Sir Arthur on Censorship

On Bahama Pundit, Sir Arthur Foulkes writes about censorship.The most interesting bit is the part about the sweeping social change that took place the last time an arbitrary decision of this kind -- an arbitrary decision that challenged the democratic principles of The Bahamas (or of the free world) -- was made.In his words:

A half century ago – in December 1950, to be exact – the arbitrary banning of a movie by the Censorship Board caused an uproar in the Colony of the Bahama Islands and unleashed a chain of events that helped to change the social and political history of the country. The movie, No Way Out, was about racism in America and featured black Bahamian actor Sidney Poitier in his first major role. It was a performance that launched the brilliant career of the 22-year-old from Cat Island.[...]The local Censorship Board, the white owners of the leading movie houses and the political establishment known as the Bay Street Boys regarded No Way Out as a dangerously inflammatory movie for a society in which blacks were routinely discriminated against socially, economically and politically. So even if black Bahamians desperately wanted to see their boy Sidney in an important role on the silver screen, the Bay Street Boys decided they could not risk showing a black actor in such a performance, particularly one dealing with strong racial themes. That was a mistake.The protest spread and a group of black Bahamians including Dr. Cleveland Eneas, Maxwell Thompson and Kendal Isaacs started an organization to campaign not only for a reversal of the ban but for social and political reform in the colony. The Citizens Committee achieved its immediate objective and the movie was finally shown. Although it never became a full-fledged national political party the Committee is regarded as the forerunner of the Progressive Liberal Party which was established three years later.Six years later discrimination against blacks in public places – hotels, restaurants, movie theatres – came to an end when Sir Etienne Dupuch moved his antidiscrimination resolution in the House of Assembly. Then in 1967 the Bahamas got its first government reflecting the black majority.