26 May 2010

School Bwoy

The words of another talented Sister are written to shed light on Jamaica's current state of affairs. The words of Marsha M...

Clasp your hands and close your eyes!
Says Teacher, to which they comply

Little boys in khaki uniforms stand in assembly
Before God and all mankind

Little boys in khaki uniforms become big boys who have lost their way

Little boys in khaki uniforms become big boys who rub out their hand middles smoking the good green that Jah supply, delirious on a corner. One spliff leads to another

Little boys in khaki uniforms become big boys who have children and abandon them causing a generation of confused, maladjusted, tight pants wearing, bejeweled scarf wearing, unemployed gangsters who are desperately trying to find Daadi

Little boys in khaki uniforms become big boys who get deported and become area leaders who rule by the gun in an attempt to get some respect after years of being neglected and overlooked, who have no mercy because where was mercy when they needed it?

Little boys in khaki uniforms go to Parliament and live the life-exotic holidays, criss cars, immunity from the law, homes that rival any Hollywood celebrity, and a pretty Brown ting of good breeding.

Little boys in khaki uniforms readily become a Klansman, a One order, a Stone Crusher, a soldier of the garrison shooting for what??? They don't know

Little boys in khaki uniforms become big boys who are sensible enough to weave puns and sing tunes that demean women, and glorify the gun then deflect responsibility for the subsequent breakdown in society among youth because as far as they are concerned "him haffi eat a food"

Little boys in khaki uniforms forget Sharpe, Tacky, Bogle, Garvey and fall victim to the number that slavery did on us causing increased sales in Fair and White Skin Cream and Isoplus Hair Relaxer

Little boys in Khaki uniforms become the leader of our nation and allow himself to get into bed with all kinds of mix up and have dual personalities who promises to "stamp out corruption!" then use semantics to try to back out of a colossal mess.

Little boys in khaki uniforms have the potential to be great if only they are nurtured, and guided and supported
if only they clasped their hands and closed their eyes.


25 May 2010

Dear Jamaica

One of my dear friends from home wrote this piece and she speaks my language. From age 6 we went to the same schools, participated in the same extra curricular activities, and have traveled similar paths as we've lived. For that reason I can share this note echoing the same sentiments as if they were my own. Nicole is a published writer and you may not be familiar with her now, but you will. Consider this an introduction...

Dear Jamaica:

I love you, have always loved you. I’m not sure now why loving you from a distance made more sense, but I’m sure it had a lot to do with opportunities that your valleys, lush hills and mountains, your beautiful sunshine, your vast blue beaches, fruit trees, and graves immersed in red soil where my ancestors were buried couldn’t offer me. You see, America with her promise of liberty offered me freedom to be, freedom to rise above class and socioeconomic limitations, freedom to love how I love, freedom to make it. For some reason Jamaica, I never saw myself living on your soil as an adult. I know you’re probably laughing and shaking your head now, perhaps asking in the lull of your tropical breeze reaching me all the way across the ocean, “But haven’t I raised you to be who you are?”

The answer is yes, Jamaica. Yes, you have made me the woman I am, from the deep brown of my skin kissed by the sun, to the kinks in my hair growing from roots that connect me to the maroons whose fierceness thickens my blood. Jamaica, you owned me. You instilled in me ambition to leap over hurdles and soar to new heights. You knew that I was a free spirit who as a child, often chased the wind when it blew the clothes on the clothing lines or when it rustled the palm trees that chattered like washer women gossiping at the river under the watchful midday sun. You knew. You knew when given the opportunity I would run with it. This was what happened when you planted the seed of education in the minds of your children from the tender age of three and exposed us to your rich culture in the arts. You knew that with education and exposure, we would one day rise to fulfill our promise to you; to salute you and make you proud where ever we go in life. That’s what you wanted, Jamaica. And you see? I did it.

So now that you’re in distress, I’m helpless not being able to return to save you. The politicians have had a field day with your riches and now the people are paying the price. From a distance I hear the people’s cry, I see that they want new blood to run the country, write new laws, put our heads together and form new ways of thinking. Jamaica, it was on your soil that I learned that “the heights of great men and women are reached and kept”, and so whatever we put our minds to and work towards, it will come to pass. Yes, it will.

Jamaica, there is a new generation coming to save you now. You might not know yet because some of them have been partying their days and nights away to cope with not being taken seriously by the generation before them, but there are a selected few who see through all that and have made up their minds to take charge of their own destiny. This situation with Dudus is showing many young Jamaicans that they need to wake up and claim you for the first time in their life as their country. You watch. Jamaica, change is coming and it will be for the better. And if I can help it, I’ll be right there with them too.

Your Prodigal Daughter, Nicole
© 2010