June 30, 2011

Essay Contest for Children of African Caribbean Descent (2011)

Lorna Jones, the Founder of the Annual Essay Writing Contest for Children of African Caribbean Descent, is looking to host another essay contest in late July strictly for UK African Caribbean children between the ages of 7 – 16 years.

She is urgently seeking the following;

1. Volunteer Judges
2. Children between the ages of 7 – 16 years who would like to take part.

If anyone would like to take part, or knows of children who would like to take part, or know of mediums who can help to spread the word about this initiative, please call Lorna Jones on 07880 788 976 / lornajones@yahoo.co.uk

Checkout this website to find out more information about the Essay Contest: www.lornajones.net

In the UK, African-Caribbean children - especially boys, are not achieving the level of education required to become contributing members of society. I believe that it is important for us to show them that we, as their family, care about them and are willing to show our support for their efforts.

The annual Essay Contest for Children of African Caribbean Descent supports and encourages children of African descent in their educational development and demonstrates that children of African descent are very capable of writing good essays. The contest supports and encourages them to further their educational development.
  • Boost self-esteem.
  • Focus attention on education.
  • Improve communication skills.
  • Encourage a sense of accomplishment.
  • Offer opportunities for personal growth and self-expression.
  • Offer peer activity in a positive, supportive environment.
  • Recognize and celebrate success within the community.
  • Be a gateway to public speaking experience (winners).
  • Encourage critical thinking.

The contest is open to children of African descent in the following age groups: 8-10 years, 11-13 years and 14-16 years. Children of African-Caribbean descent are encouraged, through a responsible adult, to register their interest in participating in this contest. They then have 10 weeks to produce their essay and submit it again through a responsible adult before the deadline.

All participants will receive constructive feedback from the Judges. Winners across all three age groups are announced at the Awards Ceremony at a university in London at which winners present their essay. Prizes are awarded to essayists. Additionally, some Judges may choose to offer prizes to essayists for any reason

Prizes are entirely provided by the African Diaspora to encourage and support children of African descent in their educational development.


New Book: Claudia Jones: Beyond Containment

Claudia Jones: Beyond Containment
Editor Carole Boyce Davies
Publication Date:  July 2011
ISBN: 978-0-9562401-6-3
Price: £16.99

Claudia Jones was a smart, politically-wise, brilliant, transnational feminist, Pan Africanist theorist and cultural activist who brought together in her speeches and writings the politics that is now seen as a necessary way of intersecting a variety of political fields and positions. Known as the founder of the first London carnival and the editor of the first black newspaper the West Indian Gazette in England, Claudia Jones’s activism bridged US and the UK with the black world politics of decolonization that ushered in contemporary community empowerment. For the first time, in one place, Claudia Jones Beyond Containment… brings together her essays, poetry, autobiographical and longer writings, expanding our knowledge of several fields. Providing us with the clarity of the ideas of a black woman activist-intellectual of her period, for a fuller understanding of Caribbean, African American and the larger African Diaspora discourses. Claudia Jones Beyond Containment is essential reading.

Important Endorsements for Claudia Jones: Beyond Containment

'Claudia Jones is one of my personal heroines. I spent my formative political years in Claudia Jones’s London stamping ground of Notting Hill – it was the classic centre of post-war black activism in Britain. Most West Indian immigrants in the 1950s came by boat to Southampton and the train from there took them into Paddington. Hence the large black community in that part of West London. So I know people who had worked with Claudia Jones and spoke of her with awe. She founded two of Black Britain’s most important institutions; the first black newspaper, the West Indian Gazette and she was also one of the founding organizers of the Notting Hill Carnival.

The ‘hidden history’ of women’s contribution to progressive politics has been concealed for too long. This important book is part of the process of putting that right. Claudia Jones was an iconic figure who inspired a generation of black activists and deserves to be much more widely known. This book is a fitting memorial.' ~ Diane Abbott, MP, Westminster, London.

