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The Burma Road Riot

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Submitted By dennicea
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1a Write a detailed account of the Burma Road Riot. The multitude of laborers, supported by women and children from black over-the-hill community. They gathered and came together on the outer government buildings at the public square. The attorney General Eric Hallinan directed the workers from the steps of the colonial secretary’s office hoping to calm them down. Mr Hallinan informed them to be aware of what they were doing and not to ruin a good thought. While there were mentions about the laborers throwing sticks in a pile, they left when they heard about that. The majority of the mass of people became even angrier. Mr. Christie, Captain Sears and many others tried to assure that the angry people went home. In the end a crowd of men ruined the head of the group, they were done with listening to what they had to say, “Talk is cheap” is what they said. They started going down Bay Street damaging as they walked through. Finally, the multitude of men started to damage the main assemblage, worn out hearing them complain about what the though was “cheap talk”. As they continued you down Bay Street they continuing damaging anywhere as they past. The riot had many reasons towards it, but the underlying cause was the racial tension. A series of severe discrimination is what the black Bahamians went through. Blacks were banned from restaurants, movie houses, hotels and only allowed in some churches through the back door. There were also some uneducated children because black children weren’t allowed in some schools. Those being unable to go to schools were causing them not to have jobs and also to interact with other people accordingly. During the riot due to the fact that some blacks were uneducated they rebelled and even started to commit crimes and other serious offences. Not being able to enter those places made them upset as well and would have made them more angry and start to do wrong. A wage dispute was another factor that led to the riot. Blacks and white Americans did the same job which was truck driving. The black’s workers got paid 50 ¢ less than white Americans. After this had happened there was a chaotic situation in the streets on Nassau. Thousands of men over raged men starting coming “over the hill”. They mumbled regrets and gathered on Bay Street damaging windows and looting stores of the merchants regarded as the authors of the “double cross”. In this rampage there was a case of 2 deaths and 25 injuries, this happened and they raised the pay equally for all workers. World War II was also an impact; men who went into war about 700 of them were Bahamian solders. Bahamians came into contact with solders from the Dominion and England were presented to Egalitarian and social ideas. The war made an impact were a Bahamian solder by the name of Sargent Demerit lost both of his legs in the war. He also had a great position in the race riot in Liverpool. He was the leader but not for long because it all ended when the troops went home. This shows that Bahamians were not selfish and inconsiderate. Unemployment was also a factor because of the effect it had on people especially black workers. There were lack of jobs and people not having a good education made it impossible to find jobs. Wage dispute, were there was many difficulties with payment and a chaos had struck the streets and made a couple of deaths and a few injuries. They started damaging businesses’, homes, schools and many other buildings as they passed during the riot at that time. This made some people unable to work and causing them to maybe lose their jobs. The losing of many jobs not only change the people but it also eventually changed the government. They decided to raise payments a few weeks later.

The fact that there was no kind of identification that a man by the name of Marcus Garvey had affected Bahamians in a positive way, this was Garveyism. Mr. Garvey visited the Bahamas in 1919-1921; he came to teach black Bahamians about them started political parties. He also encouraged them to feel some kind of racial respect. This was the growth of negritude which had more on an impact in the US than in the Caribbean. This happened and made many changes Bahamians started to be less angry and realized that making a change for themselves will all be worth it. Thus making political parties to establish later on in the years and this was a major change. The last factor that led to the Burma Road riot was the West Indian influence. This type of influence caused a questioning of the social system in The Bahamas. The end of the 19t h century and the early 20th century, hundreds of them migrated. They came into The Bahamas as policemen and skilled artisans, some opened up the hotel colonial. They had more knowledge than Bahamians, some of them articulated their unhappiness. This was also a reason for the rebelling because Bahamians felt as if they were better than or were capable of having a better life. This made many Bahamians start to damage and destroy the place we call home. In conclusion The Burma Road Riot was an historical time in The Bahamas. We were faced with many difficulties in this riot. Unemployment, The West Indian influence and wage dispute were some factors I believe that many Bahamians struggled with. Do to the fact that there were no jobs and also a payment problem made it even challenging to deal. The West Indian influence I believe was the hardest to deal with, because of the others came and made a living in the place were Bahamians called home. But in this all of this happening today we has Bahamians must learn from our past, to appreciate the things we have today and to embrace our future.

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