Our identity is such an integral part of who we are as individuals that we can take it for granted, without question. As a female of the primate species homo sapiens (wise man), I share the same identity with an estimated 3.905 billion female humans, representing 49.58 percent of the total human population on Planet Earth in 2021 (UN World Population Prospect 2019). The similarity of our identities end there. They are as diverse and complex as the technologically advanced societies we humans have created on Earth.
My identity was forged during a period of great geopolitical upheaval. The economic power of the British Empire had taken a direct hit during World War II, bringing my small world in then British Guiana under the control of the emergent dominance of the United States of America. Descendants of African slaves and indentured laborers from China, Madrid (Portugal), and India, we were inferior beings in the eyes of the dominant white male governing class. My skin color and social status as a member of the working-class became defining elements of my identity.
Following the birth of our independent nation of Guyana in 1966, we forged a new identity as a multiracial, multiethnic country of six peoples—African, Indian, Chinese, European, and Amerindian—united under the motto of “One People, One Nation, One Destiny.” Breaking free from old ways of being does not come easy. Just look at what is happening today to the members of our human family in Ukraine, a former Soviet Socialist Republic, as they seek to forge a new identity as a democratic nation, realigned to Western Europe.Continue reading