Kwame Dawes, a poet and professor at the University of South Carolina, continues his reporting on the HIV/AIDS crisis in Jamaica. For related poetry, photography and video interviews, visit http://livehopelove.com.
Last October, I met Annesha again in a brightly lit examination room in the clinic where she had first been diagnosed. She looked me in the eye and explained the dilemma of being young and HIV-positive and wanting to be loved. She knew that no man would marry her unless he was also infected. But she didn't want a husband who was HIV-positive; someone already suffering from the disease could be infected with a more virulent strain. She also knew that she would have a hard time finding a partner who wasn't positive. "The ones who are not positive, they won't walk with me in the public," she said.
By now the news about the failure of the campaign to
secure a presidential pardon for the Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey has been
published in both print and social media and many individuals have begun
offering post-mortems. As someone who for the past decade has been actively
involved in the struggle to clear Garvey’s name, allow me to offer my
own critique. I can think of four reasons why the petition did not achieve
the desired goal: ·Lack of a digital strategy·The failure of the organizers to engage
grassroots organizations·Too much, too little, too late from the “big
name” celebrities to endorse the campaign·A zero sum strategy on the part of some
Garveyites. While the first three could have been avoided, it is the
fourth that I found the most disappointing. The Garveyites who pursued the all or nothing strategy
argued from a Manichean view of politics and Garvey’s legacy. According to them, Garvey would have had nothing to do
with any system that vilified him, or they brought up the “str…