Only Bahamians can criticise other Bahamians, as many have found out, much to the peril of their social media accounts. Bahamian pride was a long hard road, walked, barefoot, by the ancestors. Only them that truly feels it, can know of the sharp rocks which impeded the path of national pride, for so long in the Islands. The good, the bad, the ugly, right and wrong, only the Bahamian figured that he and she had earned the right to critique the people and goings on, in the islands.
So when Mr. or Ms. Newly Arrived land on its shores, then begin to lambaste what they think they know about the Bahamas, well, that barefoot Bahamian national pride comes out, like lion roaring after its precious cub.
The very first moment Bahamians snared their newly sharpened nationalist teeth, displayed a collective new pride, was in 1968.
“People who just reach on Nassau soil, need to sit small until their number is called...” as the Bahamian saying about ‘knowing your place‘ goes.
Taking last in Bahamian speak means accepting the last hit, jibe, comment or blow; letting some insult go unanswered, or not responded to.
After 1967, after Bahamians, from every corner and hill, settlement and subdivision, suddenly found their political voice, at the voting booth, nobody was ‘taking the last.’ And, certainly no Bahamian, standing on Bahamian soil was taking last from a Martin Luther King wannabe, even if it was, MLK’s own brother, Rev. A. D. King.
It commented: Somone should advise the Rev. Dr A. D. King to keep his mouth shut when he is not sure of his facts. Black Americans have a curiously marked propensity for travelling outside the ghetto limits of the States and immediately painting civil rights difficulties where there is none.”
August 1968 – Rev. Alfred D. King’s Problems in the Aftermath of MLK’s Assassination
When Rev. Alfred Daniel King came to Nassau, in November 1968, it had been only 8 short months after his brother, Martin Luther King’s assassination. Alfred King had been invited by Rev. Dr. R. E. Cooper to make remarks at a citizens rally.
Few knew that the Rev Alfred King, in 1968, had been suffering from alcoholism and depression. The assassination of Martin Luther King, in April 1968, and the seemingly unfulfilled expectation that he would follow in his brother’s brilliant footsteps, had not come to pass. Alfred had lived in the shadow of his famous brother Martin.
In August 1968, three months before coming to the Bahamas, and four months after the assassination of MLK, Rev. Alfred King, was escorted off an Eastern Airlines flight, by the FBI, after making a offhand comment about highjacking.
King was given was some black coffee to help him collect himself and sent home.
(Daily News, New York, Friday, 02 August 1968)
NOVEMBER 1968 – Rev. Alfred D. King Comes To Nassau Talking About Rich and Poor People. Bahamians were angered. The Bahamas Wasn’t Taking Last
A. D. King prior to 1967, would have never been allowed to speak in the Bahamas. Under the previous United Bahamian Party (UBP) white-minority government, Rev. Alfred King, would not have been allowed to address a citizen’s rally shouting about rich and poor, or who eats and doesn’t in the Bahamas. It just wasn’t going to happen.
Alfred Daniel King was apparently woefully unaware of the political struggle that negro Bahamians had been fighting since the Emancipation of the slaves. Majority Rule had only just happened in January 1967. When A. D. King arrived to deliver his address, his comments went down like a lead balloon. Later, while back in Atlanta, he refused to apologise. King had expected rivers of gold to be running for blacks in Bahamas. He had expected progress and opportunity which the American negro, could scarcely dream about, in 1968.
Lynden Pindling, the new negro Premier of the Bahamas and his government were shocked at comments directed at them. King thought nothing had really been achieved, in the 18 months or so, by the new negro government. All this King had concluded just moments after landing in Nassau.
Premier Lynden Pindling was quick to distance himself from A. D. King, after the Reverend called the 1967 political victory for the Progressive Liberal Party, a hollow victory.
Bahamas Premier Lynden Pindling
1968 – KING EMBARRASSES BAHAMAS WITH POVERTY TALK
(The Miami News, Monday 4th November, 1968)