by Togo Ashanti
Lennox Honychurch has become quite the historian in the Caribbean. His first book was written in 1975 called “the Dominica story” He is a white man in Dominica from Scottish background. He is the grandson of Elma Napier who was born in Scotland . That’s a different story. Lennox was privileged enough to go back to Europe to further his studies. Many of the history books used in secondary education in Dominica is from the work of Honychurch . Looking back , it is a very Eurocentric view of our history . There is no surprise there , since the likes of Lennox role was to continue this idea of white supremacy. Thus, the reason why he was chosen to deliver it . His version of history in the Caribbean is white washed especially when it comes to that of the Kalinago people.
What many do not know is where Lennox got his information that made him popular. There was an old Catholic priest who served in the south of Dominica by the name of Father Proseman. He was the parish priest of Pointe Michel in the parish of Saint Luke. He had been on the island for a very long time and as a scholar done a lot of historical research. He ended up handing all his information to Lennox Honychurch. That is how Lennox Honychurch got his start . That’s called “ white privilege “ . He took it and ran with it. We do not know if Lennox has told that story in depth . But we do know is that his work is not from an Afro centric point of view.
In retrospect, as a young person in Dominica who used his textbooks, there was a feeling of inferiority as the likes of Drake and Morgan seemed like heroes . Honychurch was dishonest about these Europeans and their plundering . He never spoke about the criminality of the English Crown funding Hawkins slave ship. He never enlightened people about the bank of England started because of slavery now worth billions of dollars that came from solely works of slaves . So ,history is not about putting half of the story out and keeping the other side in the hidden drawer. Lennox Honychurch serves a greater agenda . His role was never that of unifier of the black Caribbean and the Kalinago . His agenda was for selfish growth and to perpetuate the so-called race agenda. Education of self is a powerful tool . Many in the Caribbean do not understand that concept. It is described as classism but when you peel off the layers back to slavery and colonialism there is a better picture in terms of what it really is. The likes of Honychurch comes from that old bourgeoisie Who treated the locals poorly. A bourgeoisie with a sense of superiority.
So here we are with a celebrated historian who got his start from the writings of an old Catholic priest. A man with his own agenda and not the upliftment of the people that came out of slavery or the Kalinago people who are the original people. Instead he tells Columbus tales of lies about the Arawak Indians. It’s time to take a closer look at this history of ours . We need to re- write it for what it really is. It is time that we dictate the truth. Even if Honychurch was born in Dominica in 1952 he does not understand the struggles of the Kalinago and that of the black people. These writings needs to be fact checked and corrected.
Lenox Honychurch has to start being honest with himself. His whitewashed history has led to the miseducation of too many of us !