'Claudia Jones: Beyond Containment transcends the silencing and erasure historically accorded women of achievement: it makes accessible and brings to wider attention the words of an often   overlooked twentieth-century political and cultural activist, who tirelessly campaigned, wrote, spoke out, organized, edited and published autobiographical writings, poetry, essays on subjects close to her political heart – human rights, peace, struggle related to gender, race and class – this is a collection that unites the many facets of a woman whose identities as a radical thinker and as a black woman are not in conflict.

'Carole Boyce Davies, author of the acclaimed Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones (2008), continues the task of ensuring that Claudia Jones takes her rightful place in the exalted list of twentieth-century Caribbean intellectuals in the Diaspora, including her compatriots George Padmore and C.L.R. James, who engaged with the world to make it a more enlightened place and whose legacy still deserves to resonate.' ~ Margaret Busby, OBE, Writer, Broadcaster and Journalist, London.

'Carole Boyce Davies’s brilliant book, Left of Karl Marx, did so much more than recover the life and legacy of Claudia Jones.  She threw down the gauntlet, forcing us to rethink many of the  fundamental assumptions and conceits of Marxism and to come to terms with Claudia Jones’s radical critiques of racism, women’s oppression and colonial rule. But Davies isn’t done. In this stunning collection of Jones’s essays, speeches, autobiographical reflections and poems, Davies not only underscores why Jones stands among the world’s most important radical theorists and organizers of the 20th century, but she reveals the Trinidadian-born, transnational intellectual as artist and visionary.' ~ Robin D. G. Kelly, Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern Carolina and author of Freedom Dreams: The Back Radical Imagination.

'Claudia Jones: Beyond Containment lifts veils of ignorance and erasure that obscure a brilliant, 20th century human rights advocate. With this Collection of Jones’s writings, Carole Boyce Davies provides the 21st century with an important opportunity to revisit our collective histories and current struggles shaped by feminist, anti-racist, communist Claudia Jones, a Caribbean-born activist and intellectual who influenced international struggles of blacks, women and workers for social justice.' ~ Joy James, Williams College, USA and author of Shadowboxing: Representations of Black Feminist Politics.

'In Claudia Jones: Beyond Containment, Carole Boyce Davies has uncovered a super-excellent collection.... commendable not only for their breadth-of-scope but largely also for their intellectual sharpness and acuity.... while all based on past events these writings are so very directly relevant today, especially in the manner in which they assist our understanding of contemporary world politics with the US and the Anglo-American bloc playing a leading role. Indeed, Jones’s interventions are as deep and relevant as to provide a direct prognosis of contemporary US imperialism in the era of globalization. There can be absolutely no doubt that Jones was an activist and an ideologue, who used and tirelessly mobilized her identity as a member of the Young Communist League and other organizations to help in the fight to establish a new, more just, equitable and humanitarian social order.' ~ Dr Kwadwo Osei-Nyame Jnr., Lecturer in African Studies, School of Oriental & African Studies, (SOAS), University of London.

Angelo Rombley’s Internet art for July 1, St. Martin’s Emancipation Day

By Jacqueline Sample

Digital artist Angelo Rombley launched four art installations on the Internet last Sunday in a tribute to the celebration of St. Martin’s Emancipation Day on July 1

The digital art pieces, rendered in a neo-revolutionary street-poster style, are entitled, “July 1 upRising X,” “FreeSM,” “SXM 1848,” and “July 1 upRising.” Rombley is an award-winning graphic designer who lists Fortune 500 companies among his clients and employers.

According to author/poet Lasana M. Sekou, the commemorative collection is “a grafitti blaze of bold orange, yellow, green, black, red, white and blue colors, pitched as emblazoned backgrounds, some composing the Unity Flag like a crest, a stamp, a tattoo of St. Martin, as one nation.”

“The flag is pressed with a visual cacophony of iconic and native symbols of words, dates, determination, and freedom. And like from a mad scientist’s lab, here is a four-piece formula, determined to order ‘the known’ from the chaos of ‘not knowing’ one’s own history, culture, identity, land, destiny,” wrote Sekou in an email to me. He was “lobbying” for House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) to ask Angelo’s permission to upload the four panels on the publisher’s website.

