February 28, 2011

Another Small Axe Boom Shot: sx salon, issue 3

Big tings a gwaan over at sx salon, issue 3—a Small Axe literary platform--edited by Kelly Baker Josephs:


Haiti Noir, edited by Edwidge Danticat—Bastian Balthazar Becker
Haiti Rising: Haitian History, Culture and the Earthquake of 2010, edited by Martin Munro—Alessandra Benedicty
Redemption in Indigo, by Karen Lord—Alisa K. Braithwaite
Zong!, by NourbeSe Philip—Helen Klonaris

Discussion—“Caribbean Arts and Culture Online”

Into the Fray!—Geoffrey Philp
Repeating Islands: Caribbean Cultures in Cyberspace—Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert and Ivette Romero-Cesareo
Caribbean Art and Culture Online—Frederic Marc
Future Troubles: The New Dancehall Economy and Its Implications—Edwin STATS Houghton and Rishi Bonneville
A Conversation with Nicholas Laughlin—Kelly Baker Josephs


Kwame Dawes
Lou Smith
Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné


Finding Father (an excerpt from the novel “The Angel’s Share”)—Garfield Ellis
Return of the Dragon—Émille Hunt


Typhanie Yanique—A. Naomi Jackson

Gi dem a click, nuh?: http://smallaxe.net/wordpress3/discussions/2011/02/27/sx-salon-issue-3-february-2011/


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February 26, 2011

New Book: Redemption Rain by Jennifer Rahim

Redemption Rain invites the reader into its profound epiphanies through patient revisitation and introspection. Rahim’s voice weaves the explosive power of her lively Trinidadian Creole with the searching intensity of one given to appreciating memory’s redemptive light. A book about the necessary and the unexpected, about costly arrival in the sacred spaces of realization and recognition.

Praise for Redemption Rain

Jennifer Rahim is a poet whose work allows us to feel the vastness and reach of the Caribbean... Her authority is rooted in her attentiveness, and her good mannerly humour emphasizes the unflinching honesty with which she engages the toughness and vulnerability of the world. — Earl Lovelace, author of Is Just a Movie. Here ... is a poetry that speaks directly to our sense of human belonging, our recognition of smallness within vastness, our experiential encounters with love and loss. — S Rose-Ann Walker, The University of Trinidad and Tobago 
Jennifer Rahim is a critic, poet, and short-story writer. Her creative publications include three volumes of poetry, Mothers Are Not the Only Linguists (1992), Between the Fence and the Forest (2002) and Approaching Sabbaths (2009), and a collection of short stories, Songster and Other Stories (2007). Approaching Sabbaths was awarded the 2010 Casa de las Américas Prize for best book in the category Caribbean Literature in English or Creole. She is also a co-editor of two collections of essays, Beyond Borders: Cross Culturalism and the Caribbean Canon (UWI Press 2009) and Created in the West Indies: Caribbean Perspectives on VS Naipaul (Ian Randle, 2010). She is a senior lecturer in literature at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.

Redemption Rain will be available
April 30, 2011
Pre-order from bookstores or the TSAR website

February 25, 2011

"Marrysong" by Dennis Scott

Dennis ScottImage by geoffrey_philp via Flickr


He never learned her, quite. Year after year
that territory, without seasons, shifted
under his eye. An hour he could be lost
in the walled anger of her quarried hurt
or turning, see cool water laughing where
the day before there were stones in her voice.
He charted. She made wilderness again.
Roads disappeared. The map was never true.
Wind brought him rain sometimes, tasting of sea –
and suddenly she would change the shape of shores
faultlessly calm. All, all was each day new:
the shadows of her love shortened or grew
like trees seen from an unexpected hill,
new country at each jaunty, helpless journey.
So he accepted that geography, constantly strange.
Wondered. Stayed home increasingly to find
his way among the landscapes of her mind.

Dennis Scott was born in Jamaica in 1939. He had a distinguished career as a poet, playwright, actor (he was Lester Tibideaux in The Cosby Show), dancer in the Jamaican National Dance Theatre, an editor of Caribbean Quarterly and teacher. His first collection, Uncle Time (1973) was one of the first to establish the absolutely serious use of nation language in lyric poetry. His other poetry collections include Dreadwalk (1982) and Strategies (1989). His plays include Terminus, Dog, Echo in the Bone, and Scott’s work is acknowledged as one of the major influences on the direction of Caribbean theatre. He died at the early age of fifty-one in 1991.

