As global anti-racism protests sparked by the killing of American George Floyd coalesce around the toppling of white-supremacy monuments, Jamaica’s Culture Minister Olivia Grange has opened the door for discussion on removing statues of colonial-era icons from public spaces.
Professor Emerita Carolyn Cooper said that she understands why there has been a vigorous lobby for the removal of colonial-era statues from public spaces, but she believes that Jamaica needs to go beyond superficial challenges to imperialism.
Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter protests continued yesterday in England, with thousands of demonstrators converging and calling for the removal of the Cecil Rhodes statue from Oxford University.
A number of Jamaican influencers have joined several Oxford University student groups and organisations demanding the removal of the Rhodes statue.
“I am encouraged to see the renewed calls for the removal of Cecil Rhodes’ statue at Oriel College,” Kamille Adair-Morgan, Jamaica’s 2012 Rhodes Scholar and a past winner of the Winter Williams Prize at Oxford for International Economic Law, told The Gleaner.