The Transatlantic Slave Trade has been the single most critical factor in shaping and molding the lives of people of African descent.
A critical component of the slave trade was the forcible breakup of the family unit in which the male’s role was reduced to a mere stud. Disturbingly, in a post plantation Jamaican society the remnants of the plantation culture are very much alive and continue to negatively impact us. The continued abuse and murder of our children threaten the very existence and social fabric of the society and require serious intervention.
At the root of the upheaval in the Jamaican society is a state of “fatherlessness” which has now become common place in our culture. According to the 2012 Survey of Living Conditions the vast majority of Jamaicans households are headed by single females. As a result a significant number of boys lack positive male role models.
Sadly, Jamaica’s education system does not adequately cater to the holistic development of our boys. As a result many boys drop out of the formal school system and end up without the requisite skill set necessary to become fully integrated members of society.
For many boys, to be a man is tantamount to being rough, uncaring and emotionally detached. Our agents of socialization have failed us. The influence of the church continues to wane as parents no longer send their children to church. Our failure to put in measures to rescue our youth population will surely usher in new era of re-enslavement of the male psyche. The emotionally and physically detached male has exposed our women and children to the mercy of those who prey on the vulnerable within the society thus creating havoc and mayhem on individual families as the society in general.
We cannot continue along this path of self-destruction. We need to strengthen the basic family unit which will provide more protection for our women and children. Our males must become more sexually responsible and our females, likewise, should become wiser when choosing partners.
The Jamaican society is at a critical juncture in the annals of her development.
We all need to make a concerted effort to reclaim Jamaica one family at a time.
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