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Showing posts from 2005

HOW ARE WE COMBATING HIV/AIDS IN OUR REGION?

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From the public promotion and attention the spread of HIV/AIDS is given in Dominica one would not ever believe this worldwide pandemic is a problem here. Yet we are a country of declining population, having totaled 69,625 and averaged annual population growth of -0.21, reports the 2001 Census. The decline is said to be as a result of migration and low birth rates.

Juxtapose the above picture next to one of an island where the reported cumulative HIV cases [that is dead and alive] rose by 576% between 1990 and 2002. Meaning that, in 1990 and 2002 the authorities recorded 38 and 257 cumulative cases respectively. But according to health statisticians, a true picture is obtained when the reported number of cases is multiplied by 10. So approximately 2570 Dominicans have been infected with the virus! Or there is one (1) reported HIV case per 27 Dominicans!

What is most alarming is that CAREC indicates that the fastest growing infections are among the 15-24 year olds. In this age group th…

Voting Is Just The First Step

In small Caribbean islands like ours many citizens are frustrated at the lack of ability to effect any meaningful change in the way they are governed. Voting does not seem to help because once politicians actually get in government; it is six of one and half a dozen of the other. I posit that this is so because people don't see their vote as the first step in the process of demanding accountability and good governance but instead as the end.

Between elections the real power remains unused in the PTAs, village councils, professional associations, unions, churches and the like. Politicians always want to be present for photo-ops and they like to hear themselves speak, at graduations and for ground breaking of this and that. There are many times when the politicians need our audience more than we need to hear them. People must start booing Ministers who come to their area or groups without having made good on the promises of the elections sans explanation. They must get up and walk…

WOW! Leela James

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It has been long since I have really found a voice I just love and Ms. James is it finally. Jill Scott is great, so is India Arie and a few others. I have mad love for Lauryn Hill but something about her is off center and it may come through to me in her music. But for my style, the type of voice and delivery that really hits? Leela James' is just right. I like real soulful singers and she definitely is a throwback in the vein of the old soul music of Gladys Knight and Roberta Flack type.

I have been looking for a male version of this kind of voice and delivery too. John Legend, Musiq and are few others are up there but still I keep searching. The modern day Al Green has not yet been discovered but I am patient I can wait.

I hope Leela's career is not cut short by the usual music industry bullshit...where looks and physical appeal in the like Britney Spears can overshadow talent so badly. A shame really.

Are You Ready For CSME?

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CSME...how prepared is your island for it? Have they complied with all that the amended Treaty of Chaguaramus requires for full membership? Do people know what the requirements are? What is going to be the currency? What is the overall plan...is your country just going to be an expanded market for those who can produce competitively already... is the work force on your islands skilled enough to keep their jobs that national borders have allowed them to have up to this time? Or are they going to be displaced by better skilled workers, therefore resorting to non-skilled labour intensive jobs in other islands maybe not even in CARICOM-like Guadeloupe, Martinique and Tortola. I am also wondering about what happens to islands who have not ratified the amended Treaty of Chaguaramus..

Thanks A Million Mr. J. H. Johnson of Ebony Magazine

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Black people all over this world should not be able to find words to thank this man. What he did for all of us is what one must tag as priceless! That he made himself rich doing so is tesitmoney to what can come of doing for people who are marginlized and yet still having the faith and courage to do what you really want to do and enjoy. It is said that he was asked by Presidents Kennedy and Carter to take high positions in their Cabinets and he turned them down. On tv, I saw him in respone to a question about refusing the offers say that he was doing what he enjoyed and would not trade it for any other thing in the world.
Read his company's tribute to the man. A black man who dreamt the impossible and made it real, in apartheid USA 1945! AMAZING!

Stella Lost Her Groove?

Isn't it funny the way I mentioned Terry McMillan in my previous post and here she is making this week's news? Well Terry based her last novel "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" on her real life relationship of similar circumstances.

As the news item reported,McMillan is now divorcing her groove. Guess why? Uhmn...He is gay. Too Sweet! But like Nfufu, the boy gets real lucky b/c under California divorce laws the poorer spouse can get half. Hahaha the Judge from what I remember off the top of my head awarded Terry's Groove a lump sum of considerable size, plus a monthly allowance as his settlement.

Terry is balking at the Judge's order and instead wants the marriage annulled. An annulment will mean no big pay out to the Groove. She feels she has grounds as she claims she did not know her Groove was gay when they got married. Therefore he would have married her under false pretense. She also says that he only married her to get his green card. Too funny.

