Caribbean blacks were the first population in the Caribbean region to implement the major revolutionary concepts which serve as the foundation of modernity in the world. Most of the Afro Caribbean population were the descendants of African captives who were held in the region from the 16th century to 1886, an era popularly known with the Atlantic slave trade boom. The transatlantic slave trade involved the transportation of African slaves from their original homeland to America. The black society who had either voluntarily or were forcefully evicted from Africa, Canada, the United States, and Canada had a critical role to play when the Afro Caribbean community was formed. Shipowners during the transatlantic slave trade regarded Africans as cargo, which was to be transported to the Caribbean region where they were sold to work on plantations of sugar, cocoa, tobacco, among other plantations. During the years, Africans were enslaved to their masters together with their descendants. The trade was the result of a shortage of labor and the desire of colonialists of Europe to exploit new resources in different parts of the world for profits. The natives played a direct role in the slave trade as they were selling the slaves to the European buyers. Most of the slaves were prisoners and captives of war from their neighboring enemy ethnic groups, and the African leaders held no loyalty to them. As a result of the torture and unfavorable environment that most of the Caribbean blacks were brought up in, they united to bring up the three pillars of modernity. Through revolutionaries of Haiti, such as Jose Marti, Samuel Jackman Prescod, and JJ Thomas, modernity was formed through their contributions to liberation from their colonialists.
Freedom in Haiti, which is the pillar of modernity, was brought about by Haitian revolutionaries and visionaries such as Samuel Jackman Prescod. His vision was rewarded through his achievements, which, among them, was being the first individual with an African descent to be elected in parliament in Barbados, an island in the Caribbean region. Concerning modernism, he helped found a political party in the region called Liberal Party whose followers consisted of business people, black clerks, and small landowners. Born from a free woman of color and a wealthy white father, Samuel Prescod was faced with challenges while seeking liberation and equality among whites in the region. He was excluded from politics in Barbados as the law as of that time required that all voters should be white. The law in Barbados in 1697 also required all voters to be Christian and own at least 10 acres of land. Freedom, liberty, and citizenship was a challenge to people of color during the era, and Samuel Prescod was determined to go for the three pillars of modernism, which would ensure equality among people of the Caribbean region, regardless of their wealth, race and economic status. Samuel Prescod was passionate about freedom as he was famously quoted when he wrote that he would live to see everyone, especially people of color declared free. Freedom, according to the revolutionist, was the ability to change easily without unjust constraints of slavery. He was aware of the laws which prevented everyone from voting, which was the primary course of slavery in Barbados and was dedicated to making amendments to the law, which was not in line with his long term vision of Barbados.
As a blueprint of modernism through the leader, Prescod was among the delegates present in the World Anti-Slavery Convention. The convention, which took place in London in June 1840, attracted many delegates from various stakeholders around the region. The presence of delegates from Jamaica, Ireland, Australia, America, and even Barbados was a major milestone taken by individuals within the region to seek freedom and liberty to slaves, who were languishing in poverty and had no rights to basic commodities. Their basic human rights were not taken into consideration; their views were not considered in any developmental process in the region. Politically, Samuel Prescod, as a leader of the colored community, wrote to the colonial offices in Barbados. In his letter, he was protesting at the high prices that owners of land in Barbados were putting on small plots of the land. In his letter, he was seeking freedom, freedom from slavery. Slavery was eating away the pride of the people. The slavery that was a pest in their economic independence, a pest to their freedom and liberty, and necessary measures needed to be taken. The letter was important to his mission of liberating slaves since the white owners were using the high prices as a device to prevent other races from owning land, which would uplift their economic status. The investigations of the Colonial office confirmed that indeed, the suspicion of the Caribbean liberator was indeed true since landowners were committed to buying small plots of lands even if it meant a little discomfort in their end. His success in changing the law said that he had the power to change what was ailing the slaves of the country and would want total freedom from their colonialists.
Prescod, three years later, was then elected from the new constituency in Bridgetown, which was a difficult task with the prejudice that was present at that moment. His election was a massive win since eligible voters are the ones who owned land; moreover, the balloting process was not a secret ballot. Though he was always in the opposition, Prescod managed to form the Liberal Party, which was a tool used to liberate the slaves. He was among the founders of freedom of slaves in the Caribbean, and development among his people. His works were noticeable since he built not only secondary and primary institutions, but also tertiary institutions, educational facilities meant to educate children of ex-slaves. Freedom and liberty were the pillars of modernity, which was spearheaded by Prescod, a Caribbean black who, through his passion for liberty, emancipated the slaves from their collaborators. Prescod built schools, and some were named after him, such as the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology. Honoring the Caribbean black liberator was a sign of a concrete foundation built by him for modernism through liberations from slavery and freedom.
