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Samuel Haynes: “Only white folks can make Negroes hate them…”

LettersSamuel Haynes: “Only white folks can make Negroes hate them…”

Dear Editor:

I read with interest “103 Years since 1919—The Revolution that was never televised” by Khaila Gentle (Amandala, July 22, 2022) about the 1919 riot in Belize City.  Samuel Haynes’ account of his role in establishing order is enhanced by British Honduras Governor Eyre Huston. On May 10, 1920, Huston wrote a lengthy dispatch to Viscount Milner of the Colonial Office in London about the local chapter of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, of which Haynes was an officer.

“The local General Secretary is Mr. S. A. Haynes, the returned member of the British Honduras Contingent whose conduct during the riot was commended in Your Lordship’s dispatch on that subject. I have endeavoured to befriend the man and have given him temporary employment in the Public Service as a Relieving Clerk. He is, I fear, a troublesome agitator….He recently sent me a petition asking me to release from prison the members of the British Honduras Contingents who were convicted for riot.”

Forty men were arraigned for the riot, of which thirty-one were convicted and received sentences of six months to six years imprisonment and hard labor. Twelve of the men were veterans and the subject of the Haynes appeal.

Haynes was later mentioned in an unfriendly editorial in the Pittsburgh Courier, which called Haynes a “lampblacked klansman” preaching an absurd doctrine of racial fanatical racialism and hatred of white people.

Haynes responded that the charge was false and untrue. “In July 1919, I saved a number of white men—British, Scot, Irish, German and American—from probably wholesale massacre at the hands of an infuriated contingent of returned soldiers in a British colony, receiving the commendation of the Secretary of State for the Colonies in a special dispatch to the Governor of the Colony for my restraining influence.”

“No one need waste his time preaching to Negroes to hate white folks. Only white folks can make Negroes hate them.”

(sources: Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. XII, p. 51-58; Negro World, August 13, 1927, p. 4 & 10)

Michael Richardson


Christo Rey, Cayo

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