Bahamian history for kids by their peer

Seth Moxey’s YouTube series tells the story for children (adults can learn too)

Seth Moxey overheard his parents Rosel and Dr. Beverton Moxey speaking about Black Tuesday – that sparked a lot of questions for the preteen. His parents answered many of his queries, but he still wanted to know more.

“I could find thousands of videos online about American history and British history, but very few on Bahamian history. This made me think it would be good to make Bahamian history videos for kids my age. I chose videos because this way the information can be online for anyone anytime they need it. Also, I’ve always wanted a YouTube Channel,” said Seth.

The result is “The Road to Bahamian Independence: A Primary Student Perspective by Seth Moxey”.

The four-part series by the 11-year-old shows Seth interviewing Dr. Christopher Curry, professor at University of The Bahamas; Sir Arthur Foulkes, former governor general; Sean McWeeney, KC, former attorney general; and Sir Franklyn Wilson who was a member of Parliament at the time of Independence.

In his video series, Seth sets out the key events in Bahamian history leading to Independence, in date order, then separately focuses on the Burma Road Riots, Black Tuesday, Majority Rule Day and Independence Day.

“I love Bahamian history and I thought other Bahamian children would like to be exposed to and learn more about our rich history like I do,” he said.

His channel, “Bahamian History for Kids 242 with Seth Moxey”, went live in January, with two videos – the first, “What is Black Tuesday?” The second, “What Was The Burma Road Riots?” was uploaded the next day.

“It was an honor to be able to sit with the persons I interviewed. I thank former Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes, former Attorney General Sean McWeeney, professor Dr. Chris Curry and Sir Franklyn Wilson [who is also Seth’s grandfather] for allowing me to interview them. It was amazing hearing them tell the stories.”

The first two videos in his four-part series have gotten hundreds of views.

“I am excited and happy by the reaction to the videos. I was hoping for 100 views in the first week and actually there were 100 views in one day! Right now, there are over 500 views in total [over the first two videos]. That makes me think people are interested just like I am, so I don’t know … maybe I may do more at some point. For now, it is a four-part series.”

The third video on Majority Rule was uploaded on Tuesday, January 31.

His fourth video on Independence Day is to come.

“I think [the videos] are very important and I like being able to share them with others,” said Seth, who is head boy at Summit Academy, and who enjoys history and business topics.

Seth began working on the videos in early fall 2022.

His research had him perusing online sources, conducting interviews with family members and referencing the Department of Archives to decide which events he wanted to focus on and the images he would use.

Seth said he found research and filming exciting, with the knowledge that once he finished everything, the docuseries would be available, forever. He chose important events on the road to independence that were most important to him.

While he found all the topics exciting, he said if he was pressed to choose, that it would be between Black Tuesday (April 27, 1965, when Lynden Pindling delivered a speech at the House of Assembly, and in a dramatic turn of events, ended his speech by taking the Speaker’s mace, and in a dramatic power-to-the-people gesture, threw it out of a window onto the street) and the Burma Road Riots. (In June 1942, when construction began on what was locally known as “The Project,” British colonial officials announced that over 2,000 Bahamians would be employed to construct the bases. It originally proposed to pay Bahamian workers eight shillings per day, the equivalent of two United States dollars. Local colonial officials objected and convinced the company to pay four shillings per day. Meanwhile, white American workers who were imported to help build the bases were promised eight shillings. When the local workers heard that the Americans were being paid more for the same work, they protested. On June 1, 1942, thousands of Bahamian workers went to Bay Street via Burma Road in a march of solidarity. The men marched from the overwhelmingly Black Over-the-Hill neighborhood in the public square in front of government offices. British Colonial Attorney General Eric Hallinan came outside to address the workers from the steps of the colonial secretary’s office, hoping to calm the crowd. Instead, his words turned the demonstration into a riot. The workers headed down Bay Street in a furor, smashing windows of businesses and looting as they went along. For two days, the riots ensued and the city of Nassau was in a state of emergency. Five Black Bahamians were killed during the riots and over 30 white men were injured. One hundred and fourteen workers were arrested for their roles in the riots.)

“I enjoyed learning about how it was like when the rioters marched to downtown – and with Black Tuesday,” said Seth.

“I had a lot of questions like which window was the mace thrown out of? How did people know to be outside of Parliament when Sir Lynden was going to throw the mace outside? What happened to the mace after it fell? What happened to the hourglass? There was so much to know,” he said.

“I learned there was struggle that went into making a better Bahamas and I learned how much people care about our country and how many people want the country to be great and for it to strive for greatness.”

Lessons learned

He also said the lessons learnt making his videos aligned with the information he received at school.

“I learn a lot from school and I learned a lot in making the docuseries. I feel I get equal amounts of information from school and my series and when I put the information together, it makes knowing the history that much easier. It’s like a puzzle. I can put all the pieces together and the stories become clearer.

“I would say though that I got to ask some questions that I would not be able to learn in school. For example, I got to ask Sir Arthur [Foulkes] why he switched political parties. I think only he could answer that question because it is personal to him.

“I also learned that all your problems cannot be fixed overnight and some things take time to change or be fixed. For example, it took 25 years from Burma Road Riot in 1942 until majority rule was achieved in 1967.”

In making his videos, Seth said he at first hoped to speak to his peers, but that adults have said the videos have helped them as well.

“So, I think I am actually speaking to more of an audience than I first planned.”

The project was also important to him because he believes that people cannot understand their present if they do not know their past.

“I believe we have to know our past. This series helps us to do that,” said Seth.

As The Bahamas prepares to celebrate its 50th independence, and after having learned about the struggles his forefathers went through to get to this point, Seth said independence to him means that The Bahamas is a free nation and that Bahamians control ourselves.

“We have to work together to make sure we are a safe and educated country,” he said.

Seth’s video on Black Tuesday has already been used by a fourth-grade class at Gerald Cash Primary School as reinforcement to lessons learned during a school assembly.

Seth also has plans to create an Instagram page with all the photos from the videos. He was also contacted by a television station wanting to air his videos, which he said would be really cool, if it happens. And he said Summit Academy Principal Gillian Wilson has told him that she would share the videos with the social studies officer of the Ministry of Education.

Seth, the Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Foundation nominee for Summit Academy, was also honored to be named to represent his school in the prestigious awards program.

“My parents and I were told of my nomination after I started this project, so it has been an exciting time with lots to do,” said the youngster for whom education is important.

“Education teaches us how to read, write and problem solve. I would not be able to do things like my video series if I did not have at least some level of education. For example, I wouldn’t be able to read my questions or do cut scenes. Without problem solving skills, I wouldn’t be able to fix problems when they happen. Education is very important and it is important to go to school every day.”

Filming his cutaways for his video series he said was fun sometimes, and other times not so much, especially when he was asked to do one take multiple times, so that his editor could have options. But he said it was special for him to have been able to get his sisters Reagan and Sierra involved. They introduce the activity sheets for each video.

“Overall, the entire experience has been awesome,” he said.

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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