Being a Cuban publisher, translator, journalist among other titles, Jose Julian Marti Perez was referred to as an Apostle of Cuban Independence. His poems and writings were revolutionary, which were later mixed with political activity making it a symbol of Cuba's bid for independence from Spain. Since he was a teenager, Jose Marti was focused on the political independence of Cuba and the promotion of liberty, which is considered to be the pillar of modernity. Visions of independence in Cuba characterized his early life. He is the founder of modernism as he was among the first individuals to seek liberty in their country, which falls in the Caribbean region. Jose Marti was a Caribbean black to first fully implement liberty and freedom, which were the revolutionary concepts that founded modernism. When there was an outbreak of the ten years' war in 1868, Jose Marti started writing poems whose main themes were clear visions of independence and freedom in Cuba. Among his writings was "Abdala," which contained a fictional country called Nubian, which was also struggling with independence. The fictional country in the publication resembled Cuba, which was fighting for freedom and independence from Spanish who were mistreating Cubans. His art of using symbolism was exemplary and worth emulation, and in the publication, "Abdala" he used Nubian, a fictional country, to symbolize Cuba. Jose had developed hatred for the practice, which was very common in the region. The accumulation of his hatred towards slavery over the years made him be focused on the liberation of his people from Spanish colonials.
Independence came with a price for Cubans, a price that Jose Marti was ready to pay. When he was only 16 years, Jose was arrested and jailed because of an accusation of treason and bribery. This was because of a letter that Marti had written to their friend who had joined the Spanish forces. Torture and pain in prison were the order of the day for Marti, who was later exiled to Spain. His parents went to court to appeal for their sons' rights, which, through their lawyers, claimed that he was still a teenager and was not supposed to be jailed. All their efforts were futile as he was sent to jail and later exiled to Spain. Being sent to exile did not stop the revolutionary Caribbean black from seeking independence for his country. Jose Marti went to Guatemala and Mexico, Venezuela, the United States, Central America, and the West Indies. He spent three years in Mexico and Guatemala. While in Mexico, Jose Marti published his first article on 2nd March 1875, which majorly discussed literature, politics, and business commerce. Among his writings also, the freedom liberator expressed his opinions about the events that were taking place in Mexico. He was very concerned about the independence of Cuba from the Spanish authorities, and he also advocated for the same. He extensively wrote about the Spanish control of the country, which, according to him, was not natural since Cuba was unique. He advocated for the rights of Cubans while in the United States, Central America, and even in the West Indies. He pushed through the tides that were up against him while he was in exile, he never relented.
As a revolutionary leader, Marti's compositions were directed to the liberation of Cubans from their colonials. He opposed slavery and criticized the colonials for not taking any action to end the slave trade in Cuba. In a letter to Maximo Gomez in 1882, for example, Jose Marti proposed the formation of a revolutionary party, which according to him, was essential so that the Cubans would not fall back to the home rule party. His ideologies of dignity and reconciliation were cut short by his long term goal, which he thought was necessary for the liberation of Cubans, which was war.
Jose Marti's passion for democracy and justice has made him a hero in Cuba. Through literature, he was able to liberate his people from slavery and instilled dignity to all human beings regardless of their race. Since he had a deep hatred for slavery, Marti dedicated his life to bring justice and democracy to the Caribbean black society, who were previously mistreated and tortured. His dedication to having a just, free, and the democratic republic of Cuba made him one of the country's legends. His writings fueled the 1895 revolution. With over 30 publications to the magazine, he was consistent and dedicated to revolt against Spanish colonialism and liberate Cubans to modernism.
John Jacob Thomas, a writer, born in Trinidad and Tobago, was born in slavery with the ambition and hopes of getting liberated at one point in time. He was enslaved to their colonials since he was young, and he knew exactly how it felt to be a slave. He studied and worked as a teacher, where, through his education and teachings, JJ Thomas revealed his passion for the press. He anticipated a free nation where the rights of individuals were distributed equally among all citizens regardless of their race. Freedom of expression and speech were among his top priorities. He was an essential figure who laid the foundation for the Modern Caribbean intellectual tradition. One of the most famous works was Froudacity, which was critical in elaborating on the lives that individuals were passing through in their daily activities.
Haiti and most countries in the Caribbean region are free from slavery. The famous Caribbean blacks were the founding fathers of the current freedom, which is enjoyed by citizens of Haiti,...
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