April 13, 2011

Is Myrie a Caribbean version of Rosa Parks?


While social scientists tend to place heavy emphasis on large structural and economic explanations for occurrences of historical significance, the reality is often that the catalysts for these developments are often unassuming, ordinary individuals who refuse to stand at the back of the bus.

In the case of Rosa Parks, it was not a radical historical consciousness, but her overworked tired feet which compelled her to break the racist Jim Crow laws which were in operation in the southern United States at the time.

In our own time, we have seen how Mohammed Bouazizi, the Tunisian man who set himself ablaze, simultaneously set alight a wave of anti-authoritarian protests and revolutions throughout the Middle East and North Africa, far beyond what he was thinking when he made a human torch of himself. (What really was he thinking anyway?)

Marx describes this dynamic between individual action and structural change best, with his famous reminder that “whilst men make history, they do not make it in conditions of their own choosing”.

These historical realities therefore compel pro-integrationist Caribbean people to find a silver lining in Shanique Myrie’s refusal to remain silent in the face of what she regarded as unjust violations of her personal space, whilst seeking to move across her Caribbean.

Read full article here.

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