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War Dung a Monkland! Symposium to Commemorate 150th Anniversary of Morant Bay Rebellion

ACIJ Marks the 150th anniversary of the bloody Morant Bay Rebellion

This October will make 150 years since the blood-soaked Morant Bay Rebellion, which resulted in the slaughter of almost 800 black Jamaicans, of whom over 300 were executed. To mark the important anniversary, the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank (ACIJ/JMB) will be collaborating with its parent institution, the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), to host the symposium ‘War Dung a Monkland!’: The Morant Bay Rebellion and It’s Aftermath.

‘War Dung a Monkland’ will explore the events surrounding the rebellion, conditions in the island which spurred the revolt and the resulting socio-economic transitions. The panel will include Dr. Clinton Hutton, Senior Lecturer, Department of Government, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona; Dr. Swithin Wilmot, Senior Lecturer, Department of History and Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities and Education, UWI, Mona; and Mrs. Marcella Grizzle, Research Officer, ACIJ/JMB. 

Dr. Hutton will explore the Morant Bay rebellion’s historic significance and its impact on Jamaica’s social, cultural and political evolution. Dr. Hutton will also examine the pervading issues such as respect, identity and freedom which triggered the rebellion.

Dr. Wilmot will discuss the rebellion in the larger context of the experience in Jamaica after emancipation in 1838 while Mrs. Grizzle will examine the role of the Native Baptists in sowing the seeds of the October 1865 uprising.

Commenting on the significance of hosting a symposium at this time, Director of the ACIJ/JMB, Bernard Jankee, noted that the symposium is an expansion of a seminar series - a longstanding part of the activities of the ACIJ/JMB - which exposes the work of the division’s research staff as well as others engaged in similar endeavours.

“We have been having seminars and symposia for a long time now, but the upcoming one will be special, as it will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica,” said Bernard Jankee, explaining that it will be an important reminder of, as well as a way to learn more about, the historic event which not only led to the deaths of Paul Bogle and George William Gordon, but also to the introduction of institutions which shaped the nation.

“The public will be informed on the uprising itself and the far-reaching initiatives introduced by Governor Sir John Peter Grant following the rebellion, such as Crown Colony rule and the establishment of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, to name a few. Also, for those who already know, the symposium will be a reminder of these very important aspects of our history,” Jankee said.

The ‘War Dung a Monkland!’ symposium will be held at the IOJ Lecture Hall on October 29, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 pm.