard of education.

    Indeed, we must educate ourselves and our children to our history that they may one day eliminate self hatred from their minds that was so deeply embedded into our psyche.

    When that glorious day arrives, comments and the psychological derangement they represent will be few to none existent. But such will require great and consistent work by the learned to educate the unlearned.

    For example, one can begin with the documentaries of “Faces of Africa, which then goes into the true history of Africa,and not the lies that have been disseminated for centuries. Pleasant learning.

    Also, the works of Chiek Anta Diop is a magnificent source of truthful accurate knowledge of our people and history.There are also documentaries that go back before even the pyramids dynastic era. Great and enlightening stuff that should must be taught to our children one day.

    We will begin teaching the Mandarin in September, the global and economic reason i understand, but i will not be happy until we see a curriculum change emphasizing our history.

    The data is now overwhelming. It is time to teach our children about their incredible past
    and contribution to the human race. In that way, self pride and love will then begin to be fostered over timer.

    So let’s agitate for such an educational mind altering change. Black history should not be thought of once a year, but should be the embodiment and vehicle for mental and psychological change of our future.

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  31. Reality says:

    Sadly Tortolans are one of the most racist and lazy people I have encountered – they resent hard working expats that come and earn a modest wage – disrespect Jamaicans calling them dirty and thieves yet they are no better…total hypocrites unfortunately…if it weren’t for expats this island would be totally bankrupt but the “no direction party” is taking us that way quickly….

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  32. @Reality says:

    Pure hateful rubbish!!

    Lazy! are you serious. How can a lazy people or laziness in general build what has been in evidence over the last 184 years?

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  33. Interested says:

    As soon as I can relocate to any of their countries and be embraced,I will embrace them.Moving on.

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    • Uncle Buck says:

      You can. You always have been able to move to “Their” countries. You have no idea how far people will go in England to make you feel at home because of your skin colour. It’s actually quite pathetic and shameful to see an entire generation of English brought up to feel guilty and sorry and pity for blacks. Is that how you want it? You want to be pitied and treated like someone inferior? Or do we all hold each other to the same standards?

      Read very carefully: you refuse to embrace white people because you hate white people and because you hate looking in the mirror and seeing how far from White you are.

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  34. Being Human says:

    The problem of people of African ancestry embracing each other (whether in the BVI or elsewhere) is more institutional and governmental than it is a grass root problem. At the grass root level we integrate and embrace. However, it has always been at the level of political leadership throughout the Caribbean through immigration and other institutional barriers that our leaders have sought to create barriers of “betters” and “lessers” among black people. It is our politicians who need to get their acts together – not the people!!!! Honorable mirror I suggest you look in the mirror!!!!

  35. Brad Boynes says:

    @Reality et al….
    If you come here to help me you are Wasting your time.

  36. @beinghuman says:

    Truth! Why do we all in the region trade so little with Caribbean countries and people but so much with the US? Our food is good. Their food is about the worst in the world when it comes to health standards, harmful additives and fake food. They even come here in the hope of having good organic food and drink. Natures little secret is what we try to sell.

    Nobody is advocating for no immigration control as to whether the employment need is there and not truly fulfilled by those already in a country. Just when people do move to fill those jobs, leaving behind friends and family, we should be welcoming them, whatever they look like. Nobody alive today had anything to do with the awful past from which there was emancipation. At some point, it need to be just a history lesson and not an excuse for current shortcomings or racism. In other parts of the world that also sufffered 200 years ago they concentrate more on education and opportunity now and where they are heading.

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