Rex Nettleford's time spent at Cornwall College

No. 68 Friday, March 19, 2010
 Ralston Milton 'Rex' Nettleford spent many of his formative years in Montego Bay where he attended Cornwall College.

    Horace G. Campbell, Ph.D, the director of the Africa Initiative of Syracuse University and Professor of African American Studies and Political Science, who presented a memorial lecture on the profession Monday March 15 at Cornwall College, discussed the influence of Nettleford's Montego Bay years.
    According to Camp­bell, it was in Montego Bay that the man who was to become an academic and cultural icon began the process of thought development which lead to his cultural awareness.
    In reference to Corn­wall College Nettleford, stated in his memoirs that he owed to this school "Everything, everything. I really grew up in that school. They had a serious motto: 'Learn or Leave Cram 01' Scram.' It was a progressive institution."
    "At Cornwall College, Nettleford was influenced by Norman Jack­son, Headmaster, the schools Drama Festival and also discovered social status as a black boy from the country," said Campbell.
    From Cornwall College, he won the Island Scholarship to the University College of the West Iridies (UCWI)
and later collected the Rhodes scholarship which led him to Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
    After winning the Jamaica Exhibition Scholarship 1957, Nettleford stated in his writings that "nobody expected me to apply for the Rho­des Scholarship." He went on to attend Ox­ford and to returned to Jamaica triumphantly.
    Campbell credited Nettleford with cultivating the Jamaican mind, developing cultural studies and maintaining a defiant stance against the legacies of racism. Nettleford, a vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies and Professor of Cultural Studies was also in favour of reparations for losses caused by colonialism, the lecturer said.

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