The pro-Independence Sekou has never hid the fact that he is wont to first select inferences of political content in art. Then on to other views. I don’t know if that’s an Nkrumah tendency in the poet about which kingdom to seek first.

What I do know, is that there is of course much more to interpret and experience in these newest pieces from Angelo “The Pixel Pusher.” To have an idea of the ground zero story of Emancipation on the island, 163 years ago, is to see in Angelo’s bright and bold images the “memory” and act of St. Martiners in “The Netherlands part” silently lining the roadsides in 1848, refusing to return to the plantations as slaves (after their kin had just been released from bondage in the North).

There is the lucid dream of a beautiful future for all St. Martin people in the soaring silhouette of the pelican. There is also pure art reaching out, as if each time you look at the light and form of the posters, they are just emerging from the artistic genie that Angelo Rombley seems to have trapped, in a place that he and Sekou call “the lab.”

“Angelo’s art forces what is ordinary in any of us to collapse before creative statements of beauty and power. His work speaks in tongues, for who have ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart, in this case, to love St. Martin in utterly new and unique ways,” wrote Sekou about the July 1 Emancipation tribute.

Rombley can speak for himself to. “Art is also inspired by culture, history, freedom, democracy. Art can creatively record the history that our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents made and lived,” said Rombley.

“These four digital art posters will hopefully have in them reflections that inspire aspects of the new history that we are making, and the new life that we are creating and living in St. Martin,” said Rombley.

Rombley launched three of the freedom tribute posters on Facebook from his “Work” album on Sunday, June 26, 2011. http://www.facebook.com/arombley.

Following an interview with the artist for Offshore Editing Services, HNP exhibited the full series of four panels, each with its description, at its Nehesi House Facebook for public viewing. http://www.facebook.com/nehesipublishers. The art will in short be at HNP’s website, which already profiles a number of artists and their work http://www.houseofnehesipublish.com/art_revue2028.html.

Rombley said that opting for the Internet to present his new series may be partly “a generation thing, the way we are using the new media and digital devices.” It surely allows for a social network and general Internet preview of the new digital art collection that he is “building.” His last exhibit on the island was in 2005. 

Rombley has had a long artistic and professional collaboration with Sekou and HNP. He has designed or co-designed a number of HNP book covers, such as the cover and book design for the new titles From Yvette’s Kitchen… and St. Martin Talk.

St. Martin people, freedom-loving friends and art lovers throughout the Caribbean and around the world, I invite you to enjoy the Emancipation tribute art posters by St. Martin’s leading digital artist, Angelo Rombley. 


Angelo Rombley
Jacqueline Sample
Lasana M. Sekou


June 29, 2011

Marcus and the Amazons: Book Trailer

6 Ways You Can Help to Promote Marcus and the Amazons

I'm  taking what my cousin, Stephanie Philp, said to me:
 "If you believe your book is worthwhile you have an OBLIGATION to promote it."

I believe Marcus and the Amazons is worthwhile, especially because...

1. It's a great little story that will stimulate all kinds of discussions
2.  Marcus is respectful of others even when he disagrees with their actions
3. The story dramatizes the values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, the Civil Rights movement and Marcus Garvey by placing the events in a different context.
4. Marcus resolves conflict without resorting to violence
5. The story shows that actions/motives are not always as simple as they may seem.

Did I mention its a great little story?

I'm also re-purposing a post by Jody Hedlund, 10 Simple Ways to Support Authors You Love,.
 If you'd like to read the post, here's the link: http://bit.ly/jDVblz

Here are a few ways you can help to promote Marcus and the Amazons:

*Click the “Like” button on Marcus and the Amazon's page @ Amazon 

Tweet about Marcus

*Better yet, BUY Marcus as a gift for friends and family.

Make a short comment of praise about Marcus on Facebook (or copy the one from Twitter).
Cross post as many times and in as many places as you can.

Write a book review about Marcus and post it on Amazon
Why not post your own 5 reasons?

