Archive for the ‘Activism’ Category

Alia Atkinson Giorgio Scala

photo credit: Giorgio Scala DeepBlueMedia

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson won the gold medal in the 50m breaststroke at the FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships in Hangzhou, China, on Wednesday.

The world-record holder, who celebrated her 30th birthday on Tuesday, came from behind to win in 29.05s.

Alia Atkinson OD (Order of Distinction, 5th highest honour one can achieve in Jamaica) has continued as always to represent Jamaica well, in a sport that Jamaica does not have much support in. She has won multiple world championships and broken records. She has done this with amazing humility and grace in a sport that is represented very minimally by Jamaicans or people of colour.

In winning her first gold medal at these championships, the veteran Jamaican held off the challenge of long-time rival Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania who touched in 29.38s. Martina Carraro of Italy won the bronze medal in 29.59s.

The Jamaican set a new world record of 28.56s, this year, lowering her own mark of 28.64 set in 2016.

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ATLANTA REGGAE IN THE PARK: JASON SKYWALKER RETURNS

Atlanta Reggae in the Park 2018

COME CELEBRATE THE 5TH ANNUAL REGGAE IN THE PARK!

11TH of August 2018
at Perkerson Park, Atlanta GA

music by Changez Sound & more 

SHAGGY & FRIENDS RAISE FUNDS FOR THE CHILDREN 6TH OF JANUARY

Shaggy and Friends 2018

LINE UP INCLUDES:
Sting / Wyclef Jean /  Fetty WaP / Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons / Christopher Martin / Aidonia / Dexta Daps / Junior Reid / Shenseea / Barrington LevY / Third World / Chaka Demus and Pliers / Capleton / Professor Nuts & Wayne Wonder.
Kingston, Jamaica, December 6, 2017:- The Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation
(SMADF) continues their altruistic work with the sixth staging of the unifying charity
concert, Shaggy & Friends, scheduled for Saturday, January 6, 2018, on the prestigious
lawns of Jamaica House, St. Andrew.
Co-Produced by Rebecca Packer-Burrell, executive director of SMADF, Shaggy &
Friends is the main vehicle through which the organization keeps its pledge to
meaningfully partner with and assist the Bustamante Hospital for Children. Proceeds
from this show will go towards increasing the beds in the Intensive Care Unit of the
hospital, the sole paediatric facility in the island and the only full-service children’s
hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean. Sharon Burke, CEO, Solid Agency also
supports the event as Co-Producer.

