Posts Tagged ‘Life’

by Jamarah Amani

Movements in Black MidwiferyThere are a lot of traditional birthing customs that were lost throughout the years. Not only did we lose a part of our culture during slavery, but we lost a lot when our foremothers, grandmothers, and our great grandmothers started having their babies in the hospital. The mother wit that would normally be passed down discontinued because our grandmothers, forced with spinal taps or twilight, no longer had a story to tell.”Iya Sarahn Henderson, Community Midwife

In March of 2020, as the brutality of two pandemics, Covid-19 and police violence, were devastating Black communities across America, I thought about how midwifery models of care offer deep mother wit and wisdom to answer the problems facing society. It occurred to me that if everyone had the opportunity to sit at the feet of those who have dedicated their lives to “catchin’ babies,” how profoundly and beautifully we could begin healing this world. And now, with the development of Legacy, Power, Voice: Movements in Black Midwifery, an upcoming docuseries that will break new ground, everyone will have that chance.
Making a documentary about Black midwives has been a dream of mine for several years. This is a special project to me because I am a midwife and I also had three of my four babies with midwives, including two home births after a traumatic hospital birth. I know from both sides how deeply midwives impact families and communities. With Legacy, Power, Voice, I am producing my first documentary and working with talented director and videographer, Karyl-Lyn Sanderson. The film is the project of National Black Midwives Alliance, which I co-founded with Haguerenesh Tesfa in 2018. 
We have managed to assemble an amazing team of people who are helping to tell the stories of many Black midwives. We have interviewed eight midwives and three client families so far; this is just the beginning. I am excited to grow mentally, professionally, and spiritually with my team in this way and to add my name to the short list of midwives who also make movies. 
Saturday, December 12, 2020, at 7pm EST, National Black Midwives Alliance will showcase a short segment of the forthcoming documentary and feature a panel of grand midwives who will share the wisdom of their experiences with the audience. There will be live entertainment, a tribute to some of the esteemed elders, and a silent auction to raise money for the completion of the project. This is a virtual event that will help us to engage the community, build awareness, and raise funds to support the self-sustainability of the project; all are welcome.
Legacy Power Voice: Movements in Black Midwifery intimately explores the evolution of Black birthing traditions in America by giving voice to the traditional caretakers of the Black community. The film focuses on Georgia and Florida, as states where Black midwives have flourished even while enduring intense legal battles with the state and medical community and repression by their white peers. By highlighting the voices and stories of these powerhouse midwives, viewers witness the racial, political, and cultural contexts that have shaped midwifery movements in the South. This documentary acknowledges the devastation of medical abuse, provokes conversations about bodily autonomy and self-determination and expands our collective understandings of reproductive health and birth justice. 
Centering Black midwives means shifting from a narrative of abuse to focus on the wellness and resilience of Black women and families. Obstetric violence is rooted in the minds and bodies of Black women through the legacies of ancestors like Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy—the involuntary “mothers of gynecology.” Physicians such as J. Marion Sims used Black bodies for experimentation, in the name of medical advancement and often to the detriment of his patients such as Anarcha, who was subjected to over 30 surgeries with no anesthesia.
In post-slavery America, there were many barriers to accessing medical care and there was also significant distrust of doctors and the medical establishment. Midwives were systematically removed from Black communities by white doctors like Sims and their powerful allies, in favor of reducing the birth experience to a sterile biological event that can only happen in hospitals. Becoming a mother/parent is about more than physiology. Midwives understand the importance of people-centered education, participatory health care, holistic health and nutrition, intergenerational family healing, and autonomy over one’s own body. Traditionally, midwives have represented a safe place for Black families, literally holding the community’s future in their hands.
There are so many untold stories about midwifery in African American communities. Foremothers like Lucrecia Perryman,Biddy Mason, and Gladys Milton served as both conduits for the transmission of cultural practice as well as for innovation in the interest of survival. The practice of Sankofa—reclaiming our story and carrying our ancestors forward with us—is a collective responsibility. In doing this vital work, Legacy, Power, Voice is a grassroots labor of love.
The website for the documentary is Check out the trailers on the homepage: “Behind the Scenes of Legacy” and “Grand Midwives of Georgia.” Your energetic investment is as important as your monetary one to help us bring this film to life. You can purchase tickets for the Saturday, December 12 screening and fundraiser at Tickets are $25 general admission, $100 VIP.

For more information visit:


Shaggy and Friends 2018

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: or social media
Early bird Tickets will go on sale at midnight Wednesday, December 6, go to or through Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation (SMADF) website

Nalu, Mosiah & Daddy on Daddy Birthday


First I want to thank all of those who reached out to me by email, text, WhatsApp, calls, FB posts and messages, voicemails,
IG etc etc. I will do my best to respond to as many of you as I can, it is very humbling and well appreciated, I feel
the love.
As I enter a new year of my life, I have truly learned lot. With my children I have learned the great joys of life, with all 4 children and with marriage I have learnt more about life than I could have ever imagined. During the past couple years I have experienced the greatest pain I have ever felt in my life, I have also experienced the greatest spiritual growth in my life. I have seen friends my age and younger pass away.
I’ve also seen that emotions like happiness, sadness, depression, ecstacy and all such emotions are temporary sometimes even fleeting. I have also seen that on the ability to love and the execution of that love is the greatest thing that one can do on this planet (especially unconditional). More importantly true joy comes from living in GOD’s purpose which comes from living a life of commitment. I have definitely seen that being committed to GOD, myself, my wife, my children (all 4), my parents, my sisters and brother, my greater family and my friends.
Commitment has to start with GOD and all the other commitments have to filter through that commitment with GOD. It it is through commitment to God and living in God’s purpose that one will find true joy. This shed’s light on when Deion Sanders had won his 2nd NFL Championship ring and had had success as an MLB player he said he did not feel true joy. I have also learnt that the aforementioned emotions (all of them) become catalysts for nurturing, lessons through pain and ultimately growth.
As such they should be used as such, tools, not goals, the goal should be growth and fulfilling GOD’s purpose for you (I believe) I have great family and friends and I have wonderful and amazing children who do and will support me and I have a God who really opens up the world to my existence and to me when I trust HIM. This birthday is about growing in the purpose of GOD and being the best I can be in that process while I do the best in my commitments to all the aforementioned.
Thank you for acknowledging my earthstrong,
thank you for the love, nuff love.
Jason SkyWalker Walker
Leaning on GOD

Men we have to deliver, there can be no excuses. I understand that none of us are perfect, however we have to function from a place where we believe we will succeed in the areas we need to succeed in. For our families, communities, countries and our people.