Dennis Scott: Dennis Scott Biography - (1939 –91), Caribbean Quarterly.


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February 24, 2011

Jamaica Ex-Police Association of South Florida, Inc., Annual Scholarships Announcement

The officers and members of the Jamaica Ex-Police Association of South Florida, Inc. (JEPA), in their effort to assist students in our South Florida Community and in Jamaica wish to provide two one-time scholarships.

The Association’s USA Scholarship will be awarded to a college student who resides in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach Counties. The second scholarship will be awarded to a high school student in Jamaica.

The USA Scholarship will be awarded at JEPA’s annual fundraising ball on Saturday, April 16, 2011, at the St. Mary Armenian Banquet Hall, 4050 NW 100 Avenue, Cooper City, Florida. The Jamaican Scholarship will be awarded on Tuesday, May 31, 2011, after JEPA’s Police Station Renovation Project at the Castle Police Station in Portland, Jamaica.

Criteria for USA Scholarship are:

1.      Applicant should be a legal resident in Broward, Miami-Dade or Palm Beach County, Florida.
2.      Applicant must provide proof of residency in one of the listed counties.
3.      Applicant must be currently registered as a student in a 2-4 year college, or has been accepted as such.
4.      Applicant MUST submit a two-page essay (81/2 x 11), typed in 12-inch fonts and double-spaced. In the essay, the applicant should articulate convincingly why he/she should be awarded the scholarship.
5.      The financial need and scholastic aptitude of the applicants will be considered in the selection process.
6.      Applications must be submitted to The Jamaica Ex-Police Association, P.O. Box 8605, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33310, by March 31, 2011.
7.      Applications must also be submitted electronically to: emcknight@mdc.edu; & jepasouthflorida@yahoo.com; by March 31, 2011.
8.      Application packets MUST include the entrant’s full name, address, telephone number, and email address if available.
9.      Students of Jamaican parentage are strongly encouraged to apply.

Criteria for the Jamaican Scholarship are:

  1. Applicants MUST be a high school student or MUST have been accepted in a Jamaican high school.
  2. The scholarship is a one-time cash award and should be used only for school necessities such as uniforms, books, etc.
  3. The financial need and scholastic aptitude of the applicants will be considered in the selection process.
  4. Applicant may submit application stating the reason why he or she should be selected base on the criteria to jepasouthflorida@yahoo.com or contact the Police Divisional HQ for the parish in focus. (for 2011 the parish of Portland was selected)
  5.  The principal (or designee) of the recipient’s school will administer the funds in association with The Jamaica Ex-Police Association of South Florida, Inc. via the Community Relations Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
  6. The Community Relations Division of the JCF from Portland will select the recipient.
  7. For the life of the scholarship, the recipient must attend school regularly, and maintain satisfactory academic performance and conduct.
For further information contact: Malachi Smith, MSCJ, PR Director JEPA: (305) 302-5365; malismith@aol.com.

February 23, 2011

Fact to Fiction:A Master Class in Creative Writing with Garfield Ellis

Fact to Fiction:
A Reading and Master Class in Creative
Writing with Novelist Garfield Ellis

Wednesday, March 2 | 5:00–6:30 p.m.
Alvin Sherman Library | Gallery, Second Floor

Hear story excerpts from novelist Garfield Ellis and learn how to draw
upon your own experiences to inspire your writing.

This event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, please contact Dotty Hayes-DiPol,
in the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, at (954) 262-8147. 

For more information,
contact Shanti Bruce, Ph.D., associate professor, at bshanti@nova.edu.


February 21, 2011

"1945" by Chris Abani


When the magic mushroom clouding Hiroshima cleared
on peace, Daphne was fourteen. Her imagination could
not measure the desert of death that was Normandy’s
beach or the oily cough of tanks through small dusty
Italian towns where everybody wanted to be Americano!
But she remembered waking to the siren of the air-raid
alarm, disoriented by blacked out windows.
The shelter; a family huddle under the stairs
with the musty smell and the tang of cleaning products,
face pressed into the familiar hardness of the ironing board.
There was the thrill of the gasmask and the free candy
she got at the local cinema on Saturdays if she
remembered to bring it along, and the ballerina in her
music box that lived only when she hoarded sweets.
I pretend to smoke my pen, listening to Beethoven.
Moonlight Sonata. This is the thing.
Long hours, late hours, much of it tortured,
waiting for sense like patterns in the sand.
Or language poetry or conceptual art.
To say: Oh my craft and the time it is taking,
but Derek Walcott got there first and how
do you follow a poet like that?
I cannot call Mum. It is four a.m., this late,
the tone would be loud enough to touch.
I want to ask – did Granny brush your hair,
the moment fragile yet tensile as a strand of that hair?
I need the material, but this thing, this shape
cannot be found with her. Like the rabbi said,
never give up a good question for an easy answer.
And this much I know – the deeper art
is to follow where the shape leads,
but my fear needs a map. Lines, in couplets,
to contain the uncertainty. Still it mocks me.
Oh my craft, and the time it is taking!