I hea…

Choosing a Husband can be a Craps Shoot

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I meet this West Indian couple when I was doing my masters. The wife became a very good friend of mine because we were the only two West Indians reading for the diploma. Her man however barely finished high school. So I always wondered about the match, I thought it a bit odd. But I put it out of my mind because my friend is a very level headed person and she and her man got on well.



Well they had only been married a few months before they relocated and they were living out of their environment so they were tight, of course. It was more than that really. They seemed to complement each other very well. She studied and kept their apartment in tip top shape. He worked and cooked, something he did beautifully and which she could do little of. Although she had degrees, she did not wear the pants in the relationship and because he is older she leaned on him for guidance. Real solid relationship I always thought during the time I knew them. Yet I always thought that the real test of the …

A-TEAM OBJECTIVES AND SELECTION OUT OF SYNC?

It appears that WICB’s main purpose for a West Indies A-team tour is that of player development. Development as in, helping fringe senior team players to eliminate deficiencies, giving the next set of senior team players international exposure and exposing the post U-19 players to a high quality of competitive cricket not readily available on a continuous basis in the Caribbean.

WICB also intends to use the A-Team as the pool from which replacements will be drawn for the senior team players, who will be touring Sri Lanka at the same time as the A-team.

This examination of the A-team which is carded to leave for Sri Lanka on June 17th 2005, should determine how well aligned A-team objectives and selection are. In the cases where the two are found to be out of sync, a more suitable selection will be proffered.

Some names make excellent sense. Among them are Tino Best, Carlton Baugh, Narsingh Deonarine, Xavier Marshall, Runarko Morton, Ryan Ramdass, Dwayne Smith, Dwight Washington. T…

STRANGE LOVE

According to Bryant Gumble of Real Sports and most of the NBA, the kind of relationship between NBA forward Doug Christie and his wife Jackie is just that. Mrs Christie is at all Doug's games. They signal to each other "I Love You" continuously during games. A count in one game tallied 50 odd "I Love You" signs from husband to wife.

Most people are ticked off by the fact that Mrs. Christie's job appears to be keeping Doug from women. The job of vagina blocker, to put it crudely, entails being at Doug's side every living minute when he's off court and in the stands when he is on court. She also vets all contact with reporters/media persons etc. They the reports can't be young women, most times they are men.

Doug does not seem to mind at all. He thinks that what they do is needed to keep him faithful to his wife of several years. Anybody who knows even just a tiny bit of US atheltes' lives, knows what goes on, off the court/field. It is no…

Good Parenting?

I am of the firm opinion that modern parents between the ages of 30-50 years old have totaly lost all perspective as it regards good parenting. I appreciate that they have a hard row to hoe b/c they have to grow confident not rude, polite but not broken children. It is a balancing act trying to keep some of what your mother's and grandmother's generations utilized and introducing some of the modern practices.

Who Determines the Child's Diet
For example I am of the view that to grow some belief in making choices that a child can decide within reason what they will have for dinner. But the child dictating their entire diet and nutritional intake is something else altogether. I have seen parents who give their child only what they like to eat for meals; not a vegetable in sight. Sometimes no protien source except maybe for cheese and milk.

Respect For Authority and Adults?
How do parents attempt to grow respect for elders and not the attitude that the adult is always right? I see…

Leave the Past in the Past

Is that the same as the Christian quote : Let the dead bury the dead? I never really understood this biblical quote. How is the dead to bury themselves? Does it mean that the people who concern themselves with the cultural and health related practice of burying the dead, are themselves dead? Should the dead be tossed out to rut in the open? Would the tossing of the body constitute burial? So should it be left to decay where it died? Maybe it was just a quote for an instant not be used in any other context.

Alright alright I am being too literal. But both quotes suggest a disconnect of present and past,right? That what is done is done and all concerned need to forget about it? Or is it that the advice is not to dwell on the past b/c one can't change it?

The quote in the title I hear it often during Black History month. I also hear it when others mostly black people do not want to discuss slavery and its effect on our societies. I know a lot of people who hate discussing African h…

Harvard President, Summers, Sexist or Thought Provoking?

Full Discussion on StatementThe president of Harvard University, Lawrence H. Summers, suggested at a scholarly meeting this month that one reason fewer women make it to the top in mathematics and science may be because of innate differences of ability from men. That proposition has landed him in hot water with scholars who are berating him for advancing a dangerous and untrue stereotype.

