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Colin Powell: Contradictions of Success?

For Africans in America Colin Powell is pretty much the embodiment of success. He is the American Dream come true. That is even moreso for West Indian immigrants in North America; the new arrivals, first, second, third and fourth generations all.

But the contradiction of realisation of that dream and being a conscious descendent of African slaves in the Americas is what Colin Powell represents more than anything else. If he has a conscience and he is aware or has not blanked out his people's history...that man in my opinion had some seriously hard times in the last four years or so. The weight of his opinion and voice has been significantly reduced from Bush Snr. to Bush Jnr. He knows now that he was used as bait, as a vote getting gimmck in the first Bush Jnr election. I wonder how he feels now?

Powell does not seem to be like Rice or Clarence Thomas who appear to have erased the past, the history of Africans in the Americas, a long time ago, to get along and get on. The for…

PBS is da BOMB!

Recently I realised that my most satistfying tv viewing has been provided by PBS. Yes PBS!

Well last night I turned on my now favourite channel and was presented with a wonderful treat. Wynton Marsalis , a cutie :) and Ken Burns producer of historical films such as the American Civil War, Baseball and Jazz were on. They were talking about the film Jazz.

Well being able to drool all over Wynton would be good enough but like all PBS programs I have watched I learnt quite a lot. My appreciation for Jazz and Louis Armstrong grew ten fold last night. I never really paid much attention to Jazz, I guess it never really grabbed me. Then I absoultely had no respect for Louis Armstrong. I always thought he was waist-bent-watermelon-smiling-negro. Not even seeing his clip where he totally tore up some song about Dina in Carolina helped.

But Marsalis and Burns used words like genius and transforming and central to describe this man. They spoke of his God given gift and how he was basically the ce…

Bad Things Happen When Good People Stand by and Do Nothing

As I watched the local news on Friday I came to the conclusion that something is fundamentally wrong with Dominicans as a whole! Why such a dramatic statement? Well I am about to tell you about it.

A news item featured the preparation of the national table tennis team for a regional tournament. The alarming thing to me is that a certain drug dealer, with a well known criminal history especially of introducing young women to the drug underworld here, was interviewed as the Vice President of the Dominica Table Tennis Association.

I had to ask how does that happen in a small society like ours where societal disapproval should be enough to prevent undesirables like this man to officially and publicly gain access to position of importance. How did we get to this, where the local tv station would even do an interview with this man?

We have become very accepting here of low standards of behaviour, low standards generally. We seem to be a ppl who just accept anything. Parents don't compla…

Life's Calling: Part II-A Response to Jdid

Right now one of my niece is preparing for her A'levels and I am not convinced she is doing the righ t subjects. She is doing the sciences Physics, Biology and Maths. She thinks her future lies in some sort of engineering. She is adamant it is but she is only 17 and has little clue about what the world has to offer. I think that she is a brilliant writer and that is what she should pursue but she aint listening at all. I hope I am wrong and she is one of those people who just knows.
But I have experienced life and university and our education system here. That is where the pigeon-holing starts. You show a little bit of promise academically and you are forced into the applied sciences. A wider scope, diverse possibilities are just not part of our systems. I guess we can't afford it.

I was so amazed that on my trip to Kenya a few yrs ago that I met two Swiss girls just out of high school travelling Kenya by themselves. And they were already confident globe trotters much more tha…

Life's Calling

It would appear that most people have no clue what they were called to do. I mean what is it that you would pay to get up and go do every morning including Sundays? I don't think most people know what that is and even those who know are not lucky to be doing it.

The irony of all this is that the few people who acutally know what their calling in life is and are lucky enough to actually do it as their life's work are often financially well-off because of it. If they are not stinky rich they just feel they are in the best place anybody can ever be. Their life is rich in all ways if not materially.

Of the people who know defintely what work/occupation would make them happy and totally fulfilled I wonder how many stumble upon it by sheer coincidence? How many just always knew that that was it? Does a liberal arts university education help in that or it is a diverse curriculum even from primary school? Does it have to do more with how broad one's experiences are pre adulthood?


Faceless Black Art

It is striking that most art produced by black artists of black adults, except in photography, do not have detailed facial representations. Look around and you will see what I mean.