Praise for Feed Me the Sun by Chris Abani

“In this eclectic and imaginative poetry book Chris Abani takes us on a time-travelling journey around the world. He explores history, war, myth, religion, relationships and a poet’s personal and philosophical musings. His versatile voice is, variously, audacious, energetic, visual, oblique and always, always, thought-provoking.” ~ Bernardine Evaristo

This collection of Chris Abani’s longer poems, some previously published, the majority new, displays his astonishing energy, beauty of expression and range of reference to contemporary life, history, art and literature. Having this work together in one volume enables us to see the dialogue between a sense of the personal and an engagement with the public and historical, from ‘Daphne’s Lot’ which explores the life of an Englishwoman (his mother) caught up in the madness of the Biafran civil war, or ‘Buffalo Women’, an epistolary sequence of poems between lovers caught up in the American civil war. 

The focus of Abani’s poems is frequently on extreme situations where the unspeakable becomes too readily the doable, but where against the odds compassion and love remain and the individual determination to resist public madness. In ‘Sanctificum’ there is a profound meditation on the sacred, whether reached through religious ritual or through art, and the narrow dividing line between the urge to reach for mastery and transcendence and the abuses of power whether personal, contemporary or historical.

Chris Abani is the author of 11 books, the recipient of numerous awards for his writing, and is currently holds the position of Professor at the University of California, Riverside.

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February 18, 2011

"A Biography" by Dennis Scott

Dennis ScottImage by geoffrey_philp via Flickr

A  Biography

The first journey was to find her.   Freed her --
she had twisted the sunlight round feather and face
mewled anger at the Tree
astonished him with teeth.
He bled a long time after.

The second recovered every petal
storm had struck off into city, sky, season.
Found one in the hand of a man dying,
could hardly take it; another pressed thin
by the sea’s weight – brought that up with coral
stamped on its silk. One
had never touched earth, perhaps, turning
like a candle in each wind, till he ate it.

Third time, spat. Rooted himself in the wet place
under its growing shadow
closed eye, mouth, shut up his hearing
drew the skin tight on his bones
stopped his breath
and became still.

Hummed over his head
sipping from that flower
the bright bird.
His, finally.

Dennis Scott was born in Jamaica in 1939. He had a distinguished career as a poet, playwright, actor (he was Lester Tibideaux in The Cosby Show), dancer in the Jamaican National Dance Theatre, an editor of Caribbean Quarterly and teacher. His first collection, Uncle Time (1973) was one of the first to establish the absolutely serious use of nation language in lyric poetry. His other poetry collections include Dreadwalk (1982) and Strategies (1989). His plays include Terminus, Dog, Echo in the Bone, and Scott’s work is acknowledged as one of the major influences on the direction of Caribbean theatre. He died at the early age of fifty-one in 1991.

Dennis Scott: Dennis Scott Biography - (1939 –91), Caribbean Quarterly.


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February 17, 2011

An Evening with the Authors

An Evening with the Authors
Thursday, March 3rd, 2011
Reception - 6:30 p.m.; Book Launch 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Books and Books, 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables (305) 442-4408

Michael A. Bucknor is a lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica. He is an editor of the Journal of West Indian Literature and has published book chapters and journal articles on Caribbean and Canadian Literature, diasporic writing, body theory, masculinities, cultural and performance studies.

Alison Donnell is author of Twentieth Century Caribbean Literature (Routledge, 2006); editor of Companion to Contemporary Black British Culture (Routledge, 2002) and co-editor of The Routledge Reader in Caribbean Literature (1996).

Anthony Bogues is Harmon Family Professor, Professor of Africana Studies, Political Science, Modern Culture and Media and Humanities Faculty Fellow at Brown University. He is also Honorary Professor of the Humanities at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, an associate editor of the journal Small Axe and a member of the editorial collective of the journal Boundary 2. His latest book is Empire of Liberty: Power, Desire and Freedom (2010).

