The Cross Rhodes Freedom Project – confronting the past to free the future – seeks to construct a more genuinely emancipated society with a new architecture of spirit and values based not just the ravages of the past but on the enduring triumphs of our heritage it can be viewed as two connected parts:-
Cross Rhodes: a historical documentary examining critically the people and values that we honor and celebrate in our public spaces, set in the context of recent international developments in this thematic area and;
The Freedom Project: an accompanying wave of activism intended to generate dialogue and action across the Region, to end the veneration and glorification of nefarious colonial icons, and ensure that local and regional heroes and heroines are properly honored and memorialized in our public spaces as part of a process to revitalize interest, in the Caribbean Civilizational Project started at independence.
The name of the project invites us to view ourselves as a people at a cross roads. To consider the current Caribbean historical moment with its persistent crime and violence and the attendant biased and deeply flawed criminal justice system, its racism and prejudice, its inequality and inequity, its inadequate and antiquated education and health care systems as, a critical juncture rooted in our historical experience which requires us to make some urgent and important choices.
The roads in the name is not spelt R O A D S but rather R H O D E S to make deliberate reference to the murderous narcissistic colonialist, Cecil John Rhodes. As a man who distinguished himself, by the violent subjugation and exploitation of the people of the southern cone of Africa and as one of the primary architects of apartheid he is, supremely qualified to play the role of metaphor for all the prominent colonial era icons strewn across the Region from George town to Kingston whose actions took them beyond the moral pale and beyond consideration for public veneration. These icons represent an unacceptably casual treatment of colonial violence and a monstrous distortion of history. They are not just emblematic of our current nexus of problems but are themselves, vectors of the colonial values which both, underpin them and, define the parameters in which we can act to address them. Together Cross Rhodes and the Freedom Project are envisioned to transcend this reality and to take us (the people of this Region) on a journey through dialogue and action (conscientizacao) to living a more liberating narrative of self. We may not be able to change history but we can change our relationship to it.