Ingredients for a bright future
Fingall advises grads not to adapt slave mentality
Guard yourself against a slave mentality that would keep you from progressing in life.
This was the message of educator and public figure MacDonald Fingall as he delivered the feature address today at the Chalky Mount Primary School’s 2014 graduation ceremony, themed Preparing Today For Tomorrow’s Success.
He told the students that as they moved on to another level of their academic life, there were several ingredients that contributed to a bright future, the first of which was ridding themselves of the slave mentality passed on by their forefathers, which he said unfortunately still existed today. Fingall quoted from an address which he said was delivered by slave owner William Lynch to an audience on the bank of the James River in Virginia in 1712 regarding control of slaves within the colony for at least 300 years.
He also highlighted the climate of distrust and envy which was very strong in those days.
“This happens almost every day in this country, and we are just waiting for it to go away,” the educator said.
“We don’t trust each other and you know that too . . . . When I start to talk like this, people does get nervous. Not the white people; black people. Ya’ll does get scared, but scared for what? I just telling the truth. This was indoctrinated in us by design; therefore it will not go away on its own. It has to go away by design.
“When you are 35 and 40 years, it too engrained in you. These are the people that I got to talk to this morning and show them that things got to change. Make them understand that it is okay for a black man to be rich; it is okay for a black man to be in charge. Be proud of us . . . . When I talk to some of ya’ll, ya’ll holding down yuh head.
“In the days of slavery it was against the law to look in massa face and yuh had to hold down yuh head and say, ‘Yes, massa, yes, massa’. But we are free people. So from now on, when you talk to anybody, look in them face like a man or like a woman. Them days done.”
Fingall also told the graduands that as they strove for excellence, they must be thoroughly educated about all aspects of their lives through achieving academic qualifications and experience, and to always bare in mind that the world was constantly changing.
“You must walk with confidence, talk with confidence. Your body must exude confidence. We live in the same world as the rest. How comes we accept that Americans are some of the best? How comes we accept that Chinese are some of the best in the world? Don’t we live in the same world? So why can’t we be some of the best in the world? . . . . You see Jamaicans, they know that they are some of the best in the world.
“That is why Bob Marley and Bolt can stomp on the world because they got that in them. We ain’t come from the same place? Why we so docile? Why we so scared? You don’t see when I introduce [calypsonian] Gabby now, I introduce him as the best in the world and Red Plastic Bag as one of the best songwriters in the world, because we live in the same world; but that is the attitude that we have to have.”
In delivering the school’s report, principal Laureen Hinds said all ten students had successfully completed this year’s Common Entrance Examination, and added that while the national mean for English was set at 64.9 per cent, Chalky Mount had received 73.1, putting it at second place, right behind Charles F. Broome. The national mean for maths is 57.6 per cent and Chalky Mount accomplished 66.7 per cent, falling into fourth place. Most Outstanding Student and Top Boy was Kobia Waldron; Shakada Benskin was Top Girl.