Indomitable warrior for civil rights and racial justice

  • Dawn Simmons is the chairwoman of the Progressive Labour Party

    Dawn Simmons is the chairwoman of the Progressive Labour Party

The officers and members of the Progressive Labour Party are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of one of Bermuda’s most prolific warriors in the fight for civil rights and racial equality, the indomitable Eva Naomi Hodgson, PhD, OBE.

Dr Hodgson was a fierce advocate for racial equality in Bermuda. She was also a fierce critic of organisations and governments that she felt did not do enough to advance the cause of racial equality. This advocacy often resulted in her being targeted for being too “racial”, or too controversial. However, in 2020, locally and globally, we still see evidence of the racial scourge to which she often spoke. The officers and members of the PLP remain committed to equality and ensuring that race is not a barrier to success in Bermuda.

As an educator and author, she took the opportunity to tell the stories of racial inequality in Bermuda and educate her readers.

Dr Hodgson was educated at the Queen’s University, where she received her undergraduate degree, and then subsequently received her Diploma in Education and honours degree in geography from London University.

She taught at the Berkeley Institute and was the first president of the Amalgamated Bermuda Union of Teachers. Dr Hodgson also studied at Columbia University, where she received two master’s degrees, and then her PhD in African History and Black American History.

Dr Hodgson was the author of the acclaimed book Second Class Citizens, First Class Men, which spoke to the political and social conditions in Bermuda in the 1950s and 1960s. Dr Hodgson’s advocacy to address racial problems motivated the United Bermuda Party Government to establish the Commission for Unity and Racial Equality in the early 1990s; it would be merged with the Human Rights Commission in 2010.

While Dr Hodgson achieved much, it is clear she also sacrificed much by being an outspoken critic and campaigner for racial and social equality. It would have been much easier for her had she complied with the status quo, but that’s not what warriors do.

We celebrate the contributions that the venerable Eva Hodgson made to our island home, and we celebrate her life and all she gave to Bermuda.

We join her family in mourning her loss and we send our deepest condolences to her family and friends.

Sleep in peace, Dr Hodgson.

Dawn Simmons is the chairwoman of the Progressive Labour Party

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Published Jun 1, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jun 1, 2020 at 7:43 am)

Indomitable warrior for civil rights and racial justice

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