Video: Colwyn Burchall Jr. Releases New Book

December 14, 2015

A new book by author Colwyn “Junior” Burchall aims to chronicle the amazing life story of Bermudian Pauulu Kamarakafego and his effect on the political landscape in Bermuda and around the world.

The book, titled, They Called Him ‘Roose’: Pauulu Kamarakafego and the Making of a Bermuda Revolutionary, is available now for $20 at  People’s Pharmacy, the Bookmart, and the Bermuda Bookstore.

Speaking to Bernews at a Bookmart book signing, Mr Burchall said, “In a nutshell, this was a story that was conspicuous by its absence from my experience in high school, in primary school. For somebody who was a global figure who was born here in Bermuda, I felt that it was almost criminal that I as a high school graduate had never even encountered his name.

Colwyn Junior Burchall Bermuda, December 12 2015-3

“I feel that this was an act of correction, if you will, that would allow future generations of Bermuda high schoolers and middle schoolers to be able to access the story of a man who was born in Bermuda, shaped in Bermuda and who had a global impact that is still being felt today.

“On and off I’ve been digging into the story of the man they call Roose for about 3, 4 years on and off because again, this is very much a labor of love. I felt that although it was a labor of love it still required the attention that somebody of his stature would really demand.

“I had to find the time in between home schooling and things like that and doing other work in Toronto to stitch together the story and make it something that I felt would be palatable to a young reader. The chapters were short. There were quite a few illustrations, not illustrations, but pictures in it.

“I also included a glossary, again, specifically targeting younger readers who may encounter some vocabulary that they may find challenging, but I think it definitely also encourages them to raise their literacy standard as well.

Speaking to the complexity of the story and the structure of the book, Mr Burchall said, “Chapter 1 is all about the sowing of seeds, what were the motivations that were seeded very early in his life, in his formative years?

“The second chapter is entitled “The Brown-Skinned Son at Home and Abroad.” He went over to Liberia, found his Kpelle relatives over there. Chief Kamara bestowed upon him the name, Pauulu Kamarakafego, which means the brown-skinned son of Chief Kamara. We, in that section, learn a lot more about his international work.

Pauulu Kamarakafego The Making of A Bermudian Revolutionary Bermuda Dec 6 2015

“Then the third section deals with black power on the rock and black power all over the world, so really going to his Pan-Africanist activism, the motivations for his activism.

“The fourth and final chapter is all about the reflections, it’s actually called that, “Reflections” and has one of his famous phrases. When he’s speaking he would say when asked, “How you doing, Roose,” he would answer, “I’m normal, I’m normal.”

“I interviewed some of his comrades, as well as some of his family members for that section and as well the relationship that he had with his caregivers, which I think was fascinating. Those were the 4 sections of the book.

Asked to speak on some of his other works done prior to this along with plans for the future, the author said, “I’ve also written about “Dane Lois: The People’s Advocate.” That came out in 2011.

“There’s also “Freedom’s Flames: Slavery in Bermuda and the True Story of Sally Bassett” because I think … I wrote that with the intention of really rubbishing the idea of Bermudian slavery being somehow magically benign.

“If it were so magically benign, why in 1761 would quite a large number of enslaved Africans here in Bermuda have conspired to kill every white man, white woman and white child in the Devil’s house? Why would that have happened, if this were a slave’s paradise? Maybe we didn’t appreciate how good it was here.

Colwyn Junior Burchall Bermuda, December 12 2015-2

“The other book is called “Look for Me in the Whirlwind,” a story of Marcus Garvey. I’m in the process of expanding that book and updating some of the illustrations. That will be coming out hopefully by the middle of next year.

“Coming up, we’re looking at possibly the story of the Black Beret Cadre. I’m playing with the idea of doing something on Dr. Barbara Ball, the white black belt judoka who made contact with the police at the Belco uprisings. I think there’s a story to be told there.

“This can be picked up, “They Call Him Roose” here at Brown & Co. It’s also available at the People’s Pharmacy and The Bermuda Bookstore.”

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Comments (3)

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  1. Way to go , Colwyn!! It is soooo nice to see black male positives included in the news!!!!

  2. Onion Juice says:

    Yes Natty, run de track.

  3. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Roose ,,,peace brother,,,,Colwyn ,,,,positive vibes,,,,,,keep ,,,,theSpirit Bro,,,the spirit never dies…!


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