Archive for the ‘Immigration’ Category

The late Lowell Hawthorne. CEO of the Golden Krust Empire.

Over the past couple of days, the Jamaican & by extension the Caribbean Diaspora has been rocked by news of Golden Krust CEO Lowell Hawthorne committing suicide. Hawthorne through his empire has been seen as the pinnacle of success in the Jamaican, Caribbean and Immigrant communities. Here are some of the reports:

From the Jamaica Observer:

NEW YORK, USA — The founder and CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill killed himself inside his Bronx factory yesterday, police sources said. Lowell Hawthorne, 57, shot himself inside the Park Avenue building about 5:30 pm, sources said.

More than a dozen current and former employees stood in disbelief outside the factory for hours.

Hawthorne opened the first Golden Krust store on E Gun Hill Road in 1989.

He built the Jamaica beef patty purveyor into a national empire boasting more than 120 restaurants across the US.

It also produces more than 50 million patties a year for retail stores, and supplies them to about 20,000 outlets.

“We believe in the power of the patty,” Hawthorne, a former winner of the Observer’s Business Leader Award, said in May.

Some of his employees said they suspected something was amiss when they spotted his car, a silver Tesla 85D, parked oddly outside the factory. It was left straddling two lanes.

 

From the New York Times:

Death of Jamaican Fast-Food Magnate Stuns Friends and Workers

Lowell Hawthorne used the flavors of his native Jamaica to build a fast-food empire from scratch in the United States.

But after 28 years as the president and chief executive of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, Mr. Lowell fatally shot himself on Saturday, the police said.

The entrepreneur’s death sent shock waves through the Caribbean community in New York, where he was seen as an immigrant success story, and in Jamaica. And it stunned his family, friends and customers.

“Our hearts are broken, and we are struggling to process our grief over this tremendous loss,” the Golden Krust company said in a statement on Sunday. “Lowell was a visionary, entrepreneur, community champion, and above all a committed father, family man, friend and man of faith.”

The Bronx-based company, where Mr. Hawthorne had worked with his wife and four children, offered thanks to supporters, and said funeral arrangements would be announced at a later date.

FROM the New York Post.
Golden Krust CEO killed himself over tax debt, fears of probe

The founder of the Golden Krust Jamaican beef patty empire killed himself amid fears the feds were investigating him for evading millions of dollars in taxes, The Post has learned.

A family member told detectives that Lowell Hawthorne, 57, admitted the huge tax debt to some of his relatives, and was “acting funny” and “talking to himself” in the hours before his suicide, a law enforcement source said Sunday.

Surveillance video shows the meat-pie mogul shooting himself in the head at his office inside the Golden Krust bakery and warehouse in the Bronx, said the source, who was briefed on the NYPD investigation into the shooting.

Before the shooting, the video shows Hawthorne speaking with a pair of workers who left the room, both of whom were crouched down when they later returned to his office, sources said.

It was unclear if they saw Hawthorne kill himself, but one of them could be seen making a cellphone call, which a source said was to 911.

Hawthorne employed dozens of relatives at the business he started in 1989, and the source said he left a note in which he apologized to his family.

Hawthorne’s younger brother, Milton Hawthorne, 55, met cops who arrived at the Golden Krust plant at 3958 Park Ave. around 5:15 p.m. Saturday in response to a 911 call about an emotionally disturbed person armed with a gun, sources said.

Lowell, a married father of three sons and a daughter, was found on the floor of his office with a single bullet wound to his head and a handgun lying nearby, sources said.

The Jamaican immigrant started Golden Krust with a single fast-food eatery on East Gun Hill Road in the Bronx and opened 16 more across the city before launching a franchise operation in 1996.

The company now has more than 120 outlets in nine states, and sells its beef patties in more than 20,000 supermarkets, as well as to the city school system, state penal system and US military, according to a news release issued last year.

In August, Hawthorne was slapped with a proposed class-action suit alleging he cheated as many as 100-plus workers at the Golden Crust plant out of overtime pay.

The suit — fairly common in the food service industry — remains pending in Manhattan federal court.

Al Alston, who befriended Hawthorne 30 years ago when they were both NYPD accountants and now owns a Golden Krust franchise in Queens, called his suicide “more than unexpected — it’s out of character.”

“He was always an upbeat guy,” Alston said.

“We’ve been in a lot of tough jams and situations, but he was always a person who’d say, ‘We’ll get out of it.’ And we would get out of it.”