Ask your local library to carry Marcus.


June 27, 2011

Marcus and the Amazons: Now on iBooks


Caribbean Film Company Lands Major Distribution Deal

NEW YORK (June 26, 2011) - Following the first CaribbeanTales New York Film Showcase in New York, a Caribbean company has moved to announce a major deal with a veteran New York-based distributor to promote Caribbean culture to global audiences.

Frances-Anne Solomon, CEO of the Barbados-based CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution (CTWD), explained that its new partnership with New York's Third World Newsreel (TWN) links the region's premier sales and distribution company for Caribbean films with a seasoned educational distributor in a deal which will allow both companies to distribute each other's Caribbean-themed content across their respective networks.

Third World Newsreel (TWN) is a long established alternative media arts organization that fosters the creation, dissemination and appreciation of independent film and video about people of color and issues of social justice.

CaribbeanTales films will immediately benefit from TWN's wide access to the North American educational markets in both the United States and Canada, while TWN films will be distributed internationally by CTWD, and benefit from the Barbadian company's access to the Caribbean market, including regional and international marketing initiatives and festivals.

Solomon described the partnership's mutual benefits: "Third World Newsreel's important catalog and huge contact base will be an invaluable addition to our own business, because we will have more focused reach into the educational market. The deal will also substantially increase the size of our catalog in the international marketplace."

Dorothy Thigpen, Executive Director of TWN, whose catalog includes "The Other Side of the Water," the journey of a Haitian rara band in Brooklyn, and "Sweet Sugar Rage," the story of a popular Jamaican women's troupe who use improvisation and theater as consciousness-raising tools, said the new partnership will also enhance her organization's catalog.

"The Caribbean is an important market for us and this deal melds seamlessly with our mission to effect social change while encouraging people to think critically about their lives and also the lives of others," said Thigpen. She added that both TWN and CTWD films not only entertain and educate, but "propel people into action."

About CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution

CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution is the first full-service film distribution company in the English-speaking Caribbean, and aims to become the go-to solution for producers and buyers of Caribbean-themed content. The company holds marketing events through the CaribbeanTales Film Festival Group, and provides co-production services to producers. CTWD was founded by award-winning filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon, and its principals include creative industries expert Dr. Keith Nurse, economist and businessman Dr. Terrence Farrell, media personality and producer Lisa Wickham, and filmmaker and writer Mary Wells. CTWD is a member of the BIM Ventures family of entrepreneurs.

For further information, visit www.caribbeantales-worldwide.com.

Visit my author page @ Amazon: Geoffrey Philp

My Love Affair With Libraries

During the launch of Marcus and the Amazons at the Anancy Festival, which was simulcast between the South Regional-Broward College Library in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the Tom Redcam Library in Kingston, Jamaica, I couldn't help but feel a nagging sense of betrayal. The festival, now in its third year, brought together two places that are very dear to me. 

