My Sincere Tribute to Professor Bernard Headley – May He Rest Peacefully

Primary tabs

Just eleven days ago, I posted the second part of Professor Bernard Headley’s article about family and migration – written against the background of the “Windrush scandal” in the UK. He was very happy to see both pieces published; we had been communicating via email over the last few weeks about it.
Then, on Friday afternoon, I learned (via Twitter) that Professor Headley had passed away in his hometown of Mandeville (where he attended high school and junior college at West Indies College, now Northern Caribbean University).
My heart jumped and then sank. Could this really be true? I knew that he had been ailing for some time; but I also knew he did not want to talk about it. He was just very focused on the things he cared deeply about and needed to think and write about. Family history was clearly on his mind, of late; and, as always, the struggle for identity and dignity of the Jamaican people. In particular, Professor Headley concerned himself with the plight of deportees – mostly Jamaican men, who get off the plane at Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport, trying to keep their heads held high.