Alston said he last spoke to Hawthorne two weeks ago, adding: “He was so happy about [the recent birth of] his granddaughter.”

“All his boys are married now. He was talking about taking on a different role as a father, making his boys into husbands and fathers themselves,” Alston said.

Mourners gathered at Hawthorne’s home in Elmsford, with son Omar, Golden Krust’s director of franchise and community development, saying via email: “We are still grieving, and are not conducting any interviews at this time.”

During a brief news conference at the Golden Krust bakery, company spokesman and Hawthorne nephew Steven Clarke said widow Lorna Hawthorne was making funeral arrangements and it was unclear if there would be a public memorial service.

“Right now we’re still processing and trying to wrap our mind around this tragic loss,” he added.

Additional reporting by Daniel Prendergast, Reuven Fenton, Shari Logan and Tea Kvetenadze

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Miami Broward One Carnival Celebrate 30 years of Carnival in South Florida

By Jason Walker

MIAMI BROWARD CARNIVAL CELEBRATES 30 YEARS

MIAMI BROWARD ONE CARNIVAL CELEBRATES 30 YEARS. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIAMI BROWARD ONE CARNIVAL

Miami Broward One Carnival reaches a major milestone in 2014. Three decades is a long time for any area not based in the Caribbean to host the largest physical manifestation of Caribbean culture: Carnival. The name Miami Broward One Carnival reflects the historic unification of two Carnivals that were staged for several years in close proximity in South Florida, on the same day at the same time. Both events drew thousands of people and had stage shows and bands.  The people, however, wanted one Carnival for the sake of unity, – everyone could partake in all that Carnival has to offer.

The vision of Carnival in South Florida 30 years ago has manifested itself into one of the most popular Caribbean events in North America. The Carnival even has hit songs that are about that Carnival, such as Alison Hind’s “Never Too Late For Carnival” featuring Trevor Offkey.

Joan Hickson is the chair of the organizing committee. Hickson thought back to “the first Carnival on NW 183rd Street.  I was a member of the St. Lucia Association of South Florida.  We became a band in the Carnival.  I was actually the Queen of the Band one year.  Since that time I have been involved in other bands – D’ Untouchables and D’ First Dimension.  I was on the Board of the South Florida Bandleaders Association and Caribbean American Carnival, which later became Miami Carnival Inc.  I have loved almost every minute of the last 30 years.  It is an accomplishment that we were able to overcome everything and all come together to continue this beautiful event”.

YOUNG ONE IN COSTUME FOR JUNIOR CARNIVAL

YOUNG ONE IN COSTUME FOR JUNIOR CARNIVAL

Hickson also demonstrated the importance of joining both Miami and Broward Carnivals; “it is very important for us to have only one Carnival in this region”, she cited.  “History has proven that we cannot afford more than one – financially, culturally or socially.  It was hard for both organizations; we were accustomed to our independence, but as leaders of our community it was the only choice and it was the right choice.”

Kathryn D’arcy is a director on the organizing committee. D’arcy shared that this year the “theme is a celebration of the 30th Annual Miami Carnival.  The first Miami Carnival was in 1985 in what is now the City of Miami Gardens.”

The late Selman Lewis took the helm of leadership in 1990 and with great fortitude, cunning, will power and strong support helped to guide the Carnival to be one of the most recognized in the world.

Miami Broward One Carnival by Walter Drayton

IMAGES FROM CARNIVAL IN SOUTH FLORIDA BY WALTER DRAYTON

Getting to the milestone of 30 years is very important and has been very difficult. The Carnival organizing committee has to make sure all facets of the very large event are taken care of, that there is buy in from the non-Caribbean community, the governing municipalities of South Florida, and the other Carnivals to avoid conflicting schedules. D’arcy shared that doing this “is a personal triumph because of my history with Miami Carnival.  I was not there in 1985, but I was in 1986 and every year since.  I’ve been a bandleader, a mas player, a competitor, an onlooker and an organizer of Miami Carnival.  I have seen and been a part of different facets of Carnival and from an organizational perspective I’ve seen every problem, every triumph over adversity – and there have been a lot of them.”

The Director of Marketing, John Beckford (formerly part of the Broward Carnival organizing committee), states that the Carnival means to him “embracing heritage and celebration of Caribbean arts and culture. It means food, drinks and music indigenous to the Caribbean. It means, getting together with friends and family if not for this one time each year…it means old man Winter is about to set in….” Hickson declares that, “I have loved almost every minute of the last 30 years.  It is an accomplishment that we were able to overcome everything and all come together to continue this beautiful event.”

