The Reverend Dr. Devon Dick and the Organisers
of the Boulevard Baptist Church have conferred on me the great honour to
deliver this first Eric Downie Memorial Lecture. While the task is awesome, it
is not one that I could decline. We are inaugurating the commemoration of the
life and work of a remarkable son of Jamaica. Loving husband, devoted
father, bedrock of the extended Downie family, teacher, a Mico Man to be exact,
college lecturer, historian, teacher leader and Baptist deacon are but some of
the areas in which he excelled. But then we would have left out dominoes, of
which he was a master.
It’s All About Power Part 3: WASP versus the Rising Marginalized is the most apt description of the current state of power as it is contested in the United States. The 116th Congress is younger, more female, more ethnically and racially diverse, broader in acknowledged sexual orientation, and has more recent migrants than any previously Congress in the history of the United States of America. Many of its members were elected to replace older males of the 115th Congress who were of WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) heritage, as the latter is defined in “It’s All About Power Part 1: The Metamorphosis of WASP in the United States”. The composition of the 116th Congress is consistent with the demographics described in “Its All about Power Part 2: The Demise of Patriarchy in the 21st Century”, written and posted before the results of the US election on November 6, 2018 began to be reported.
It is now almost fourteen years from April 30th, 1986; when, I had the great honor to deliver the first Aubrey Phillips Memorial Lecture on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies as a tribute to my late mentor and colleague, Professor Aubrey Phillips. The subject and the title of that lecture was the Marginalisation of the Black Male. What followed was a controversy that has persisted until the present time. On the one hand, there have been those who are of the view that I had introduced a new dimension of the study of gender. On the other hand, there were those who accused me of obscurantism – a male chauvinist parading under the guise of scientific research, and of diverting attention from women’s issues. Continue reading →
With this introduction given by Dr. Christopher Clarke, everything from this point onward must be downhill. Being the last speaker, in the interest of time and seeing that it has been so oft repeated, allow me to say: all protocols observed. I wish only to draw attention to the presence of Senator the Honourable Ruel Reid, Minister of Education and to Dr. Mavis Gilmore and Mrs. Maxine Henry-Wilson (previous Ministers of Education), the empathy between them and the fact they are not all on the same political side. Both Dr. Gilmore and Mrs. Henry-Wilson presided over major reforms in teacher education which have had a positive impact on teacher education in Jamaica. One can only hope that Senator Reid will follow in the path of his predecessors. Further, we must note that Dr. Mavis Gilmore delivered the keynote address at the World Assembly in 1986 – Cultural Diversity and Global Interdependence: Imperatives for Teacher Education.Continue reading →