Garfield Ellis grew up in Jamaica, the eldest of nine children. He studied marine engineering, management and public relations in Jamaica and he completed his Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Miami, as a James Michener Fellow. He is the author of four other books: Flaming Hearts, Wake Rasta, Such As I Have and For Nothing at All. His work has appeared in several international journals, including: Callaloo, Calabash, The Caribbean Writer, Obsidian III, Small Axe and Anthurium. He is a two-time winner of the Una Marson Prize for adult literature; has twice won the Canute A. Brodhurst prize for fiction and the 1990 Heinemann Lifestyle short story competition.

Kezia Page received her PhD from the University of Miami (2002) and is currently an Associate Professor of English at Colgate University where she teaches Caribbean literature and Ethnic American literature. Her work has appeared in numerous journals including Small Axe, Anthurium, The Journal of West Indian Literature and the Journal of Commonwealth Literature.

Dr. Michelle Rowley is an Assistant Professor to the Women’s Studies Department at the University of Maryland. Her publications include “When the Post-Colonial State Bureaucratizes Gender: Charting Trinidadian Women’s Centrality Within The Margins,” “Where the Streets have no name: Getting Development out of the (RED).” “Rethinking Interdisciplinarity: Meditations on the Sacred Possibilities of an Erotic Feminist Pedagogy,” and “Whose Time Is It?: Gender and Humanism in Contemporary Caribbean Feminist Advocacy.” She serves on the editorial board for Feminist Studies.

Sponsored by:  Caribbean Literary and Cultural Studies, Africana Studies, and the Office of the Consulate General of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.


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February 16, 2011

Mister Roi Wangol: A Portrait

Down by the muddy lake of Miragoâne lived an old man named Roi Wangol who one night married the moon. Together they had a son named Gede Nibo and a daughter named Gran Brigitte. Roi Wangol’s children were selfish, conniving little brats who were always trying to fill the bottomless pit of their anger and jealousy by feeding off the souls of humans caught up in the futility of the money chase. Brigitte’s and Nibo’s anger stemmed from the fact that they were both were born under the cold, cold sign of death, relegated to the flotsam and jetsam of graveyards, junk heaps and dunghills. They scratched and scraped for the beauty that forever escaped them. Every now and then, they put on a good show all masked in their opulent finery, but in the end, when it became too late for redemption, people discovered their tatters and the stench of their impossible greed.

Image source: lameca.org


About Patti Harris

Patti Harris is an anthropologist who teaches at Miami Dade College where she is the chairperson of the Department of Social Sciences. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, she has done extensive fieldwork in Haiti and will soon publish an ethno-biographical study based on her research.

February 14, 2011

Bob Marley: National Hero

On February 6, 2011, Jamaica’s Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture declared her advocacy for naming Bob Marley as a national hero of Jamaica. According to the Jamaica Observer, “Minister Grange told a national radio audience and those gathered at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston…that Marley was a "great Jamaican" and that she ‘supported the idea of making him a National Hero.’” While some have suggested that this honor is long overdue, others have questioned the merits of bestowing the nation’s highest honor on Marley:By definition a national hero is someone who subordinates their personal interests to the collective interest of a country, I am sure that was not Bob’s intention implicit or otherwise.”

Definitions are important. The reasons for elevating someone to the level of national hero should be based on the values that the person embodies and to which we give our assent. For example, Norman Manley and Sir Alexander Bustamante were leaders of the independence movement that transformed Jamaica from a colony of the British Empire into a politically independent state. In singling out Manley and Bustamante as national heroes, we also honored the many nameless freedom fighters who struggled beside them for many years. In the end, Bustamante and Manley were triumphant, but the process of realizing statehood, becoming Jamaicans instead of wishing to be British, still continues. Transformation takes time and eventually, Bustamante and Manley were named national heroes. So what are the values that Marley embodies? And can these values be applied to the other heroes that preceded him?

"Someone who subordinates their personal interests to the collective interest of a country" is a workable definition. But it is not the only one. Joseph Campbell, author of The Power of Myth, defines a hero  as “someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself” (151). Campbell also outlined the cycle of the “hero journey, (separation, transformation and return) and divides “hero deeds” into two categories: spiritual and physical. Unlike a physical deed in which there are outward manifestations, the spiritual deed has to be recognized by the community as meaningful. Or as Rastafari would say, seen.

The other kind is the spiritual deed in which the hero learns to experience the supernormal range of human spiritual life and then comes back with a message.