For it to last this long and still grow and be relevant is admirable, the question as to how it has lasted so long was posed to Hickson.  She responded by saying “Our community loves Carnival.  No matter where we are from, we all had Carnival at home, so it’s natural to want to show our kids and teach them our culture.  Every year another thousand people discover Carnival and will bring their friends the following year.”

Broward Canrival

IMAGES FROM BROWARD CARNIVAL

Miami Broward One Carnival has left enduring memories for all, memories that have seared into people’s subconscious to become lasting life images. Board members shared some of their memories; Beckford shared his most enduring memory which was a “A quiet conversation with Selman Lewis two days before he died, about how unity of Miami & Broward carnivals was the right thing to do…. Selman….miss him….”; Hickson adds, “… the memories of Selman Lewis are there. We called him “The Runner” because the rest of the Board had specific responsibilities but he was, overall, responsible for everything.  Plus, Selman was too elegant to ever run. The name was our private joke.  I always loved seeing the Kings, Queens and Individuals on stage, especially when we did the show at the Coconut Grove Convention Center and they had a big stage to perform on.  The Junior Carnivals are good memories.  I loved it when the steelbands came from T&T and people just chipped along smiling and happy.” D’arcy remembers “Wet Mih Down” playing while masqueraders jumped up on stage in pouring rain in Miami Beach; sitting on the wall of Hialeah Park watching the masqueraders pass; the heat at  carnival parties in Studio 183 and Travelodge; Sherman Helmsley (“Mr. Jefferson”) jumping up on stage at the Convention Center; a City of Miami Policeman pushing pan on stage at Bicentennial Park; TanTan and Saga Boy at Pier 1 in Miami Beach; the perfection of D’ First Dimension Mas Band; all mas bands, steelbands, Junior bands and J’Ouvert bands that make up Carnival.”

The Carnival brings thousands of persons to South Florida consistently from across North and South America, the Caribbean, Africa and even Europe. It is a huge boost to the South Florida economy, a great plug for Florida tourism and a fantastic display of Caribbean Culture. Caribbean and Non-Caribbean people get engaged in the Carnival in diverse ways. They are not just standing on the sides and grooving to music anymore, they are becoming a part of the show joining bands, putting on costumes and fully becoming part of the Carnival. There are Caribbean and non-Caribbean people volunteering to help with the organizing of the Carnival. According to Beckford, “some embrace carnival and are curious of the diversity. Thanks to TV, Internet and World Travel, more non-Caribbean folks explore and embrace Carnival. Each year I see non-Caribbean numbers grow in attendance”

Kia Hidspire representing Grenada & St Lucia along with Nicole Williams representing Jamaica in Tribal Mas Band in the 2013 Miami Broward Carnival

Kia Hidspire representing Grenada & St Lucia along with Nicole Williams representing Jamaica in Tribal Mas Band in the 2013 Miami Broward Carnival

There are many aspects for people to enjoy and be engaged in. Patron and Reveller Nicole Williams who makes the trek from New York City states that “my favourite part would be the beginning when we start to march”; Miami Native Rhavi Bharath eloquently points out that “the Carnival bliss in that moment of sweet soca, alcohol, stunning women and scenic ecstasy was a time forever etched in my subconscious.” There are also masquerade bands that will travel thousands of miles to partake of Miami Broward One Carnival. Garth George and his Fusion Karnival Band out of New York is such band. According to Trinidad & Tobago born George Fusion Karnival masquerade band is one of the largest to come out of New York and he states that “Miami Broward (One) Carnival is the last bacchanal getaway of the summer before the main event in T&T to get ready again for another year”.

The Carnival engages various people in many areas. When asked about this phenomenon D’arcy expounds that “there are cashiers, Marshalls to direct the parade, people to work with the vendors, marketing needs people to service the sponsors, we have PR volunteers tweeting and instagramming at every event.  These are just some of the people who work with Carnival.  From an attendance point-of-view, it’s exciting to see the promise of diversity play out on our stage.  Every color, creed and race is on the road, but in addition the age differential is amazing in that nobody is too young or too old to play mas.  We have masqueraders in wheelchairs; we have LGBT masqueraders; anyone and everyone is welcome as a masquerader or attendee.  We are truly diverse and that is the true pageantry and spectacle of Carnival.”

