Vincentian lions finally get their own historians
We are all familiar with that proverb, that “until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”
No matter how objective one tries to be, interpretation of data will always be shaped by one’s perspective, one’s journey.
This is why the news that the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has commissioned four well-respected Vincentian historians to write a history of our nation is like music to the ears.
This project to write the history of our nation is a wonderful and important one.
No general history of SVG exists. While it is certainly true that individual studies have examined discrete moments and processes of the Vincentian historical experience, no one has produced a study linking all of the Vincentian experience into a single coherent and integrated narrative.
Beyond the documentation of facts, the book involves how our thinking has been shaped and how the thinking of future generations will be shaped, and shows what goes into the making of a people; how we have been made by our history and who tells our history.
For example, in writing about the arrival of the first Africans; the manner in which Chatoyer met his death; conditions leading to the march of Indians from Argyle to Kingstown; and the 1935 riots, we can expect fresh insight, as eyes that do not have the perspective of a Vincentian heritage will ascribe to different aspects of our history, different levels of importance.
According to the SEARCHLIGHT edition of November 1, 2019 the book, which will cover the development of our nation from the earliest people (around 1400) to present-day (2020) will be written in two volumes. The decision to broaden the authorship of this important work to four experienced Vincentian historians — Dr Garrey Dennie, Dr Adrian Fraser, Dr Cleve Scott and Dr Arnold Thomas — is wise and should result in a work of high quality, as it will be in a sense, a peer reviewed document, as each of the historians will review the work of all the others.
We wish this exciting and important project every success; may the day when we have the history text in our hands be not too long off.