The usual hero adventure begins with someone from whom something has been taken, or who feels there’s something lacking in the normal experiences available or permitted to the members of his society. This person then takes off on a series of adventures beyond the ordinary …to recover what has been lost (152).

So what is the “hero deed” to which Marley gave himself and which was also “bigger” than him? The answer comes in the song that Marley recorded near the end of his physical life--an allegory not only about his life, but the story of New World Africans in the Americas: “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery/ none but ourselves can free our mind” (“Redemption Song”). It is worth noting that the lyrics are taken from a speech by the Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jamaica’s first national hero, whose career began 
after he witnessed the subhuman treatment of New World Africans throughout the Americas:

I was determined that the black man would not continue to be kicked about, as I had seen in Central America, and as I read of it in America. Where is the black man's government? Where is his King and his kingdom? Where is his President, his country, his men of big affairs? I could not find them, and then I declared, 'I will help to make them.' My brain was afire. 

Marley, as a Rastafari, expanded the work of Marcus Garvey. He also put one of Garvey’s central teachings, self-determination, into practice by founding his own record label, Tuff Gong.

As committed Rastafari, Bob Marley along with Peter Tosh and Neville Livingston, the original Wailers, became the voice of the sufferahs in Trench Town. They had witnessed firsthand the effects of slavery and British colonialism on New World Africans and sought political redress through appeals for equal rights and justice.  Always wary of politicians and the "system,” the Wailers were aware that politics was not the only way to achieve the kind of transformation they were seeking. They knew that Jamaica was a deeply spiritual culture, so the choice for name of the group, “Wailers,” was not by accident.  They were urban prophets crying in the wilderness,” and their music became a sonic representation of the experience of Rastafari.

And what was the genius of Rastafari? Inviolable self-identity expressed as InI. This is a radical idea, especially for New World Africans who were brought to the Americas as property of the Empire and subjected to the worst forms of inhumanity. And yet, they survived.

But surviving is not living. Something had to be done. This was the great truth that Marcus Garvey realized and that Marley expounded in “Slave Driver”:

Ev'rytime I hear the crack of a whip,
My blood runs cold.
I remember on the slave ship,
How they brutalize the very souls.
Today they say that we are free,
Only to be chained in poverty.
Good God, I think it's illiteracy;
It's only a machine that makes money

Slavery and colonialism had placed New World Africans in a state of almost childlike dependency in which the colonized looked to the Empire for approval. Again, Campbell is useful: “To evolve out of this position of psychological immaturity to the courage of self-responsibility and assurance requires a death and a resurrection” (138). Campbell elaborates, “If you realize what the real problem is--losing yourself, giving yourself to some higher end, or to another—you realize that this is the ultimate trial…a transformation of consciousness. You have been thinking one way, you now have to think a different way” (139). Although some may wish to deny it, Rastafari and the work of Bob Marley have helped to shape the modern Jamaican character. For many of the post-independence generation who take their somebodiness for granted--as well they should--this may be a "teachable" moment.

In sum, what  Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Livingston, Bob Andy and others did in popular culture, artists such as George Campbell, Derek Walcott, Kamau Brathwaite, Édouard Glissant, Rex Nettleford, Ivan Van Sertima, Albert Huie, and Martin Carter have done in literature, art, and dance: to see with our own eyes and bless with our own hands.

It is a process that the Kenyan novelist, Nguigi wa Thiongo calls, the “decolonization of the mind.” The Indian writer, Namit Arora describes the depth psychological dependency that many in the former British Empire find themselves:

When done right, the native comes to elevate and mimic his master’s ways, to see his own culture as inferior, and to look down on his past as ‘a wasteland of non-achievement’. He begins to defer to the colonizer’s ideas on fundamental things like beauty, art, and politics. In time, he begins to understand himself and his culture through the eyes of the colonizer—using the latter’s concepts, categories, and judgments. Before too long, he turns into a proxy for his master: colonialism with a native face.

How does the colonizer gain such control? The easiest method is to actively spread his language among the natives, and to simultaneously denigrate the language of the natives as crude and unfit for proper education. It is amazing how much mileage this delivers. Make the colonizer’s language the lingua franca of imperial administration, accord prestige and upward mobility to those who learn it in colonial schools, and before too long, there is a feeding frenzy among a native minority. Such has been the way of the great colonialists of history: the Arabs in the 7-8th centuries, the British and the French in the 19th, the Russians with the Baltic States in the 20th.