Looking back at the three decades it is hard to separate Selman Lewis from the memories. Hickson shared that “Selman Lewis is the cerebral founder of Carnival.  The WIADCA Committee founded Carnival in 1985.  In 1990 Selman Lewis took the Carnival and dragged it to a higher level.  He formed alliances which brought Brooklyn and other cities to Miami in record numbers.  He started the Coconut Grove Convention Center parties.  He started doing a Carnival Launch.  He then started doing an Official Launch of Miami Carnival in T&T.  He was the brainchild behind the beautiful brochures which many Carnival produce.  He had a unique mind and the ability to communicate which allowed him to dominate every meeting and every group, and to get people to agree with his viewpoints.  He formed the first “Junior Board” with the intent of having a group of younger people to take over Carnival.  His policies and procedures are still used today.  He was a Carnival Genius.”

Miami Broward One Carnival celebrating 30 years should be a powerful display of Caribbean culture, expression and, yes, unity. The Carnival will be in two parts the Miami Broward Junior Carnival will be held on Sunday, October 5, 2014 at the Central Broward Regional Park & Cricket Stadium (3700 NW 11th Pl, Lauderhill, FL 33311) and on Sunday, October 12, 2014 there will be the staging of the Miami Broward Parade of Bands, 30 Years Celebration at the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds, 10901 Coral Way, Miami, Fl 33165. For more information visit www.miamibrowardcarnival.com.

Jason Walker is a freelance writer for Caribbean Today Magazine who has had an award winning journalism career that spans 20 years. He can be followed on twitter at www.twitter.com/jasonwalker_ or emailed at jasonarticle@gmail.com

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Trinidadian Born Miami Native Rhavi Bharath with fellow Masquerader overlooking Biscayne Bay in Miami

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

Miss Lou Photo courtesy of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission

Miss Lou Photo courtesy of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission

Jason Walker

(SCROLL DOWN FOR CELEBRATION EVENTS DURING SEPTEMBER)

                As I write this it is actually the day after what would have been the 94th Birthday of ‘MISS LOU’ JAMAICA ‘S FIRST LADY OF COMEDY, THE HON. LOUISE BENNETT-COVERLEY O.M. O.J. M.B.E. DIP R.A.D.A., D. LITT (HON). That however does not stop me from reflecting on one of my heroines and a Jamaican and African legend. As a Jamaican who loves my culture and the platform of enjoying the expression of my culture, I am grateful to Miss Lou for helping to create that platform.

                As will be seen in some of the highlights of her life, Miss Lou began celebrating our culture, especially the major African part of our culture, publicly with international impact, at the age of 14 with a poem that was done in Jamaican patois. This poem opened doors for her that would lead her into acting and eventually to spread her talent and the Jamaican language to the shores of England.

                Miss Lou created her legendary platform that was all about Black and Jamaican pride. Throughout her career she fought racism, sexism, classism, bigotry, xenophobia and various forms of oppression. I was fortunate to be born in a time when she was still alive (Miss Lou passed away in Canada in July 2006). I was exposed to her very popular TV show (Ring Ding) on Jamaica Broadcast Television (JBC), the show was a children’s show that focused on Jamaican & African stories, poetry, folklore, art and other cultural manifestations. She always ended her show with her signature “Walk Good! …… Ai yah yah!” followed by a heartfelt laugh that I remember to this day.

The show helped to foster a certain pride in my Jamaica “Africanness”. The show helped (with other things) to give me a certain confident poise, a swagger if you will, about being a black Jamaican and everything that came with African-Jamaican culture. In school her poems were the most impactful and most fun for me. The poems not only used my native in the most beautifully rhythmic manner, they also provided a window to the development of Jamaican culture over the years, while entertaining the reader in the most engaging manner possible. Throughout her career she was the pinnacle of theatre, poetry, comedy, television and other cultural art forms, and wherever she was she fought for and presented through an African-Jamaican perspective.

                All persons who in some way enjoy, are exposed, involved with, impacted by or in some way connected to Black Jamaican culture can thank Miss Lou for her contribution to its development. I am now a father of four and my family resides in the United States, there is a little regret that my children will not be able to be exposed to Miss Lou while she is alive, or to see a show like Ring Ding, however we have her poems, we are blessed to be in an era to see some of her television work and yes at every birthday we do sing her version of the Happy Birthday song. Miss Lou always had a smile or a laugh for all, while being a constant tower of strength for her culture and her people. Thank you Miss Lou, thank you for all that you have given us. May we treasure and carry on. “Walk Good……. Ai yah yah!”