The first, the South Regional-Broward College Library, has hosted several readings by Caribbean writers and has become a second home for many of us. The Tom Redcam Library, one of the first libraries I visited when I lived in Jamaica, was one of my favorite haunts during my adolescence. My mother would leave me on the steps of the library ostensibly to read and borrow books. But when I began attending high school at Jamaica College, Tom Redcam was the place where I would try and meet girls. Interesting girls. At that age, I didn't know what I was going to do after I met them; I only knew that I wanted to meet them. So the library became not only a place to hone my intellectual skills, but also my social skills, and this has served me well in my growth as a student and writer.
I practically lived in the library during my first five years at Jamaica College. And during my last year at Jamaica College, I thought I was in heaven. After a series of complications in the life of our librarian, Mrs. Valentine (I swear I'm not making up her name), I became the de facto librarian of Jamaica College. It was a position of trust, which I will now admit that I abused.
I gave myself the privilege of increasing the amount of books I could borrow at one time. Instead of the customary three, I gave myself the permission to borrow five at a time. Oh, the guilt wracked nights! I also had access to the books that had not yet been catalogued. I still remember the new book smell when I opened one of the boxes, and sitting on top of the pile was Alvin Toffler's Future Shock. Ah, the thrill! I lived between 813-820 Dewey Decimal and every evening would emerge from those dusty corridors, my mind swirling with ideas in my attempt to read every book in that section of our small library. This experience became the foundation for my readings in Caribbean literature and the basis for my work as a writer. This, I thought, was going to prepare me for the vocation I would enjoy in Jamaica for the rest of my life.
Boy, was I wrong.
Everything changed after I left Jamaica College. My family and I were swept up in what is now called the Jamaican Diaspora. After I came to South Florida, I enrolled at Miami Dade Community College and spent most of my time in the library's media collection catching up on episodes of Roots that I hadn't seen in Jamaica and, of course, meeting girls. But now I knew what to do.
I spent days, weeks, and months in the libraries of Miami Dade Community College, and when I graduated, what seemed like years in the stacks of the Otto G. Richter Library of the University of Miami. I re-read In the Castle of my Skin, which helped me to understand the direction of my first novel, Benjamin, my son, a coming of age novel that takes place during the time of Jamaica's undeclared civil war, and Florida Bound, one of the first collection of poems to explore the Jamaican Diaspora in a South Florida setting. But I couldn't have done it without the help of those librarians.
I owe a great deal to librarians. During my undergraduate days, I met librarians who assisted me with finding books by a then obscure Caribbean poet, Derek Walcott. But librarians are like that. Wherever I've travelled, I've always found them to be kind, courteous professionals who are always willing to help anyone who shows a little initiative. And, perhaps, I've been a little naïve. For whenever I've given readings in the South, I've always stayed in the library rather than my hotel room until it was time to leave. It just felt safer.
So, during the reading of Marcus and the Amazon when I looked at the faces of librarians such as Nancy Ansley and Valrie Simpson, I felt I was betraying them: I had published my work in a format that some have said undermines the necessity of libraries and librarians. In these hard times, I felt as if I was trying to put these two wonderful women out of work. But then, I had to ask myself it is that dire? A few days ago while doing some research, I took comfort in a post, by Seth Godin, The Future of the Library
The next library is filled with so many web terminals there's always at least one empty. And the people who run this library don't view the combination of access to data and connections to peers as a sidelight--it's the entire point.
Wouldn't you want to live and work and pay taxes in a town that had a library like that? The vibe of the best Brooklyn coffee shop combined with a passionate raconteur of information? There are one thousand things that could be done in a place like this, all built around one mission: take the world of data, combine it with the people in this community and create value.
We need librarians more than we ever did. What we don't need are mere clerks who guard dead paper. Librarians are too important to be a dwindling voice in our culture. For the right librarian, this is the chance of a lifetime.
For the sake of my friends, I hope you're right, Seth. I hope you're right.

June 22, 2011

In My Own Words...Marie Nadine Pierre

My name is Marie Nadine Pierre and I participated in the Caribbean Writers Seminar in the summer of 1994 and 1995. I took the theory course with Professor Michael Dash and the literature course with Dr. Sandra Paquet. I also participated in the translation institute. I loved the CWSI and I found the program exciting and thrilling. I met some very interesting people and really well known established writers and scholars in the field of Caribbean Studies. I had obtained a Bachelor of Arts in African and African Diaspora literature from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. The CWSI provided me with a great opportunity to network with folks whom I had read about and to do more in depth study of issues that I contemplated in College.

I was born in East New York, Brooklyn on June 15, 1969. My parents were first generation Haitian-Americans. They had met and married in New York City. Unfortunately, due to their separation and subsequent divorce, my father decided that it was best to send and my sister to live with his father in Leoganne/Leyogann/Yogann, Ayiti/Haiti. I was about 1 when I arrived there and 11 when we returned to live in New York. 

The issue of transnational identity and "citizenship" is very important to me. I feel like I am always on the borders of many national and ethnic identities simultaneously. For instance, as a Nyabinghi RastafarI, I feel that my lifestyle and belief is most important in my daily life. Still, I must grapple with the reality of being a transnational 2nd generation Haitian-American often. These aspects of my ethno-sociological biography are not being analyzed in the Social Sciences. And perhaps that is why I find it so hard to be me. 

