Dividends Accruing to the Tribe



Batik: Woman and Man Harvesting: Anonymous African Ancestors: See post scriptum below.

Batik: Woman and Man Harvesting:


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Distribution of Dividends From a Distant Past: 1930s: From Jamaica Gleaner, July 22, 2015





Vestiges of Family Entrepreneurship


The patriarchal and more flamboyant male elements of the extended family have left evidence of some of their business ventures above, dating from the 1930s and the 1960s. Women of the families were sometimes left with the quiet task of compensating for the social misadventures and indiscretions of the males of the tribe.

The real and abiding dividends to the tribe are not the inadvertent accumulation of economic value over time of investments made in the past, but is, of course, the rich harvest of people who have lived within the nurturing embrace of our extended families and have transmitted human values to succeeding generations and thereby enriched the world by their presence.


A Gallery of Some Human Dividends

Accruing to the tribe from

Past investments




Post Scriptum: The Batik of the woman and man harvesting in the gallery above, although a somewhat clumsy, gratuitous and potentially patronizing attempt to state the obvious, is a necessary symbolic acknowledgement of the richness of our genetic heritage. Genealogical research has confirmed with some precision the particular European parts of our heritage, but the African parts remain locked into the cruel anonymity of the slave trade. Unfortunately empty symbolic gestures must suffice.

3 thoughts on “Dividends Accruing to the Tribe

    • Yes indeed Michael. The first of the documents makes reference to my father, Gaston Girvan and the second was issued to me by my uncle John Thom McKinley Girvan. The dividends are more symbolic than real. They have no real, tangible financial value. Nice to hear from you. Best wishes to you and the Henry family.
      Garry G.

  1. Here’s to the kids of dividends that count! Having recently finished my doctoral degree and having the blessing of a visiting faculty position at Bucknell University, I have been humbly reminded of the “Dr. Girvan,” whose reputation as an engaged intellectual and social justice advocate is far-reaching. I was asked by Dr. Linden Lewis — the Caribbean-American scholar and Dean of Social Sciences at Bucknell — whether I was related to ‘the’ Norman Girvan. Norman’s work and generosity had evidently had an impact on this fellow scholar-activist. Uncle Norman, thank you for your demonstration that scholarly work needs to be engaged with transforming the real world. These dividends of valuing and working towards fair and just relations in the world have also come from my parents, Deanne and Garry and my Aunt June, all positive change agents in their own right.

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