UPRISING: Morant Bay 1865 And Its Afterlives opens Saturday

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morant-bay-courthouse.jpgOn Saturday, the National Museum Jamaica, a Division of the Institute of Jamaica, an agency of the Ministry of Youth and Culture, opens its exhibition UPRISING: Morant Bay, 1865 and Its Afterlives

The exhibition explores the history of the events in St Thomas from the post-Emancipation period through the tragic events of October 1865. It will also examine the various implications of the uprising, especially for the history of Jamaica.

Using original artefacts, newspapers, contemporary artwork, social media and the remarkable images from Princeton University, visitors can come face to face with the historical persons and events that have shaped Jamaica today.

The launch will also include a lecture, The Significance of Morant Bay, by Dr Swithin Wilmot of the University of the West Indies (UWI). The launch starts at 1:00 pm. Visitors are encouraged to attend the museum's Saturday openings, at which entry is free from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

In the years following the Emancipation from slavery, a new class of ambitious black Jamaicans rose up to challenge the status quo and the colonial elite. This led almost inevitably to the Uprising in St Thomas in 1865, known as the Morant Bay Rebellion. The Uprising and its savage suppression were to rock the foundations of Jamaican society and cause international controversy.

Most of the leaders of the Uprising in Morant Bay were freehold farmers, shopkeepers/traders, school teachers, preachers and skilled tradesmen.

Black intellectuals and activists emerged from among a new black freeholding class. They read, listened, reflected, formulated and distributed ideas directly opposed to those of the plantocracy and colonial elite.

They were greatly feared by the plantocracy and its allies. They were also the social group who lost the most after the Uprising in Morant Bay.