I hope that the CWSI re-starts with a strong commitment to courses and discussions that will consider the issues of trans-nationalism, ethnicity, migration and lifestyle (RastafarI) as they are re-presented in fiction by writers in the Caribbean and its diaspora as well as in theoretical texts. I am very happy that the CWSI will begin anew for others to participate.

My Work

My graduate work in the doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania focused a great deal on material culture, specifically belief, foodways, migration, fashion, and dress. I was also very concerned about identifying, collecting, and analyzing body-lore. I worked with Haitian immigrants of various generations. I decided to do my dissertation research in Miami in the 1995 because I felt that the Haitian community was diverse and accessible and there were plenty of material to work with. Later, I matriculated in the Ph.D. program in Comparative (Anthropology)/Sociology department at Florida International University. My work focused on Haitian immigrants with a specific concentration on gender issues. I hoped to complete a dissertation about the Haitian female experience with body and dress or fashion. The sociological variables of color (shade of black), region of origin in Ayiti/Haiti, age, generation, class and race were important. 

Currently, I am hoping to work with Haitian folklore and folk life in the diaspora. I am hoping to find ways that these narratives of various genres can help to shed light on the Haitian migration experience.


June 20, 2011

Earn Some Extra Cash for the Summer!

Earn Some Extra Cash for the Summer!

If you are a  blogger, website operator, or member of online communities, 
then sign up for an Affiliate Marketer account for  Marcus and the Amazons

All you have to do is sign up @ Smashwords  for a free Affiliate Marketing Program account
and promote Marcus and the Amazons on your site:

Once you sign up, you can begin earning money on sales of Marcus and the Amazons.

For the next 3 months,  I'm offering 15% commission sales rather than the customary 11%.

Sign up today!


Marcus and the Amazons: The Abduction

Here is an excerpt from the first chapter of Marcus and the Amazons. I hope you will enjoy it.

The Abduction

Perched on a blade of grass, Princess Amy and her friend Jennifer looked up at the star-filled sky and whispered their wishes to the moon. A firefly hovered over their heads and blinked away the darkness that surrounded them.

“I wish Marcus were here,” said Amy wistfully, as she looked across the field that smelled of jasmine and gardenias.

“I wish I could fly like that firefly,” said Jennifer, admiring the lazy loops of the firefly in the summer air.

“Not me,” said Amy. She shook her head. “I’m afraid of heights. But I do like its light.”

The firefly landed on a nearby fern and continued blinking. The fern’s tips were wet with moonlight.
“But you’re already a light,” Jennifer teased.

“What do you mean?” asked Amy. She came closer to Jennifer and stretched her arms, slender as blades of bluegrass, over her head.

“For Marcus, silly,” said Jennifer. She patted Amy on her arm. “Has he told you when he’s coming back from the forest?”

“In about three months,” Amy sighed. She looked up at the stars again.

“I still don’t know why he had to go into the forest now.”

“Jeremiah, his teacher—”

Jennifer interrupted Amy. “Jeremiah was his teacher?”

 “Yes. Before he died, Jeremiah told Marcus to go into the forest to find ways to help our brothers and sisters.”

“But why now? And especially when there are so many rumors about the Amazons coming our way.”

“Marcus says if I became the queen of our colony, I would always need someone to tell me the truth. He wants to be that someone. That’s why he had to go into the forest.”

“But there are so many outlaws in the forest,” said Jennifer. “Isn’t he afraid of them?”

“Marcus said we shouldn’t be afraid of the outlaws.”

“Why not?”

“Because they’re just trying to find a different way from everyone else. Marcus’s father taught him never to be afraid of anyone. Formica or Amazon."

“Well, there’s someone who he should be afraid of,” Jennifer laughed. She smacked her arms together.

“Who?” asked Amy, her eyes widening.

