It has come from General Secretary of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration (CMPI) David Denny, who contends that the accomplishments of trade unionist Israel Lovell and senior slave Nanny Grigg, who assisted in the 1816 rebellion, have not been adequately recognized.
Reiterating his 2012 position at the CMPI’s Labour Day programme at Golden Square, The City, this morning, Denny lamented the fact that his calls for the pair’s induction as heroes, continue to be ignored.
“I really don’t see any reason why Israel Lovell and Nanny Grigg should not be national heroes. I am not criticizing the other names which others have suggested, but all I am saying is that it is about time for these two to be properly recognized,” he said.
“When you get to know more about Israel Lovell, you would find out he was that trade union leader and follower of Marcus Garvey, who would have led most of the working class struggles and who would have held most of his public meetings right here at this square [Golden Square]. So Clement Payne and Israel Lovell and others used this square as the area to mobilize and organize the working class in the 1937 period,” noted the social activist.
While the historical annals do not greatly detail the exploits of Nanny Grigg, she was said to be one of the senior slaves who helped to plan the Bussa Rebellion of 1816, which earned its main architect, Bussa, the distinction of national hero.
Israel Lovell on the other hand was best known for his active participation in the social revolution of 1937. He was credited as one of the leaders of the struggle, which created the conditions for others to participate.
Back in 2014, Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley said the list of National Heroes was by no means “exhaustive”. At the time Lashley was addressing the launch of the Season of Emancipation when he revealed that he had heard the calls “in between” that the list, which now stands at ten should be expanded, but there was no clamour for it.
“We will listen to those calls and evolve a structured framework upon which, perhaps, that can be looked at and discussed . . . We should always feel as a nation, that we’ll always have new heroes. I don’t believe that the list of National Heroes is a closed list,” Lashley had said.