It is little wonder that the Wailers always heaped scorn on our educational system: “Brainwash education to make us the fool” (“Crazy Baldheads”).  The Wailers also derided the psychological dependency that the “system” produced: “Most people think great God will come from the sky/take away everything and make everybody feel high" (Get up, Stand up”). Rather than wait to go to heaven for the rewards of life, the Wailers asserted, “ Preacher man don’t tell me/ Heaven is under the earth/I know you don’t know what life is really worth" (“Get up, Stand up”).

The teaching of Marcus Garvey and Rastafari returned agency to the individual: “But if you know what life is worth/ you will look for yours on earth/ so now you see the light/Stand up for your right!” (“Get up, Stand up). In other words, InI don’t need to be rescued and there isn't any miraculous help coming from above or anywhere else. InI have to save InI: “Every day is work” (“Work”).

Marley exemplified the human desire for freedom, which is why so many around the world are drawn to his music. But make no mistake, his first audience was always New World Africans, and his refusal of life saving surgery may be viewed as a kind of sacrifice to the idea that Rastafari incarnates: the black body is a holy site (temple) and should not be mutilated (as it had been in the slavedom days) for any reason—even at the cost of saving a physical life. Extreme, yes, but that’s why we have heroes. They do things we wouldn’t.

This is Marley’s hero deed: he transformed our consciousness in the areas of self-determination, identity, and agency. Whatever the reasons for his success, he became the most successful and articulate spokesperson for the Jamaican Boomer generation. He changed how we see ourselves, not as victims of the system, autonomons of the Empire, but as human beings with the ability to chart and live our own lives: "Every man got a right to choose his own destiny" ("Zimbabwe"). But a hero can only take us so far. The rest of the battle is up to us. He wrote psalms to comfort us when we were weary and hymns to lead us into the battle against Babylon.

“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery” or the “decolonization of the mind”  is the great cause to which Bob Marley devoted his life and we now confront the choice--and by doing so we define ourselves--in the fiftieth year of Jamaica’s independence whether his actions were either a colossal failure or triumph. It is one of those generational choices that do not come very often. I know what Bob would say, “Sing along with me children” ("Redemption Song").

Campbell, Joseph. The Power of Myth. New York: First Anchor Books, 1991.  All other quotes in this article that are not otherwise attributed come from this book.

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Happy Valentine's Day (2011)


February 13, 2011

Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend

Actress, photographer and filmmaker Esther Anderson created the blueprint of this film in 1973 as a kaleidoscope portrait of Bob Marley and the Wailers in Jamaica. Shooting intimate scenes with a prototype Sony video camera, Esther carefully constructs the union between Reggae and Rasta that launches the international career of the Wailers. Writing songs with Bob Marley and creating the image for the band, Esther's original vision created a radical change of perception and consciousness both musically and socially around the world. Now, in collaboration with architect and filmmaker Gian Godoy, Esther revisits the making of the legend in modern Jamaica.


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February 11, 2011

NDTC returns to South Florida for Black History Month Tribute to Rex Nettleford

The internationally acclaimed National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC) will return to South Florida to perform for a special one-night performance on Sunday, February 13, at the Coral Springs Center for the Performing Arts in Coral Springs.

The performance will be staged by the Jamaica Awareness Incorporated, a Florida based cultural marketing group, in collaboration with the Jamaican Diaspora Southern USA, and the University Alumni Association, South Florida chapter, under the patronage of Jamaica’s Consul General, Sandra Grant Griffiths.

The NDTC group returns to South Florida following a sold-out performance during Black History Month in February 2007 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale.

This time, the special performance takes the form of a tribute to the late Professor Rex Nettleford, O.M., co-founder and Artistic Director of the NDTC who died last February at age 76, following a brief illness in Washington, D.C.

In keeping his legacy alive, Sydney Roberts, Director of Jamaica Awareness, said that the programme will include excerpts from Nettleford’s highly acclaimed works, and is symbolic of the celebrations observing Black History Month (February) in the South Florida community, especially for nationals of the Jamaican Diaspora.

The late Professor Nettleford was a co-founder and Artistic Director of the nearly 50-member company comprising dancers, singers, and musicians who continue to explore the intricacies of Jamaican culture through their outstanding performances. The NDTC was founded in 1962 at the time of Jamaica’s Independence from Great Britain.

Proceeds from the performance will benefit the Rex Nettleford Foundation, University of the West Indies (UWI).


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