St Mary man walks to Kingston in 30lb chain - Wants Tacky to be named national hero

July 31, 2018
Black X at the Tacky Heritage site in St Mary.
Derrick 'Black X' Robinson with guinea hen weed at the Tacky Monument in Port Maria, St Mary, minutes before setting out for his annual 100-mile pilgrimage to Kingston and back in 2014.

Today, Derrick 'Black X' Robinson will set out on an almost 37-mile (59 kilometres) walk from the St Mary Parish Library to the Emancipation Park in New Kingston, with 30 pounds of chain around his neck.

The journey, which will take him approximately 13.5 hours to complete, will see him pass through places such as Bailey's Vale, Highgate and Esher, where slave rebellions would have taken place, then on to the Junction main road, en route to his destination.

"The significance about the attire is about the 30-pound chain round mi neck. It is a resemblance of the slavery chain, each time we would do something with a symbolic gesture," said Robinson, who some persons even refer to as 'Tacky'.

For an 11th straight year, he is going on this pilgrimage in a bid to get Tacky, who led the Easter Rebellion in 1760, recognised as national hero, sometimes opting to complete the travel barefooted.

"Mi walk barefoot fi the better part of eight years, when it reach like around Black History Month. Around this time when it is Emancipation, Heritage Month, wi usually go barefoot to keep the significance to remember the Tacky story," he told THE STAR.

Having walked to places such as Negril and Kingston without shoes, he said that four years ago he received several bruises to his feet.

"One a di time mi did haffi abort a walk because mi did barefoot and mi did haffi go real, real far, and some blister did come up. And instead of just mek it run its natural course, mi perform an emergency surgery and it stop mi," said the man, who sang with the Carib-Folk singers for several years.

But Robinson explained that his past injury did not influence his decision to don footwear this time around.

"We moving from rebellion to administration, so we go through the rebellion and the struggles of the rebellion. Now we up to portray the responsibility of administration because Tacky was about governance. So, as we begin to position wiself to support and address things in governance, we look di part," he said.

He added that he is 'super confident' that Tacky will be named the next national hero.

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