Stories about Jamaica from July, 2009
Concerned about plans by private owners to develop Pellew Island, Snailwriter has a plan: “The Tainos ‘owned’ Jamaica until the men in Columbus’s ships took it…I figure I have as much right to do some capturing as anyone. So I’m gonna invade Pellew Island…I know my invasion will be symbolic...
Girl With a Purpose reports on five Jamaican track and field athletes “who have been found with traces of a banned substance in their urine.”
More on what makes a writer, from Jamaican litblogger Geoffrey Philp.
As the Jamaican government introduces a child pornography bill, Jamaica Salt makes it clear that the blame for the rise in child abuse on the island cannot be laid squarely at the door of dancehall music.
Caribbean bloggers are still abuzz about the Henry Gates arrest: Jamaican diaspora blogger Pamela Mordecai, 21 Square and Catch a fire from Bermuda and Weblog Bahamas.
Repeating Islands acknowledges the passing of 97-year-old Gladys Bustamante, “the widow of Jamaica’s first prime minister and a fierce supporter of women’s and workers’ rights.”
“This year’s Reggae Sumfest was all about Tributes to Michael”: From Jamaica, The Phoenix in a Gas House reports.
Repeating Islands remembers the life and career of Jamaica's Mento master, Theodore “T” Miller: “Mento is a style of Jamaican folk music that draws heavily on musical traditions brought to the island by African slaves…his loss, as the Gleaner recently reported, ‘represents a great loss to Jamaica’s cultural heritage’.”
Jamaican litblogger Geoffrey Philp considers the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. from a father's perspective: “I want my son to be a man who has enough self confidence to think that he can overcome any obstacle and that he will not permit any kind...
Signifyin’ Guyana, Jamaican Geoffrey Philp and Bahamian Nicolette Bethel all comment on the arrest of (and subsequent dropping of charges against) Harvard professor and black American scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
AfriClassical notes that famed Afro-Cuban composer Leo Brouwer has received his country's 2009 National Film Award, while Repeating Islands discovers that the musical based on Jamaican Perry Henzell’s 1972 film The Harder They Come will soon open in Canada.
As “word on the street has it that the Jamaican Security Forces have created a ‘Don Squad'”, Annie Paul interviews the man behind the film The Last Don, “about the process of making this comic documentary and his own history as a film-maker and photographer.”
Today, the Jamaican government will announce whether it is taking the International Monetary Fund up on its offer of financial aid – guest blogging at Bajan Dream Diary, Leesha Delatie-Budair says: “Basically, we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.”
Girl With a Purpose and Repeating Islands report that Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest is being pegged as a “salute to Michael Jackson” this year – and the Jackson brothers are scheduled to perform.
Jamaican litblogger Geoffrey Philp reports that “LIVEHOPELOVE.COM, a website about living with AIDS in Jamaica, has been nominated in the United States for a prestigious Emmy award.”
Francis Wade agrees that “the country you leave is not the country you return to”, advocating instead that returning Jamaicans come home “with a flexible, open mind that is willing to enter into an entirely new experience.”
From Jamaica, Girl With a Purpose thinks that the conflict between the West Indies Players Association and the West Indies Cricket Board “needs to go to arbitration…the West Indian public needs to know the truth behind this current impasse.”
“The idea that we are in CARICOM and a one size fits all is not possible. What is suitable for Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica might not be necessarily so for Barbados”: Barbados Underground suggests that one nation's approach to tackling crime may not be necessarily right for another.
Annie Paul reviews Kingston on the Edge 2009 – Jamaica's up-and-coming urban art festival.
On the heels of a less-than-flattering U.K. documentary on Jamaica, Abeng News Magazine publishes one reader's view “that the Government…consider a few simple precautions before granting foreign nationals the tools needed to damage our fair land”, while including this caveat: “We do not support encumberment of media workers.”
In the context of the West Indies Cricket Team's strike, Jamaica's Girl With a Purpose humbly suggests that “the West Indies Cricket Board needs to include at least three women, who are prudent, business and financially savvy, with guts, and who can get things done.”