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What Does It Take To Be A National Hero?

So I will just jump right in here and ask. "What does it take for one to get a National Hero status?"

Other than the obvious political red tape - and maybe a contractual agreement to give over your first born on arrival...

I have been pondering this question, over and over for weeks, since Edward Kamau Brathwatie's birthday this year. This man is highly recognized all over the region and internationally for his works, but unfortunately he doesn't seem to have a literal stamp with his face on it. (by the way why not?! re the stamp!)

Kamau is not even an laureate!

I idolize this man tremendously, and even though I have never met him face to face, I have met him in the books he has penned.

Then I started to look at other persons who have made an impact with their works as well, like Jackie Opel, musician and creator of Spouge!

Then there is the lack of female National Heroes! I mean currently there are ten national heroes - TEN! and there is only ONE WOMAN! Seriously?! As a female Bajan, that says a lot to me!

When are we going to realize that we are our own heroes? That it is ok to "like we self?"

So again I ask - how does one become an official National Hero of Barbados? What else must one do to be recognized by the people, that you became a revolutionary for?

I will also leave some of the awards and numerous works that Kamau Brathwaite has received below... you know.. just so we are clear!

Love you Kamau!

My National Hero!

Honours and Awards:

  • 1970: Cholmondeley Award

  • 1983: Guggenheim Fellowship

  • 1983: Fulbright Fellowship

  • 1987: Companion of Honour of Barbados (CHB)

  • 1994: Neustadt International Prize for Literature

  • 1999: Charity Randall Citation for Performance and Written Poetry from International Poetry Forum

  • 2002: Honorary doctorate, University of Sussex

  • 2006: Griffin Poetry Prize, International Winner

  • 2006: Gold Musgrave Medal for Literature from the Institute of Jamaica.

  • 2010: W. E. B. Du Bois Award

  • 2011: Casa de las Americas Premio

  • 2015: Frost Medal for Poetry (Poetry Society of America)

Edward Kamau Brathwaite Works:

  • Four Plays for Primary Schools (1964)

  • Odale's Choice (1967)

  • Rights of Passage (1967)

  • Masks (1968)

  • Islands (1969)

  • Folk Culture of the Slaves in Jamaica (1970)

  • The Development of Creole Society in Jamaica, 1770-1820 (1971)

  • The Arrivants (1973)

  • Contradictory Omens: Cultural Diversity and Integration in the Caribbean (1974)

  • Other Exiles (1975)

  • Days & Nights (1975)

  • Black + Blues (1976)

  • Mother Poem (1977)

  • Soweto (1979)

  • History of the Voice (1979)

  • Jamaica Poetry (1979)

  • Barbados Poetry (1979)

  • Sun Poem (1982)

  • Afternoon of the Status Crow (1982)

  • Gods of the Middle Passage (1982)

  • Third World Poems (1983)

  • History of the Voice: The Development of Nation Language in Anglophone Caribbean Poetry (1984)

  • Jah Music (1986)

  • X/Self (1987)

  • Sappho Sakyi's Meditations (1989)

  • Shar (1992)

  • Middle Passages (1992)

  • The Zea Mexican Diary: 7 September 1926 - 7 September 1986 (1993)

  • Trenchtown Rock (1993)

  • Barabajan Poems (1994)

  • Dream Stories (1994)

  • Words Need Love Too (2000)

  • Ancestors (2001)

  • Magical Realism (2002)

  • Golokwati (2002)

  • Born to Slow Horses (2005) (winner of the 2006 International Griffin Poetry Prize)

  • Limbo. As published in Oxford AQA GCSE English Anthology, 2005 and 2008

  • Elegguas (2010)

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