Miss LouMISS LOU

HIGHLIGHTS: Louise Bennett was born on September 7, 1919. She was a Jamaican poet and activist. From Kingston, Jamaica Louise Bennett remains a household name in Jamaica, a “Living Legend” and a cultural icon. She received her education from Ebenezer and Calabar Elementary Schools, St. Simon’s College, Excelsior College, Friends College (Highgate).

Although she lived in Toronto, Canada for the last decade of her life she still receives the homage of the expatriate West Indian community in the north as well as a large Canadian following.

She was described as Jamaica’s leading comedienne, as the “only poet who has really hit the truth about her society through its own language”, and as an important contributor to her country of “valid social documents reflecting the way Jamaicans think and feel and live” Through her poems in Jamaican patois, she raised the dialect of the Jamaican folk to an art level which is acceptable to and appreciated by all in Jamaica.

In her poems she was able to capture all the spontaneity of the expression of Jamaicans’ joys and sorrows, their ready, poignant and even wicked wit, their religion and their philosophy of life. Her first dialect poem was written when she was fourteen years old. A British Council Scholarship took her to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art where she studied in the late 1940’s.

Bennett not only had a scholarship to attend the academy but she auditioned and won a scholarship. After graduation she worked with repertory companies in Coventry, Huddersfield and Amersham as well as in intimate revues all over England.
On her return to Jamaica she taught drama to youth and adult groups both in social welfare agencies and for the University of the West Indies Extra Mural Department.

She lectured extensively in the United States and the United Kingdom on Jamaican folklore and music and represented Jamaica all over the world. She married Eric Winston Coverley in 1954 (who died in 2002) and has one stepson and several adopted children. She enjoys Theatre, Movies and Auction sales.

Her contribution to Jamaican cultural life was such that she was honored with the M.B.E., the Norman Manley Award for Excellence (in the field of Arts), the Order of Jamaica (1974) the Institute of Jamaica’s Musgrave Silver and Gold Medals for distinguished eminence in the field of Arts and Culture, and in 1983 the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of the West Indies. In September 1988 her composition “You’re going home now”, won a nomination from the Academy of Canadian Cinema ad Television, for the best original song in the movie “Milk and Honey.”

In 1998 she received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from York University, Toronto, Canada. The Jamaica Government also appointed her Cultural Ambassador at Large for Jamaica. On Jamaica’s independence day 2001, Bennett-Coverley was appointed as a Member of the Order of Merit for her distinguished contribution to the development of the Arts and Culture.

Born in 1919 in then-colonial Jamaica, Miss Lou began writing, then performing, verse in dialect from the age of 13 – at a time when standard English was considered the norm and the ideal to which most people aspired. She began acting in 1936, while in high school, and was spotted by impresario Eric Coverley (who would later be-come her husband). In 1945, she won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. While there and still a student, she hosted the live radio show, Caribbean Carnival on the BBC. During a second stay in London, she hosted another program for the BBC, West Indian Guest Night, which introduced emerging West Indian talent. In Jamaica, her verses, written in dialect, were published in The Daily Gleaner; she also performed them onstage and on-radio along with her prose monologues. She hosted radio shows, Laugh with Louise and Miss Lou’s Views, which were on the air for 15 years, as well as Lou and Ranny. Onstage she appeared in a number of productions including the annual Jamaican Pantomimes, from 1943 until 1971, without interruption; retiring from the stage in 1975. For 12 years, beginning in the 1970s, Miss Lou hosted a popular TV program, Ring Ding, which allowed children from all parts of the country to participate and showcase their talent in the performing arts. In 2003, she hosted another edition of Ring Ding, produced in Jamaica. Her film credits include Calypso and Club Paradise; while her song, “Going Home”, used in the film Milk and Honey, was nominated for a Genie Award. In 1989, Louise was appointed Ambassador-at-Large for Culture by the Jamaican Government. Over the years, she has performed and lectured throughout the world, promoting Jamaican history and culture, and creating awareness and pride among Jamaicans for their folk stories and songs. Her works are said to “have a sophisticated and subversive, political dimension and pillory both pretension and self-contempt. They ridicule class and colour prejudice, and criticize people ashamed of being Jamaican or ashamed of being Black.” (Gazette, York University, 1998)

