Stories about Jamaica from August, 2006
Jamaica: White martyrs, Black savages
Having watched the trailer for a newly released film set in Uganda, Jamaican novelist Marlon James announces that he's sick and tired of “stories of a white man trapped in black (and sometimes yellow) hell where in the midst of all this inhumanity he discovers what it means to be...
Jamaica: In-house terrorist
A Jamaica-born Muslim cleric who has been convicted in the UK for incitement to murder is about to be deported back to his homeland. “As if our gun-toting criminals aren't enough, now we have to worry about terrorist threats because we'll have our own soon to arrive, fresh from England,...
Mikaila discusses the ins and outs of dating in Jamaica: “I have stories that could be episodes of Sex and the City. There are so many more women here than men. Dating anywhere is difficult. Last week I watched a special Dateline on AIDS in African American communities and was...
“The term “intuitives”, used to describe those artists without formal training and often inspired by religious movements like Rastafarianism or Revivalism, has decisively entered the art history lexicon of the Caribbean, even as some critics debate the political, historical, and even economic consequences of the label,” writes Nicholas Laughlin, linking...
Jamaica: Better policing
Gela relates an incident which paints the Jamaican police in a less than glowing light: “The police is one of the public sector groups who are currently agitating for more pay. I have no quarrel with that, but can we the taxpayers who are funding the salaries see some good...
Caribbean: Exporting Carnival
“. . . it's interesting how these festivals have echoed, in a small way, the evolution of their original model in Trinidad, as a vehicle of solidarity, an assertion of identity, a gesture of defiance in a hostile environment,” says Jeremy Taylor, writing about the Carnivals “exported” by the Caribbean...
Jamaica, UK: Linton Kwesi Johnson
Geoffrey Philp extends birthday greetings to Britain-based Jamaican dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson: “He became only the second living poet to be published in the Penguin Classics series. His poetry involves the recitation of his own verse in Jamaican Creole over dub-reggae, usually written in collaboration with renowned British reggae...
Jamaica, Germany: Marlon James on Grass
Jamaican novelist Marlon James offers his two cents’ on German novelist Günter Grass's recent admission that he was once a member of the Waffen SS: “I would think that a man who was in the elite SS going on to become the very conscience of his nation, would speak to...
Jamaica: Attending the AIDS conference
Jamaican journalist Natalis Campbell reflects on the experience of attending the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto.
Jamaica, USA: Harry Belafonte
Jeremy Taylor considers the career of Harry Belafonte in relation to the latter's Caribbean roots and political activism: “. . . people should be judged for what they are, rather than what they are not. In his own way, Belafonte identified with the Caribbean from early on. . . ....
Geoffrey Philp calls the Rastafarian practise of renaming “a bold creative act and a model for freedom”.
Caribbean: Languages spoken here
Island Tips posts a list — by island — of the languages spoken in the Caribbean.
Caribbean: Brooklyn Labor Day Carnival
Carib World Radio releases a podcast of a panel discussion on the Labor Day Carnival in Brooklyn, New York, and its benefits to the Caribbean community.
Walk good, Miss Lou
On 26 July, Jamaicans were shocked by news of the death, at age 86, of Louise Bennett-Coverly, better known as Miss Lou, the beloved poet and actor who entertained three generations of Jamaicans and played a groundbreaking role in legitimising “Jamaica talk”, the distinctive dialect of most Jamaicans, which had...
Jamaica: Happy birthday, Roger Mais
On August 11, Geoffrey Philp sends birthday wishes to Jamaican writer Roger Mais, whose novel Brother Man, “opened the door for me to write about Rastafari and reggae.”
Jamaica: Terrorists or lost boys?
Watching the a newscast about the foiled bomb plot and the relative youth of the plotters, Jamaican writer Marlon James asks: “could it be that the one thing we all have in common is that we are screwing up our boys?”
Caribbean: Colonial artifacts
Jeremy Taylor ponders the appropriate uses of colonial forms and artifacts in the Caribbean context.
Jamaica: Corporal punishment & crime
Francis Wade wonders if the widespread acceptance and practise of corporal punishment in Jamaica might be linked to the country's high crime rate.
Martinique: Homophobia and Tourism
Le Blog de [Moi] disagrees (Fr) with local LGBT association An Nou Alle that Martiniquan homophobia explains a recent lag in its tourism industry but agrees with them that certain local dancehall artists –Krys in particular– are going too far with their homophobic lyrics. She points our that Jamaica has...
Jamaica, USA: Independence jam
Nyasha Lang attends an event celebrating the 44th anniversary of Jamaica's independence: “The vibe was somewhere between a Negril dance hall and an open air roots reggae show, folks wearing white flowing garb bordered with red, green and yellow. Nuff dub poets and singers in the crowd.”
Jamaica: Happy Birthday!
On the anniversary of Jamaica's independence, Gela writes her native land a Happy Birthday letter: “Can't believe you're now 44! Wow! For a tiny island, you've made some serious strides boy (or are you a girl? hmm, I wonder).”