Children head home from school in Granville. Granville is a highly textured community, a matriarchal society with a vibrant and rich African cultural tradition nestled

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4 Responses to “Towards A Granville Renaissance”

  1. Long Bench Avatar

    Hi – As a former Granvilllian, there is much that I might add to how the larger political and economic conditions have undermined, and destroyed, whatever institutions and community values that were being fostered there. But, that’s for another time.

    I do want to note one correction. The correct name of the church is Webster Memorial Baptist Church, unless it was renamed in the last three weeks since I last visited.


    O. Dave Allen, copious thanks for providing a portal on this rather interesting and historical community in St. James. I found the information regarding Granville extremely edifying and instructive. Hopefully, the residents of Granville will realize, at least some semblance of the rebirth, transformation or renaissance being promulgated by Granvillians such as yourself and other local activists in the medium term. Also, hoping that other communities will look at Granville and learn from Granville experiences in its attempt(s) and struggle(s) to break the intractable forces of marginalization, in its desire to create and develop a viable and functioning middle class, social intervention programs and of course the quest for investment opportunities for residents, institutions and the larger community. Nuff respect !!

  3. Richard G. Williams Avatar
    Richard G. Williams

    The church pictured in this article is indeed the Webster Memorial Baptist Church; not the Burchell [Memorial] Baptist Church near Sam Sharpe Square. My grandmother’s funeral service was held there a few years ago, and ironically, this article echoed the sentiments my mother gave in her reflections about my grandmother’s life. The author’s ‘slip of the fingers’ led me on an intriguing historical journey to the white abolitionist, the Reverends William Knibb and Thomas Burchell, who were acquitted of inciting the Christmas 1831 Slave Uprising, and Deacon Samuel Sharpe, hanged for such.

    On the steep ride up to Prospect for my grandma’s interment, I looked over the hillside and saw an incredibly beautiful view of the flowing land, lush forest, and natural bay. Who owns it: The Crown, descendants of plantation owners, or descendants of slaves? My mind’s eye saw a magnificent community better than Iron Shore or Beverly Hills. Having been a part of Granville, I bet many only see “bush and more bush.”

    The 19th Century generation fought long to end slavery by making it abundantly clear that we would “rather die on yonder gallows than live as a slave.” Then the 20th Century generation secured plots of land, many through back breaking work in constructing the Panama Canal and as migrant US and Canadian sugar cane farm workers. Unfortunately, the 21st Century “get rich quick” generation was not taught the value of a good education (that will never decay) and the importance of building a foundation through hard work. Also lost is the role of the church in fostering change as it did circa 1831.

  4. Mark Lee Avatar
    Mark Lee

    Thanks for your keen eyes and correction regarding the name of the church. We will make the correction.