Honours: Several including, Member of the Order of Merit for her distinguished contribution to the development of the Arts & Culture, Jamaica, 2001; inclusion in Who’s Who in Black Canada (1st & 2nd editions, 2000 & 2006); recognized by the International Theatre Institute, Jamaica Chapter, as the “Most Important Theatre Personality of the 20th Century” (2000); Member of the Order of the British Empire for her work in Jamaican literature and theatre; Norman Manley Award for Excellence; Order of Jamaica for work in the field of Native Culture; Honorary Degree of Literature, York University (1988) and University of the West Indies (1982); Gold Musgrave Medal for contribution to the development of the arts in Jamaica & the Caribbean (1978).

Works: Recordings: Include Yes, M’Dear: Miss Lou Live (1983); The Honourable Miss Lou (1981); Carifesta Ring Ding (1976); Listen to Louise (1968); Miss Lou’s Views (1967); Jamaica Singing Games (1953); Jamaica Folk Songs (1953). Poetry: Jamaica Labrish (1966); Anancy and Miss Lou (1979); Selected Poems (1982). Other publications: Aunty Roachy Seh (1993); Laugh with Louise; and Anancy and Miss Lou.

Education: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, England; St. Simon’s College; Excelsior College; Friends College for Jamaica.

Hero: Her mother, Kerene Robinson.

Motto: Use a smile to cover sorrow.

2013 CELEBRATIONS OF THE LIFE OF MISS LOU

Islandwide Celebration for Miss Lou during September

 

The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) has planned a number of activities during the month of September to celebrate the 94th birthday anniversary of the late Hon. Louise Bennett – Coverley, OM, OJ, MBE.

 

These activities will be held in each parish across the island and includes Exhibitions on the life and work of Miss Lou in collaboration with Parish Libraries; Concerts featuring her works in poetry, storytelling & songs; a special ‘Storytelling’ feature for the ‘Tweenie Weenie’ children; and bringing back ‘Ring Ding’ time, in Montego Bay.

 

Below is the list of islandwide activities:

Parish

Date and Time

Activities

Venue

Description

St. Mary

Monday , September 2 – Saturday  September 28, 2013

Special Anniversary Display on the life and works of Miss Lou

St. Mary Parish Library, Port Maria

Exhibition will run daily Monday – Saturday

9:00am –  5:00pm

St. Thomas

Thursday September 5 – Saturday 7, 2013

Special Library Exhibition

St. Thomas Parish Library, Morant Bay

Special three day Display on the life and works of Miss Lou

Westmoreland

Friday September  6, 2013 commencing at 10:00am

   

 

Official Opening Ceremony of Pictorial Exhibition

Westmoreland Parish Library

Featuring performances of Miss Lou’s poetry, storytelling and songs. Exhibition to run daily September 6 – 28 – 9:00am – 5:00pm

Mondays – Saturdays

 

Kingston/St. Andrew

Friday September 6, at 10:00am

Library Exhibition

Kingston/St. Andrew Parish Library, Tom Redcam Avenue

Exhibition to run from September 6 – 13, 2013 Monday – Saturdays 9:00am – 5:00pm

Kingston/St. Andrew

Saturday September 7 at 4:00pm

‘Tenky Miss Lou Poetry Hour

Louise Bennett Garden Theatre, Kingston

A staged performances of Miss Lou poems and songs

St. Catherine

Saturday September 7

Library Exhibition

St. Catherine Parish Library, Spanish Town

Exhibition to run from September 7 – 21, 2013 daily from 9:00am

St. Catherine

Saturday September 7

Library Exhibition

Greater Portmore Library

Exhibition to run from September 7 – 21, 2013 daily from 9:00am

Trelawny

Friday September 13, 2013 at 10:00am

Official Opening of Library Exhibition Ceremony

Trelawny Parish Library, Falmouth

Guest speaker

Exhibition to run to September 28, 2013 daily from 9:00am

Hanover

 

Wednesday September 18, 2013 at 10:00am

 

Official Opening Ceremony of Pictorial  Exhibition and Storytelling Corner for “Tweenie Weenie” Library

 

Hanover Parish Library, Lucea

 

Featuring Internationally renowned poet Jean Breeze. Exhibition runs until September 28, 2013 daily from 9:00am