But some researchers say that perhaps he has a point: that differences in performance between the sexes may be partly attributed to biological factors. Still other social scientists say that while the suggestion is fair, the proof just isn't there.
BBC's Take

Former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers argued one group outperformed the other because of genetics, not just experience, the Boston Globe said.
Considering that the the conference (was held) in Cambridge, Mass., sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research and titled "Diversifying the Science and Engineering Workforce: W…

How Do We Fight The Silent Pandemic: Child Sexual Abuse

My main thing is how can it be reduced, if not stopped? How people who care can raise kids who are less susceptible to the seduction and less forceful or violent approaches of predators?

I remember Toni Morrison having this conversation with Oprah about making children understand their intrinsic value. Not the irrelevant pretty or cute but the deep down earnest recognition of their human value. That according to Morrison is the way to arm children with the strength to say "no!" and to speak up in their own defense.

I also will add that a more honest and continuous discussion about sex and sexuality that is age appropriate would help tremendously.

I believe however for African women in the Western world these are huge demands. According to an article I just read in Essence Magazine:"You also see it in how we feel about our bodies and how we teach our daughters to feel about theirs. A woman who has been sexually molested or abused feels intense fear shame and anger, eve…

Of Women, Economics and Marriage

As provocative as it may sound to some, it was a well argued view in some circles that marriage for most woman is glorified prostitution. For these people, often Western feminists, marriage from a cold and cynical view was most times a contract of women selling their bodies for financial return and economic stability. The woman gave sex and their reproductive functions in return for the house, etc etc.

While this view held up really well up to a few decades ago for most women, does it still hold now? For some women around the world, marriage can still be described aptly as a contract with their financial benefactor, a husband. The husband provides for them financially. He is the only one who can own property so he provides the shelter. They women usually 'work' at or around the home and they may get money actual dollars to support this 'work'.

But for modern day women in the Western world this can't apply? The women I know earn their own money, most times are an …

Eulogie for Malcolm X by Ossie Davis

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The following eulogy was delivered by Ossie Davis at the funeral of Malcolm X on 27 February 1965 at the Faith Temple Church Of God




Here—at this final hour, in this quiet place—Harlem has come to bid farewell to one of its brightest hopes—extinguished now, and gone from us forever. For Harlem is where he worked and where he struggled and fought—his home of homes, where his heart was, and where his people are—and it is, therefore, most fitting that we meet once again—in Harlem—to share these last moments with him.

For Harlem has ever been gracious to those who have loved her, have fought for her and have defended her honor even to the death. It is not in the memory of man that this beleaguered, unfortunate, but nonetheless proud community has found a braver, more gallant young champion than this Afro-American who lies before us—unconquered still.

I say the word again, as he would want me to: Afro-American—Afro-American Malcolm, who was a master, was most meticulous in his use of words. …

David Walker's Appeal-(circa)1829-A Call To Action and Self-Liberation

David Walker's Appeal

Excerpts from the Appeal


My dearly beloved Brethren and Fellow Citizens.

Having travelled over a considerable portion of these United States, and having, in the course of my travels, taken the most accurate observations of things as they exist -- the result of my observations has warranted the full and unshaken conviction, that we, (coloured people of these United States,) are the most degraded, wretched, and abject set of beings that ever lived since the world began; and I pray God that none like us ever may live again until time shall be no more. They tell us of the Israelites in Egypt, the Helots in Sparta, and of the Roman Slaves, which last were made up from almost every nation under heaven, whose sufferings under those ancient and heathen nations, were, in comparison with ours, under this enlightened and Christian nation, no more than a cypher -- or, in other words, those heathen nations of antiquity, had but little more among them than the name and form…

Unlikely Artists-Gee's Bend Quiltmakers

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They sang it often : "Look Where He's Brought Me From!". Highly religious people, older black women 70+ years of age, 70 odd of them in all. They are the artists, unlikely as it sounds, they are! They have other things in common too. All descendants of slaves from mainly Pettway Plantation, they lived a thirdworld existence of adject poverty from generation to generation in the poorest county in the USA, in the state of Alabama.

But about ten years ago things changed for the women and the community of Gee's Bend in a very unexpected way. The skill of quiltmaking handed down from generation to generation, mother to daughter is now the source of remarkedly improved standard of living. An art historian, "discovered" the discarded and undervalued art form among the women. The quilts had been made to keep desparately poor families warm. They were made from old scraps of cloth, from strips of discared clotes, old bags etc. One of the women for example made an…

Sorry I have been Away

I just want to apologise for not updating my blog since November 2004. I will be updating soon forgive me all.