Ariel Hamilton>

This word is and has been our enemy for far too long.  The reason for this is unknown. One good reason could be, because there is no one brave enough to look at the problems and do something about it or our leaders pockets never seem to be filled. Progress will not come about by sitting and waiting, progress will not come about by criticizing those who are trying to make a better way, progress will not come by the way of the sky. Progress will only come by being individually progressive. Marcus Garvey and the U.N.I.A. did not accomplish the greatest rise of Afrikan pride, which led to the greatest Afrikan exodus in the past century, by waiting for the white man to make his move. Nat Turner did not depend on any one for the greatest slave revolt known in the United States history to take place. He personally had to take up his sword and fight. Gen. George M. Hodgson and the Twenty Five Brave had to fight to show the Nicaraguan government that we are much more than what they wanted to define us as. These are just three of the many great leaders who had to fight for their own personal liberation and at the same time show the world that only with strong will and determination progress will come about.

Here in Bluefields we have a lot of experts a lot of scholars teaching and preaching of a time past of the so-called good old days that should never be forgotten. What days I ask? Are these the same days that the United States and Somoza were raping our beautiful Atlantic Coast or is it when the so-called Sandinistas were forcing our young men to fight their war? The generation before us will always have tales to tell the younger generation but if they are better tales than the present ones then there is no progress.  The good old days should never be better than the present ones, that will be better defined as backward progress. Is it possible for this present generation to end up like the previous one or worst? We must be very careful Bluefields for time does not wait for anyone and if we think for one minute that we are some how special because of certain technological advances we are mistaken. There is a lot of groundwork that needs to be done. The foundation was not established our youths are still confused about their culture, history and identity. We cannot by-pass this; this lesson in the school of life could not be avoided.

Bluefields will be celebrating her 100th birthday soon, but do we really have anything to celebrate? Having a good time is only for the moment and that can be easily taken away. This great celebration that is about to take place in 2003 should be one that we should find pride in. We have a lot to be proud of we must just find our pride that we have lost through the years. Pride to come from a beautiful place on earth, pride in our diversity, multi-ethnicity, bilingual, multi-culture, proud of the independence we once had; Our language known as “Creole”, which is one of the oldest forms of English spoken in the Caribbean out of England is something to be proud of. Our English, which was spoken even before the Jamaican version is rich with words from Spanish, English, Afrikan and Miskito should be preserved. Progress, which is our enemy here on the Coast, needs to become our friend. How? This is the question we all should be asking ourselves, and every individual should be able to come up with his or her own answer. It seems like for every step forward we make ten back. We must not continue with this backward progress one hundred years is about to pass us by and many more are ahead of us. How far have we progressed? The answer to this question is as far as we allowed our self to progress. Our progress is vital to the future of our youths. Let us make these present days better than the years that are behind us. The youths are suffering they are crying out and no one is listening to their wails. Should we sit and do nothing, should we just sit and wait until the Nicaraguan government decides to fight another civil war or give us their AUTONOMY or AUTO-NO-ME. How long should we wait? Should we wait for someone else or some outside organization? These organizations will not always do what is in the best interest for us. While we are waiting to celebrate Bluefields's hundredth birthday let us think about what we are really celebrating. This celebration should be one that allows the youths to express their views on social, economic, racial, cultural and identity issues. It is time we hear what is on the youths them minds.  It is time to hear a new sound. These old and tired politicians should allow the youths and give them an opportunity to voice their opinions. The theme of this celebration should be "forward evah backward nevah". Let us all move toward the one common goal we all want to see for our young Bluefields, PROGRESS.

We ask that our people strive not only in the pursuit of their individual ambitions, but, with a common heart and united spirit, for the public welfare.”  H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I


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