“Colour and the Tourist Trade”

Screenshot 2018-04-13 12.26.18

Gleaner column 21/4/18

In an interesting postscript to my last column “Modern Day Plantations”, I was sent a response from tourism mogul John Issa saying that my account of Evon Blake’s plunge into the Myrtle Bank Hotel’s pool was “not quite accurate”.

Apparently the story as told to John Issa by Evon Blake himself, went as follows.

“After my grandfather, father and uncle purchased the Myrtle Bank hotel in 1943, Evan (sic) Blake wanted to test if it still discouraged black guests, which it had done when it was owned by the United Fruit Co, now that it was owned by Jamaicans. He went to the front desk to buy a pool ticket and it was sold to him, he then proceeded to the swimming pool and was given a changing room and towel. He then proceeded to dive into the pool. He told me at all times he was welcomed.

“He however added, with a smile on his face, that when he dived into the pool it was like watching a movie in reverse as all the foreign guests who were in the pool came out.”

Issa went on to say that he was proud that his family had “removed racism” from the Myrtle Bank. He had also personally appointed the first black General Manager of a major Jamaican resort hotel when he appointed Willard Samms as General Manager of the Tower Isle Hotel in the early 1960s.

These details are interesting and also a perfect illustration of how deceiving appearances can be when they are decontextualized. On the face of it we might be inclined to buy this narrative of benign racial inclusiveness yet the incident involving Blake occurred in 1948, when Jamaica was still a colonial society and racism was even more pronounced than it is today. Thus you could very well have no explicit colour or race bar and still control the entry of Black people to your property. Heck, their entry is still being discouraged today, which was the point of my column.

Issa himself says that Blake told him as soon as he plunged into the pool all the foreign guests jumped out, a clear indication that it was NOT the norm, stated policy or not, for Blacks to swim in the Myrtle Bank’s famous pool. Likewise we might note that the appointment of a black general manager in the 60s while admirable, likely made no difference to the treatment of black guests, as indeed continues to be the case, more than 60 years later when it is the norm for hotels to have black managers.

Despite being managed and staffed by Blacks in 2018 too many Jamaicans who attempt to sample their country’s world-renowned hospitality find that it doesn’t necessarily extend to them. That was the gravamen of my column last week. So the fact that Evon Blake bought a ticket to the Myrtle Bank pool without hindrance is neither here nor there. The list of black guests I quoted complaining about their treatment had also paid for their stays at the hotels in question, yet it didn’t insulate them from the racial profiling they suffered. I’m sure those hotels have no explicit policy barring the entry of dark-skinned folk either. They don’t have to. Centuries of racial ‘grooming’ so to speak, cannot be undone overnight; the racism is internalized and practised by Blacks against Blacks.

Add to this the potent poison of class prejudice, something we all systematically practice in this day and age and you realize how complex the situation is. If you’re black and poor there are hardly any pools or beaches available for you in Jamaica.

As art historian Krista Thompson notes in “An Eye for the Tropics” Evon Blake was very concerned also about how Jamaicans were portrayed in tourism campaigns. He deplored the fact that in these representations black Jamaicans always appeared in menial positions, or as boys climbing coconut palms or diving into the sea to retrieve coins. Middle class Blacks were rarely featured. Blake pointed out that in contrast, neighbouring Haiti emphasized the fact that tourists would be visiting a ‘Black Republic’ where you would be expected to fraternize with ‘Negroes’.

According to Blake the unwritten message in Haitian tourist publicity went something like this: “If you object to associating with Negroes go somewhere else.” Americans who went to Haiti forgot the colour prejudice practised back home:

“They chin and chum with Negroes, and they appear to love it. They sit next to Negroes in swank hotels and clubs, bathe in swimming pools with Negroes, dance with Negro men and women, and consider themselves privileged when offered the opportunity to pay their respects to officials of the ‘Black Republic.’”

And while this was going on in Haiti, in Jamaica tourism interests were assiduously keeping tourists from meeting locals, on the grounds that they wouldn’t like to hobnob with black folk, a belief apparently alive and well today. Clearly a sea change is needed in how tourism is practised in this Black country.

Modern Day Plantations

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Gleaner column 14/2/18

The story is told in hushed tones of well-known journalist Evon Blake who jumped into the pool at Myrtle Bank Hotel, a whites-only facility in downtown Kingston.