“Me,” said Jennifer, and she laughed. “He will have to answer to me if he doesn’t come back soon to help you pick out your wedding dress. Have you started looking?”

“No, I’ve been busy with the preparations for the summer festivals. I completely forgot,” Amy admitted.

“Well, you better hurry. It’s the biggest day of your life,” said Jennifer. “Those spiders are always late when you ask them to make anything and the aphids are always stingy with their honeydew.”

“I didn’t know you were so prejudiced! But, I'll begin tomorrow,” Amy reassured her. “I promise you.”

Just then, an army of Amazons, led by Captain Bull O’Grady, burst through the thorny brush. One of the soldiers knocked Jennifer out of the way and grabbed Amy.

“I’ve got her!” the soldier screamed He dragged Amy toward the captain, who rubbed his antennae together.

“Help!” cried Amy. She tried to hold on to the blade of grass, but it was no use. The soldier was too strong and the grass was too slippery. She fell to the ground.

Captain O’Grady, lean and as cruel as his wasp bodyguard, pulled out his bullhorn.

“You are all prisoners of war,” he bellowed into the bullhorn. The firefly lifted off the edge of the fern and disappeared into the night.

Jennifer ran toward Amy, but some other soldiers cut her off. Their eyes looked as if they were on fire.

“Look out, Jenny!” shouted Amy. A soldier pinned Jennifer, but at the sound of Amy’s voice, she got up quickly and dodged the other soldiers.

 “Run, Jenny, run,” screamed Amy. She waved her arms frantically in the air.

“No!” cried Jennifer. “You are my friend. I won’t leave you.”

“Do it for me,” pleaded Amy. The Amazons pulled at Amy’s arms. “Get word to Marcus. Tell him what has happened.”

The soldiers, wielding spears, surrounded Jennifer. They closed in on her like wasps around a wounded enemy.

“Please do it for me,” Amy cried. “Marcus is the only hope for our colony”

“I will,” said Jennifer. One of the soldiers tried again to grab Jennifer, but she was too quick. She moved in the opposite direction and darted under the dark side of the grass.

As she ran through the field, she could still hear Amy’s voice ringing in her ears.

“Tell Marcus that I love him!”

Here's the link to Marcus and the Amazons @ Amazon (of course). Please share on Facebook, tweet, and email to all the contacts in your network, especially teachers and librarians.


June 19, 2011

Happy Juneteenth (2011)

Set the Captives Free...


Happy Father's Day (2011)

Yesterday as I walked down my driveway to pick up the Miami Herald, I noticed that rain lilies had once again bloomed after the long, dry season that we’ve had in South Florida. I’ve always regarded their appearance as almost miraculous for it seems as if they do not flower merely because they are watered (I do my fair share of lawn work), but only after rainfall. I am surmising that it takes the right sequence of events that include rainfall, humidity and other factors, and behold, Zephyranthes atamasco.

The appearance of the rain lily also has a special significance for me because it is associated with my father. I did not know my father, Sydney George Philp, very well. I was his tenth child from four marriages, so the time that I spent with him was always important to me. In the brief times that I spent with him (when I was conscious enough to understand), I realized that he was a charming, brilliant man and that combination with his “high brown” status in Jamaica must have made him irresistible to the ladies. He also had a great sense of humor. I found this out when I asked him about the name Philp (which no one can spell correctly—if I ever catch those guys, Geoffrey Philip, Geoffrey Philps, or Geoffrey Phillips, I am going to kick their collective asses for stealing my copy) and he told me about a trip to England where he met a certain young lady who told him..

Anyway, although our teenage years were difficult, our family started Philp get-togethers which were prompted (sadly) when we found out that our father was ill. We flocked to Jamaica to see the old man and to get to know each other as grown-ups. Some of my older brothers and sisters still think I haven’t grown up because I’m a writer, but that’s another story.

My favorite memory of that time was sitting on the verandah with my father and eating roasted corn, smelling the mixture of rain and earth before the showers came tumbling down Long Mountain, watching him fall asleep as the rain fell, and realizing in that moment that even though he might soon not be with us, that everything was irie.