Manchester

Friday September 20 at 9:00am – 1:00pm

“Tenk God Fi Miss Lou” Tribute

Manchester Hugh School Auditorium & Grounds

A special tribute featuring panel discussion, exhibition and concert

Portland

Monday September 23, 2013 at 10:00am

Library Exhibition

Portland Parish Library, Port Antonio

Exhibition to run from Monday September 23 – Friday 28, 2013

9:00am – 5:00pm daily

Monday – Saturday

St. Ann

Thursday September 26, 2013 at 10:00am

Miss Lou Birthday Celebration

St. Ann Parish Library, St. Ann’s Bay

Official Opening of Exhibition, Guest Speaker, a special feature of an  essay competition and performances

 

St. James

Thursday September 26,2013 at 10:00 am

Miss Lou Mo Bay Ring Ding

Saint James Parish Library, Montego Bay

Featuring presentations from  Culture Clubs across the Parish

 

Thursday September  26, 2013 at 4:00pm

Miss Lou Poetry Extravaganza

Portland Parish Library, Port Antonio

A special tribute featuring a poetry competition and performances

Clarendon

Thursday September 26, 2013 at 4:00pm

Miss Lou Concert Tribute

Clarendon Parish Library, May Pen

A special concert featuring poetry, storytelling, drumming & quadrille

St. Elizabeth

Friday September 27, 2013 at 1:00pm

Miss Lou Poetry Competition and Awards Ceremony

St. Elizabeth Parish Library, Black river

A special dialect poetry competition in honour of Miss Lou’s work in dialect, guest speaker, awards ceremony and performances

Information provided by Jamaica Information Service, JCDC, and Who’s Who in Black Canada

Jason Walker is a freelance writer who has had an award winning journalism career that spans 20 years. He can be followed on twitter at www.twitter.com/jasonwalker_ or emailed at jasonarticle@gmail.com

AUGUST 1 IS EMANCIPATION DAY FOR ALL PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT

Emancipation Park statues representing Africans looking to the sky after Emancipation declared

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

By Jason Walker

Emancipation day is an important day for the descendants of Africa, especially those whose ancestors were impacted by the 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 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 system used to have 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 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 altruistic gestures by the British Monarchy. Due to the work of many abolitionists in Britain; the sentiment against 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 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 British 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

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA ON CARIBBEAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH 2013

President Barack Obama flanked by Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller of Jamaica (Left) and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of Trinidad & Tobago (Right) along with several Caribbean and Regional heads

President Barack Obama flanked by Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller of Jamaica (Left) and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of Trinidad & Tobago (Right) along with several Caribbean and Regional heads

“For centuries, the United States and nations in the Caribbean have grown alongside each other as partners in progress. Separated by sea but united by a yearning for independence, our countries won the right to chart their own destinies after generations of colonial rule. Time and again, we have led the way to a brighter future together — from lifting the stains of slavery and segregation to widening the circle of opportunity for our sons and daughters.

“National Caribbean-American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate those enduring achievements. It is also a chance to recognize men and women who trace their roots to the Caribbean. Through every chapter of our Nation’s history, Caribbean Americans have made our country stronger — reshaping our politics and reigniting the arts, spurring our movements and answering the call to serve. Caribbean traditions have enriched our own, and woven new threads into our cultural fabric. Again and again, Caribbean immigrants and their descendants have reaffirmed America’s promise as a land of opportunity — a place where no matter who you are or where you come from, you can make it if you try.

“Together, as a Nation of immigrants, we will keep writing that story. And alongside our partners throughout the Caribbean, we will keep working to achieve inclusive economic growth, access to clean and affordable energy, enhanced security, and lasting opportunity for all our people. As we honor Caribbean Americans this month, let us strengthen the ties that bind us as members of the Pan American community, and let us resolve to carry them forward in the years ahead.

“NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2013 as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. I encourage all Americans to celebrate the history and culture of Caribbean Americans with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

“IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

“BARACK OBAMA.”

PHOTO CAPTION: President Barack Obama flanked by Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller of Jamaica (Left) and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of Trinidad & Tobago (Right) along with several Caribbean and Regional heads

AUGUST 1 IS EMANCIPATION DAY FOR ALL PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT

By Jason Walker

Emancipation day is an important day for the descendants of Africa, especially those whose ancestors were impacted by the 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 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 system used to have 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 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 altruistic gestures by the British Monarchy. Due to the work of many abolitionists in Britain; the sentiment against 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 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 British 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