Shaggy and Sting

“The Bustamante Hospital for Children Paediatric Intensive Care Unit is the only one
of its kind in the English speaking Caribbean. We admit 150 patients annually to this 5
bedded facility but are beset by the consequences of resource limitations; inadequate
physical space, inconsistent supplies of critical items, difficulty with acquisition of cutting
edge equipment as well as maintenance of the equipment we have, are challenges we
encounter in our quest to offer world class service in this Unit” explains Dr. Brian
James, Head of the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. “We therefore, feel
extraordinarily grateful to the Shaggy & Friends Foundation for their on-going efforts in
assisting the Hospital and the Unit. Please keep it going” Dr. James added. Totally committed to the project on several levels, Mrs. Packer-Burrell notes that organizing the 2018 staging of the biennial concert has been an incredible experience and emphasizes that the end product will be “truly awesome”. The twitter video on this is below.
The event boasts a fantastic artiste line-up which includes heavyweight international acts performing
alongside exceptional homegrown talents, all of whom have expressed a strong
commitment to this cause. Among the acts confirmed for Shaggy & Friends 2018
are Sting, Wyclef Jean, Fetty Wap, Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons, Christopher Martin,
Aidonia, Dexta Daps, Junior Reid, Shenseea, Barrington Levy, Third World, Chaka
Demus and Pliers, Capleton, Professor Nuts and Wayne Wonder.
Founder and chairman of the SMADF, Orville ‘Shaggy” Burrell confesses that he is
“super excited and humbled” at being given this wonderful opportunity to significantly
make a difference. “We are as committed to this project as we were when we first
staged Shaggy & Friends in 2009. If anything, the fire is burning even brighter. This
project has taken over a part of my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is a great
experience to be able to partner with our patrons, sponsors, other organizations and
dedicated individuals to save the lives of children – our future. Again, I must commend
the caring doctors and nurses at Bustamante Hospital for Children, who work tirelessly
to perform their duties, regardless of the circumstances,” Shaggy declared.
Sponsors on board are Scotiabank, Wisynco-Wata, Stewarts Automotive Group,
KFC-Restaurants of Jamaica, Lasco, The Atlas Group, Phoenix Printery, Jacqui Tyson-
From Thought To Finish, Rainforest Seafoods, Jamaica Broilers, Zoukie’s, Team
Solutions. And media partners BrandProfit, It’s Pixel Perfect, Jamaica Observer, Market
Me, Moonstone Blue, Phase 3 Productions and The RJR Group.
Among the partners is chef extraordinaire and décor specialist, Jacqui Tyson of From
Thought To Finish, who has easily re-committed to this one-of-a-kind, 100% charity
concert. “Being on board this project is not something that I have to even think about,
it’s just something that I have to do. It is said that it is better to give than to receive and I
must say that being on board Shaggy & Friends has helped me to experience this
truism. I really must commend Shaggy and his team for their hard work and dedication
and I am looking forward to serving up a delectable feast for Platinum patrons come
January 6, 2018. And, of course, the décor will be truly a wow factor,” the
businesswoman stated, as she flashed her signature bright smile.
Shaggy and Friends Benefit Concert had its inaugural staging on January 3, 2009 after
which the Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation was born. The organization has since
donated more than US$1.5million in equipment and services thanks to the proceeds
from the Shaggy & Friends concerts.
Audrey spent
.
For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/shaggyandfriends or social media
#teamshaggy4kids
Early bird Tickets will go on sale at midnight Wednesday, December 6, go to caribtix.com or through Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation (SMADF) website

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Respect to Africans throughout the Caribbean and the rest of the world who fought against the holocaust of slavery. The fight led to the end of the evil system. Unfortunately the affects are still seen today and have evolved in different ways.

marcus_garvey_0822

TODAY IS MARCUS GARVEY’S BIRTHDAY, in the face of all that has been occurring (police brutality against brown and black people, institutional racism and all other forms of oppression) the words of MARCUS MOSIAH GARVEY can help us in our quest for change.

 

“One God One Aim One Destiny”

 

Short Overview from Jamaica Information Service.

 

– Jamaica’s first National Hero was born in St. Ann’s Bay, St. Ann, on August 17, 1887. In his youth Garvey migrated to Kingston, where he worked as a printer and later published a small paper “The Watchman”.

 

During his career Garvey travelled extensively throughout many countries, observing the poor working and living conditions of black people.

 

In 1914 he started the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), in Jamaica. The UNIA, which grew into an international organisation, encouraged self-government for black people worldwide; self-help economic projects and protest against racial discrimination.

 

In 1916, Garvey went to the USA where he preached his doctrine of freedom to the oppressed blacks throughout the country.

 

However, USA officials disapproved of his activities and he was imprisoned, then deported.

 

Back in Jamaica in 1927, he continued his political activity, forming the People’s Political Party in 1929. He was unsuccessful in national elections but won a seat on the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC).

 

But the world of the 1930s was not ready for Garvey’s progressive ideas. He left Jamaica again, this time for England where he died in 1940. His body was brought back to Jamaica in 1964 and buried in the National Heroes Park in Kingston.

 

Garvey’s legacy can be summed up in the philosophy he taught – race pride, the need for African unity; self-reliance; the need for black people to be organised and for rulers to govern on behalf of the working classes.

Emancipation Park statues representing Africans looking to the sky after Emancipation declared throughout the British Empire in 1834

Emancipation Park statues representing Africans looking to the sky after Emancipation declared throughout the British Empire in 1834

(I originally wrote this piece a few years ago, still seems to make sense to me)

By Jason Walker

Emancipation day is an important day for the descendants of Africa, especially those whose ancestors were impacted by the brutal Slave trade. In the 1800’s the holocaust of slavery was hit with a crippling blow around the world. The Emancipation Act was passed on July 31, 1834 throughout the British Empire and effectively ended the inhumane Slave Trade. Full freedom from slavery did not come until four years later on August 1, 1838.  The 4 year period was instituted as a transition period as this monumental change would irrevocably change societies worldwide. The abolition of Slavery in the British Empire would affect slavery everywhere mainly because Britain’s navy owned the seas and without the cooperation of the British Navy, it made slavery both difficult and expensive. And as destructive, dehumanizing and inhumane the European version of the system of slavery was; it was for all intents and purposes an economic manifestation.