All was not forgotten, but forgiven. For in a strange way, it had to be that way. The more I talked with my brothers and sisters, especially the ones whom I envied because they had spent so much time with him, I realized that I would not have become the man I am today if the events had not played out in that particular sequence.

My recollection of the rain lily, however, goes back to the time when I was leaving to the home of his fourth wife to go back to Mona Heights (the house that he and my mother bought), and as I was walking with him in the lane at the back of the house, he pulled up a rain lily, handed it to me, and said, “There, you can’t say I never gave you anything.” And he laughed. The old devil laughed. And all I could do was laugh and tell him that I loved him. He said, “I know.”

So, whenever the rain lilies bloom at my front door, I remember my father and those brief moments we had together—which were as brief and miraculous as the appearance of rain lilies—and I give thanks.

So, to Sydney George Philp, grand progenitor, I return the simple gesture of a rain lily.

One Heart
Previously posted as “Behold, the lilies of the Field.”

June 17, 2011

"When the Two Sevens Clash" by Culture

My good old prophet Marcus Garvey prophesy I say
St. Jago de la Vega and Kingston is gonna meet
And I can see with mine own eyes
It's only a housing scheme that divides

What a liv on bamba yay when the Two Sevens clash
What a liv on bamba yay when the Two Sevens clash

Marcus Garvey's work has inspired so many African. African American, and 
Caribbean leaders, artists, singers and songwriters..including Culture

Yet,sadly, according to the records, Marcus Garvey remains a convicted felon. 
This is why we are calling on President Barack Obama to EXONERATE Marcus Garvey.

If you would like to join in the online petition to clear the name of a good man, of an innocent man,
here is the link:


Enjoy, sign, and pass on

One Love

Father's Day 2008

Geoffrey Philp
Geoffrey Philp is a Jamaican poet, novelist, and playwright. He is the author of the novel, Benjamin, My Son and five poetry collections: Exodus and Other Poems, hurricane center, Florida Bound, xango music, and Twelve Poems and A Story for Christmas. He has also written a book of short stories, Uncle Obadiah and the Alien; a play, Ogun's Last Stand, and a children's book, Grandpa Sydney's Anancy Stories.

Father Poem

Tonight when the moon forgives the darkness,
and peers through a curtain of leaves,

she will skitter down to the end of the block,
her laughter kissing the tops of blossoms

dozing on folded petals of bougainvilleas
whose thorns surrender to the night,

preferring to accept dew on their tips
and muse at the transparent world:

the breath of my children pressed against the pane,
waiting for the familiar grunt of my engine

turning up the driveway from the sodium dervish
of the highway and into bliss of their outstretched arms.

"Father Poem" is an excerpt from my next poetry collection, DUB WISE, which will be published by Peepal Tree Press in 2010.

Father's Day 2006

June 16, 2011

The 17th Annual Sunrise Ancestral Remembrance of the Middle Passage Ceremony

The 17th Annual Sunrise Ancestral Remembrance of the Middle Passage Ceremony, an informal, grassroots gathering with a profound purpose, will be held once again, beginning at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 19, 2011, at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, 4020 Virginia Beach Drive, off Rickenbacker Causeway on Virginia Key (Park entrance is a left turn at the second traffic signal). 

The Ceremony, which always begins with a Native American blessing of the land, is not linked to any particular religion or ideology, and welcomes all to pause and remember both those who perished in the Middle Passage, or Atlantic “slave trade,” and those who survived to give life to our present and future generations.


Clear Marcus Garvey's Name: Badges!

Clear Marcus Garvey Green
Link for Clear Garvey's Name Green (250 x 400)

Clear Marcus Garvey Black
Link for Clear Garvey's Name Black (250 x 400)

Clear Marcus Garvey Red

Link for Clear Garvey's Name: Red (250 x 400)

If you would like to help spread the word, you can add one (or all three!) of these badges to your blog or web site.

 The goal is to get 10,000 signatures by June 30, 2012, and present them to President Obama.

Please e-mail this to all of the contacts in your network.