Jamaica is populated by white persons, coloured persons, and black persons. All these are alike in a real sense native Jamaicans, and it may be said that the two last sections as well as the first, contain men and women as able and as well educated as Mrs. Jamet herself, and to whom her condescending patronage is as absurd as it is undesired. Each section of course, has its unworthy members, and for the present, especially as the great majority of the population falls in that section, the black people have the largest proportion of backward elements, but taking the right to lump them and all other Jamaicans as immoral and ignorant, and by imputation lazy, apathetic and helpless, is one of the strange ways that Mrs. Jamet has of showing that kindliness towards Jamaicans on which she insists, and of repaying their kindness to her. We have in Jamaica plenty of moral shortcomings, and a too large proportion of illegitimate births is one of these, but it may be added that a large number of such children spring, from unions, unsanctioned indeed by the marriage tie, but unions which are nevertheless in every thing else as close, faithful and abiding as are full sanctioned marriages. If also, the Illegitimate birthrate does run high, and it does, this is to a considerable extent because the population are free from certain practices by which the results of lust are better concealed in countries that show more bravely in statistics. Mrs. Jamet is quite right in suggesting that there is much lee-way to make up in Jamaica in striving after industrial prosperity. She is quite mistaken in representing us as being dead to this fact. Jamaica, industrially - as otherwise - is marching upward and onward, and the same problems that are being worked out elsewhere are, in their local variation being grappled with here by men and women, who both by information and ability, are many times better fitted for this service than is Mrs. Jamet, [with her hasty generalizations, and crude sprinkling of facts and statistics, correct or otherwise, men are alive to]
British rule in the West Indies has not[, as Mrs. Jamet would lead you to think,] done nothing but drowse and browse. The single fact that our Jamaica schools and colleges, primary and secondary, turn out students who, on entering America or Britain take good places, often front places, in the ranks of learning and action speaks of some of the British achievement. In what has been done a sure and splendid foundation has been laid for that industrial expansion and prosperity which is one of the immediate tasks of this and future generations. Black teachers serve in our schools, black doctors and lawyers practise their professions, black ministers fill our pulpits and are elected like their white brothers, to the chairmanship of their religious bodies. These islands know nothing of the lynch rope or the Jim-Crow car, and [as Mrs. Jamet is aware,] both our public customs and our laws forbid the exclusion from hotels of guests otherwise suitable, however much visitors from lands where such things must not be, object to this state of affairs. That prejudice has its place here is a fact, and in some respects it is a specially contemptible prejudice, but the language of such men as the late Professor Royce, Professor DuBois, and Bishop Smith of the A.M.E. Church, show how remarkably to the good we stand in this matter.
'. . . . we Jamaicans, black, white and brown, are quite able to look after our own affairs, under our own Government, and [that] the powers of evil and inertia existing here as they do elsewhere, are being met by other factors . . . .'