It is curious that from wood sculptures to paintings the details of the black face is omitted in general. There may be full lips, sometimes a distinctly African nose but the eyes nearly always are left out. It is unusual to find all the facial features displayed all together, unless distorted, exaggerated.

Most often the artist gives splendid representations of the rest the body and to scale too. For male subjects the detail is tremendous, sinewy muscles everywhere, slim waist of smallest measurements and ample ass to boot. Black women are depicted almost amazon-like but defintely curvaceous, breast, hips and ass always prominent .

Why are there so few real faces? Why is so little attention paid to the face? Black kids in art are not treated the same and so it is not about poor black artist and artisans.

M…

The Real Implications of a Winning West Indies Team

Quote Mark Alleyne: ["James Pearson is a good cricketer, England Under-19. He's struggling. He comes in, puts the CD on and he's just waiting for someone to say, `that's rubbish'. And he loves Lara and West Indies. The more he goes on about them, the more he's going to be isolated."]
http://usa.cricinfo.com/link_to_database/ARCHIVE/CRICKET_NEWS/
2004/AUG/015697_ WCM_04AUG2004.html

The above quote was taken from a piece done with Alleyne and Piper, two black British cricketers in the article “What Happened to the Black Cricketer?” James Pearson the U-19 black cricketer has been on my mind ever since I read the article. And with the victory on Saturday and the raising of the ICC Championship Trophy by the West Indians I have thought even more about this young man.

I wonder what this win will do for him. Will he be galvanized by stronger self-belief that he can do it too against all odds? Will he know now that all he has to do is work hard and it will come? W…

Was Merv Right?

For about a year now I have learnt to dislike Mervin Dillon the player and the small part of the person I think I know . Why you may ask? Well I used to be okay with Merv the player until I realised that especially with his limited skills that he had done little to improve his craft. Merv could not bowl a slower ball, or move the ball and he could barely produce a yorker. That the most experienced bowler on the team could not bowl at the death of an ODI match got my goat. Merv has no idea how much "chueeeeps" I have directed at him.

He also appeared to laugh about everything, even his long stream of crappy performances. I would think this nonchalant man child has no idea does he? Absolutely no freaking understanding of his role. He has no heart, Mervin Dillon is just going through the paces. The last straw though none of my business was the reports that he had beat up on his wife. This is something that lowers a man in my estimation, like few other transgressions.

But why gi…

WHY WOULD ANYBODY COMMIT SUICIDE?

The sad news reached me yesterday that a young man of about 25 years decided to out his light in a very horrible way. His choice of exit from this world was to jump infront of a moving train. LAWD! I hope it was pain-free, an instant death.

The question remains though; what would cause someone to commit suicide? Does it take a special strength to take that fatal and irreversible step? Or is it just pure mental deterioration, a psychological meltdown that is required? I mean everybody has thought about suicide at least once in their lives but how many come remotely close to putting it into action?

Research shows however that those who do pull it off eventually, have had at least one unsuccessful practice run. Since this young man did the deed and one has to ask, how he got there? I figure whatever ailed him was as debilitating as any excrutiatingly painful disease. He must have wanted desparately to get away from the pain.

From what I know of this young man, he was brilliant and a homo…

Old Traditions: The Mystical & Supernatural

How many people remember the old stories about persons who were born with special gifts? And the stories of the scary occurances?

I remember the mysticism that surrounded unusual births; like a child being born with a veil/caul over its face, a breech baby or even twins. The child born with the veil has supernatural powers. They could communicate with the dead and/or see into the future. After reading two books by Tina McElroy Ansa "Baby of the Family" and "The Hand I Fan With" I realise that African people in the USA shared many of those beliefs with old-time Dominicans.

If a baby was born left handed then it would always be protected from obeah spells from others. No socouyants or lougahoo could scare them. The foot first baby from what I remember would be a blessing to its mother in adulthood b/c its birth was far from anything anybody could call a blessing. For twins, I just know that they are viewed with a bit of awe and wonderment. You are just downright spec…

I Finally Joined the List of Bloggers

Well I am here......don't know what I am going to do with this blog right now. I suspect I am much better at responding than creating original posts. Well hopefiully I will bring my varied interests to the blog and my postings.