Slavery was a cruel and destructive system that had Africans as free labourers in labour intensive industries such as Cotton, Sugar and Tobacco. Throughout the 1400’s through to the middle of the 1700’s products such as these fetched a very attractive price, along with the free labour, a tidy profit could be made. Although labour was free, the cost to keep Africans enslaved was high. Especially in areas where there were slaves freeing themselves and staging revolts. The most successful of these of course included the Maroons in Jamaica from the 1500’s through to the 1700’s and even more so the Africans (including Maroons) in Haiti who at the end of the 1700’s would successfully wage a revolution against French armies, supported by Spain and England.

Do not think though that the Emancipation act came about from any suddenly altruistic gestures by the British Monarchy. Due to the work of many abolitionists in Britain; the sentiment against the horrific system Slavery had grown tremendously among the English population. Also the prices of the aforementioned products began to drop on the world markets as new products that did not need this labour intensive situation were now rising to prominence. Along with that came the advent of the industrial age which was ushering a new era where such labour numbers were not the order of the day. All the aforementioned along with the cost of keeping control and responding to revolts made these endeavours non-attractive. Continuing the genocidal and devastating system Slavery no longer made economic sense.

As we come to the present, we find that it is only in the past two decades that countries have decided to mark this date as a holiday, and of the countries that were affected by this act (Countries in Africa, The Caribbean, Central America, South America, & North America) a small percentage actually commemorate this day*. Maybe that is appropriate; I say this because although things are different from the era of slavery, people of African descent in the aforementioned geographical areas are not in a position of true emancipation.

The definition of Emancipation from the English Oxford Dictionary states that it is “the fact or process of being set free from legal, social, or political restrictions; liberation:” With the majority of African persons in these areas lacking resources, political clout, and in some cases freedom, can we really call ourselves emancipated? It was probably this same observation that led former Prime Minister of Jamaica and former leader of the Non-Aligned Movement (a coalition of countries that were not listed as industrial nations) Michael Manley to say; “The enslavement of the body which endured till 1838 was nothing compared to the enslavement of the mind which persisted since”. The affects of slavery and the propaganda to support slavery has endured and left a lasting mark and has conspired to keep those of African descent in such a position.

Yet by our accomplishments singularly and in some rare cases collectively we see we are a very powerful people. So it is possible to change the current existence. However we will probably have to do what Reggae Superstar Bob Marley said in his song Redemption Song: “Emancipate Yourself From Mental Slavery” before we can truly be at a stage of Emancipation. So although we celebrate the Act that saw fruition on August 1 1838 annually, we should probably use these days to see where we are on the road of getting to the next stage of Emancipation and be creative in getting to that new stage.

*Countries that Celebrate Emancipation Day include: Jamaica, Barbados, Bermuda, Bahamas, St. Lucia, Canada, Guyana, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis

Vin and flag

VIN MARTIN

Vin Martin, the former Jamaican Honorary Consul to Atlanta has died in Atlanta.  He served as Jamaica’s honorary Consul from 1997 until he retired last year after 16 years of dedicated service.

He was awarded the  Jamaica Diaspora Award of Excellence in 2013 for contributions to the development of the Jamaican diaspora in the United States.

Vin was born in Jackson Town, Trelawny and attended Excelsior High School before migrating in 1965 to the United States to attend College. He earned an undergraduate degree from Howard University (1969) in Washington D.C., an MBA (1972) in Finance and Investment from Pennsylvania State University and a Juris Doctorate (1976) from the Washington College of Law of the American University in Washington DC.

In 1972, Vin commenced work as an Accountant with Fannie Mae but upon graduation from law school, he was transferred to Atlanta and commenced work in Fannie Mae’s Atlanta legal department. After 30 years at Fannie Mae, he retired to open his own law practice in Stone Mountain.

Vin is survived by his wife, Hazel, their two sons and three grandchildren.

Courtesy of JAMATLANTA