On Friday 24th January Year 8 students from Saltus Grammar School had the great privilege of working with Mrs Florenz Webbe-Maxwell and Mr Gerald and Mrs Izola (Cholomondeley) Harvey who were all members of the Progressive Group, the organization that led the theatre boycott in 1959.
Students are studying Mrs Webbe-Maxwell’s award-winning book, Girlcott, which follows the story of Desma Johnson, a black Bermudian girl whose 16th birthday happens to fall on the same day as the theatre boycott.
In a rich question and answer session, students were given the amazing opportunity to hear about what life was like as a black Bermudian in the 1950s and how important it is to stand up for change. Students discussed what it means to be a writer and made meaningful connections with the people who are at the heart of Bermudian culture and heritage.
Students in 8L said, ‘The class really enjoyed this opportunity. It was incredible to hear what Bermuda was like sixty years ago and how far we have come. It was truly inspiring. We learnt from this experience that we should never give up, always keep trying and always look ahead. It reminded us to have confidence in ourselves and stand up for what is right. We are very thankful to Mrs Maxwell-Webbe and Mr and Mrs Harvey for taking their time to visit us. As Desma’s placard reads in the novel, we repeat “Segregation you’ll drop dead when Girlcott comes with X,Y,Zed.”’
Mrs Harvey ended the experience with a deeply moving rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ to remind all to face adversity with courage and confidence.