September 5, 2008

Anancy and the Jamaican Diaspora

AnancyMoving to another country is never easy. And when your children are growing up with you as “strangers in a strange land,” it makes the situation worse. You worry about the new habits that they will pick up, and your worry if they will lose their roots as they gain their wings. In short, you worry about their identity and whether they will lose their sense of self in America and become a lost child in America. For America is full of lost children.

This was the dilemma that I faced when my children were growing up. And although, I made sure that they ate Jamaican, listened to Jamaican music, and I even took them down to Westmoreland, Jamaica (the place of my parents’ birth), so that they could have a full sensory experience of Jamaican culture, I always felt that I could do more.

Then, in May 2008 while talking with some children in our neighborhood elementary school about Caribbean American Heritage Month, I realized that many of the children from Jamaica and the Caribbean did not know about Anancy and the importance of Anancy stories in our culture. Through an amazing turn of events, I decided to remedy the situation and the result was Grandpa Sydney’s Anancy Stories, and on Sunday, September 7, 2008 (Grandparents’ Day) I will be offering a free ebook--an excerpt from Grandpa Sydney’s Anancy Stories.

Grandpa Sydney’s Anancy Stories is the story of a Jamaican boy, Jimmy, who is growing up in Miami, Florida with his parents, Winston and Donna, and his grandfather, Sydney. Jimmy’s father, Winston, is a security guard and his mother, Donna, is a nurse, so Jimmy spends most of his time with his Grandpa Sydney, who reads to him from a book of Anancy stories.

Grandpa Sydney’s Anancy Stories is also told as a story-within-a-story, so that in the middle of the book, Jimmy’s grandfather reads the story of “Brer Anancy, Snake, and Tiger,” and Jimmy learns the lesson that he uses to outsmart the bully. This, to me, is the essence of Anancy stories and one of the lessons that our children should carry with them into the future and they should pass on to their children and the children’s children:

Always outsmart/outwit the bully or overcome the situation that threatens you. You are greater than any situation or circumstance.

So, check back this Sunday for a free download of an excerpt of Grandpa Sydney's Anancy Stories.



FSJL said...

Jack Mandora, mi nuh choose none.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Have a great weekend, Fragano!

Jdid said...

great idea!

Geoffrey Philp said...

Thanks, JDID!
See you on Sunday?