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Woodie Blackman

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Subject: Methodism, History of Barbados, Blackman, Woodie, Sarah Ann Gill, Caribbean literature
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Woodie Blackman

F. W. Blackman
Born Francis Woodbine Blackman
(1922-09-21)21 September 1922
"Albany", Two Mile Hill, St. Michael, Barbados
Died 6 July 2010(2010-07-06) (aged 87)
St. George, Barbados
Occupation Author, Educator
Nationality Barbadian
Genres Religion


Francis Woodbine Blackman (21 September 1922 – 6 July 2010) was a Caribbean author, former secretary of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, a member of the Dalkeith Methodist Church, and a retired consultant of the Canadian Training Aid Programme.


Early life

His parents, James T. Blackman and his mother Etta (née Wiltshire), lived at "Albany", Two Mile Hill in St. Michael. He attended the Roebuck Moravian Boys’ School and then Harrison College which he left in 6B (sixth form) to go into teaching.[1]

He first held appointments as science teacher at Boys’ Foundation School, St. Vincent Grammar School and St. Kitts Grammar School. He was then appointed Principal of Montserrat Secondary School, and then returned to St. Kitts as Headmaster of the St. Kitts Grammar School.[1]

His cousins, Marjorie, Luther and Errol Wiltshire were as close as siblings. There are so many other names from this period of his life who played and continue to play parts in the family's lives. A very dear and precious part of his time then was eighteen years spent in St Kitts and Montserrat. He had been a local preacher since 1955 and was a Circuit Steward in the St. Kitts Methodist Church.[1]

He married Cynthia Inniss.[1]

The UWI years

He worked in the sugar industry in St Kitts until 1966. He then took the post of Secretary at College of Arts and Sciences of the University of the West Indies (UWI Cave Hill Campus, Barbados) in 1966, just three years after the establishment in Barbados of The College of Arts and Sciences at UWI and this was during the tenure of Principal, Sir Sidney Martin.[2] He worked in collaboration with resident tutors in the OECS territories to increase the flow of information on academic programmes from UWI to prospective students, arranged and facilitated visits of colleagues from the islands, gave public lectures, interviewed prospective candidates, and successfully sought to bring the University closer to its constituents.

Later years

Upon leaving the university, he spent time as director of the Barbados Advocate, and worked with Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). He started writing articles and letters for and to the newspaper and proceeded to add to the records of the Methodist Church through his documentation of much of the activity in Barbados and other parts of the Caribbean Circuit. He seemed to have a particular attraction to a Barbados National Heroine to be, a member of the Methodist Church, Sarah Ann Gill. He wrote a biography of Dame Nita Barrow and when he started waning was occupied with the records of one of working Barbados' leaders, Clennell Wickham.[1]

His funeral was held at the Bethel Methodist Church,[3] and he is buried at the family plot in the churchyard of St. Barnabas Anglican church in St. Barnabas Road, St. Michael, Barbados.


Blackman is best known as a writer for his work in the religious history genre and more particularly Methodist religion in Barbados. He authored the books Dame Nita: Caribbean Woman, World Citizen and Methodism: 200 Years in Barbados and a booklet on national heroine Ann Gill, revered for her defence of Methodism in Barbados in the early 19th century.


  • Wickham, John and Blackman, Francis, Punctuations in time: a collection of short stories and other essays (2004, 277 pp)
  • Blackman, Francis 'Woodie' John Wesley 300: pioneers, preachers and practitioners (Barbados: Dalkeith Methodist Church, 2003, 89 pp, ISBN 976-8080-61-2)
  • Blackman, Francis, National heroine of Barbados: Sarah Ann Gill (Barbados: Methodist Church, 1998, 27 pp)
  • Blackman, Woodie, "Obituary: Dame Nita Barrow" (England: The Independent, 22 December 1995)
  • Blackman, Francis 'Woodie', Dame Nita: Caribbean Woman, World Citizen, (Kingston, Jamaica: Ian Randle Publishers, 1995, 224 pp, ISBN 976-8100-56-7)
  • Blackman, Francis, Methodism: 200 Years in British Virgin Islands (British Virgin Islands: Methodist Church, 1989, 151 pp, ISBN 976-8001-36-4)
  • Blackman, Francis, Methodism, 200 years in Barbados (Barbados: Caribbean Contact, 1988, 160 pp)


  • Lambert, D., White Creole culture, politics and identity during the age of abolition (2005)
  • Donnelly, D., Retrieving charisms for the twenty-first century (1999) p. 114
  • Byfield, J., Gendering the African Diaspora: Women, Culture, and Historical (2010) p. 185
  • Oduyoye M. A., Introducing African women's theology (2001) p113
  • Brathwaite, J. A., Women and the law: a bibliographical survey of legal and... (1999) p. 178
  • O'Neal, E., From the field to the legislature: a history of women in the ... (2001) p. 61
  • Barriteau, E., Stronger, surer, bolder: Ruth Nita Barrow: social change and ... (2001) p. 214
  • Greenidge, M., Holetown, Barbados: settlement revisited and other accounts (2004)


See also

History of the Caribbean Caribbean literature

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