Road renamed to honour Chief Tacky
Local advocate Derrick 'Black X' Robinson said that Monday's renaming of Rectory Street in Port Maria, St Mary, to Chief Takyi Street is a stepping stone for him to get the Government to bestow the nation's highest honour to the famed chief.
"It's a fantastic feeling, trust me. His Worship the Mayor had previous conversations with me about his intention to put it to the council for a vote. He said he wanted to show that the entire St Mary was in support of the effort for Chief Tacky [Takyi was the original spelling] to be declared a national hero of Jamaica. This move for me is a very good start and I am very happy," Black X told THE STAR.
On Monday, Port Maria's Mayor Richard Creary and others unveiled the name, stating that the residents believe that the rebellion is deserving of the honour.
"We in St Mary are of the belief that he is deserving of it. I thought about it and I said we should name a street in the capital after Tacky and because Fort Haldane is just up the road, this to me was the most fitting street because he would have walked here to get to Fort Haldane to get to bear arms to carry out the revolt," Creary said. Fort Haldane was named after General George Haldane, former governor of Jamaica. The fort was constructed to protect the harbour of Port Maria from Spanish raids.
For over a decade, Black X has been walking barefooted on a mission to have Chief Tacky named a national hero. Chief Tacky was born into the Fante ethnic group in the Gold Coast of Africa. He was a high-ranking chieftain, who, at some point, lost a war with another state, resulting in him being sold into slavery under the British.
While he was enslaved in Jamaica, Chief Tacky rose to the position of overseer on a plantation. It was from there that he planned his rebellion in 1760, with the aid of many other rebels. His plan was to defeat the British and all slave masters and make Jamaica a separate and independent black colony.
Black X, who recently lost his voice box to cancer, said his dream is happening a lot earlier than he expected.
"It has been 15 years since I have been doing these walks as a moral spectacle to market and promote Chief Tacky with the intentions to get his name on the lips of every Jamaican at home and abroad," he said. Black X also called for re-examination of the rebellion.
"Once we all look at it in a different mindset, then I am sure there would be no doubt that the chief deserves to be a national hero. I really thought that his recognition would have taken about 30 years but it is happening in about half of that time," he said. In the meantime, Black X said he is taking the advocacy to an international level .
"On the table now is an invitation from officials in Ghana for us to visit the country this November 22. They are thinking about a museum and statue ... among other great things. I am very excited," he said.