From The Gutters Of Bluefields

Ariel Hamilton

 Our town is facing a very serious problem in this 21st century. Our past heroes or leaders, such as the great Gen. George M. Hodgson and Mr. Waldo Hooker, seem to have fought in vain. The very existence of these two men has been, for some reason or another, kept out of the Bluefields history books. These two men fought for the autonomy and independence of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. They fought with their very lives for the liberation of our people. This whole part of our history has been omitted out of our educational system. We hear of them from the “older heads”, who speak of them with some degree pride but the educated few never bothered to document their lives for us the youths to learn of them. 

The history of our Atlantic Coast is shady. The origin of the African in Bluefields and along the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua is full of confusion. Why? Is it because the people, who once were looked upon as the elite class of Bluefields, got their education or mis-education from a bunch of racist Europeans, who taught them to hate themselves? Or could it be that our Bluefields elite only wanted to worship or see god through the eyes of white men. White men whose interest was never the so-called elite or the black people on the coast. Even books such as Tangweera: life and adventures among gentle savages; who described the African and Miskitu as ignorant savages whose only salvation was the white man, was kept from us. Why did they keep us in the dark? Our story has been kept from us all this time to even speak of it is to curse ourselves. 

Our identity is lost somewhere in a Creole myth. Creole is a word that our people embraced as identity and definition given to us by white men. This Creole folly or Creole confusion not white not Black or even red but “Creole” is still a favorite definition of the African in Bluefields. We cannot deny the fact that our Atlantic Coast is mixed with a lot of different races from around the world. To deny the different races would be denying the rape and destruction of the coast. The rape and destruction of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, will for ever be the evidence of the European presence on the coast. The history of the coast cannot be hidden anymore. We are now living in the age of information and we could use it to tell our story and not his. The Prophet Marcus M. Garvey said, “ A people without a pass is like a tree without roots”.

No government whether past or existing has ever looked out for the benefit of the Black man or Miskitu man. The coast people, has always been used as numbers for the deferent political parties. These parties whose sole purpose is to keep the Blacks and Miskitu people segregated so they can rule us better. This political strategy is even used to divide Blacks against each other. To fight each other is ignorance. This fighting will get us nowhere. While we are busy fighting each other, the politicians are busy taking our lands. We have already lost our culture and our traditions but most of all we have lost our selves. We cannot blame anyone for this. The fish cannot blame the fisher man for catching him. He only has himself to blame for being caught. 

These greedy politicians, who are elected by the people, or so they say, have proven themselves to be thieves and puppets; who would do anything to get elected. We need to look elsewhere for our leaders. The Universities are filled with such leaders. We need to give the youths a chance, they are the future, not these tired old politicians who always prove themselves to be toads. We are living in a world where politics is necessary but we do not have to, by no means, accept crooks to lead us. Wake up Bluefields and look around we are intelligent people who need not to wait for anything to be done for us we can do it.

It is known that many of our town’s people look at the coast as a hopeless cause. Individually they know why they feel that way. They cannot be blamed, they were taught that way. The African has been put through every test possible on this earth but like the killer whale in the ocean who has no rival, is the African who has and will always prove to the world that he is a survivor. It is time for us to put to rest the illusion taught to us by the Europeans. It is time to embrace our true African identity, which is rich and full of culture, a culture that is much more ancient than Europe and their people. As long as we keep ourselves ignorant and confused, we will remain where we are today, in the gutters of Bluefields.    


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