“One summer day in 1948, as tourists and elites casually colonized the poolside deckchairs of Jamaica’s premier hotel, the Myrtle Bank, a black Jamaican journalist, Evon Blake, suddenly burst onto the brochure-promised scene. He hastily disrobed and plunged into the waters of the hotel’s unofficially racially segregated pool. The staff quickly congregated at its edges, hurling threats at the intruder. Taking advantage of the protection of the water, which prohibited security from entering the pool, Blake defiantly challenged,”Call the police. Call the army. Call the owner. Call God. And let’s have one helluva big story.”

The quote above is from a chapter titled “Diving into the Racial Waters of Beach Space in Jamaica” in Bahamian art historian Krista Thompson’s groundbreaking book

You might think that the Myrtle Bank’s covert racism in Jamaica was symptomatic of colonial times, it was 1948 after all. But I have news for you. Racial profiling is alive and well in Jamaica today, and raised its ugly head in Port Antonio recently. A video making the rounds on social media features a woman who has been visiting Jamaica for many years talking about a distressing experience. The caption below the video sums up what happened.

“CAUCASIAN tourist vacationing/visiting ERROL FLYNN MARINA IN PORT ANTONIO JAMAICA, claims her BLACK JAMAICAN FRIEND WAS discriminated against !!! Her local black Jamaican friend was warned not to swim with the TOURISTS!!! Classism.”

In my opinion the incident is a toxic mix of classism and racism. The video attracted a slew of responses many of them retailing similar stories of racism suffered by black, Jamaican visitors and tourists returning to their beloved country for vacations. I quote some of them below:

Venus Jack I can relate. While checking into the resort in Montego Bay the young lady serving drinks to the arriving guests excluded us and didn’t offer us anything to drink. She just ignored us like we did not belong there. What a welcome home! Previously at another resort we had guests and the security guards were rude to them because they were locals. Wouldn’t let them visit us in peace… they were under constant scrutiny and treated them like thieves even though they had to stay in the lobby area only. It was very upsetting.

Donna Rose Omg Venus Jack I experienced the very same thing at RIU in Ocho Rios. That hotel chain would never ever get another penny from me. When I arrived at the hotel to check in, they asked us, whey uno a go? They would not allow my local friends to park on the property. Jamaicans I tell you.

Steve Shers I’m used to being treated as a second class tourist/visitor when I visit the Caribbean although I’m from there.

Beverley Ranglin This happened to me and my family at the holiday inn in montego bay 2 years ago.

Tanya Weise That’s happened to us at Ibero Stars too.

They just pass and offered all white guest the cocktails and we were among everyone else waiting to be checked in.

Amanda Scott Venus Jack that very same thing happened to me at Grand Bahia in Ochi with the guests. I was so ready to leave by the 3rd day. Never again.

Almarie Davis She is so right. I wanted to rent a beach chair at a particular beach in Portland and was told I can’t. They are saving them for the cruise shippers.

Christine Creary-taylor My family and I went to an all inclusive resort in Montego Bay and they were serving drinks to all the new arrivals that just walked pass us. Colour not light enough I guess.

Clearly blatant racial discrimination is still being practiced in Jamaica’s world-renowned tourism enclaves. Yet in November last year when  Secretary General of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Taleb Rifai, “strongly urged Caribbean tourism stakeholders to stop promoting modern-day plantations called exclusive resorts” at a Montego Bay conference on jobs and inclusive growth he was raked over the coals by tourism interests.

Rifai went on to  warn against the practice of building five-star resorts in three-star communities, where the citizens were not part of the transformation. The backlash he suffered from Jamaica’s tourist industry forced him to tone down his statements the next day.

The case of the Errol Flynn Marina places the subject raised by Mr. Rifai on the table once again. Let’s not sweep this ugly intersection of racism and classism under the carpet yet again. Racism in a black country should simply not be tolerated in this day and age. Neither should classism. Do we have to send for Evon Blake’s duppy to finish the job?

The Great Jamaican/Haitian Language Wars

The perils of dissing Creole languages in the countries where they’re spoken.

Clovis, Sunday Observer, Jan 31, 2010

Well, I’ve always known that my views on Jamaican Creole or Patwa, the native language here, were contentious but sound. Still for all those who’ve doubted what i’ve written on the subject please read what Michael DeGraff, an MIT Associate Professor of Linguistics, Syntax, Morphology, Language Change, Creole Studies, and Haitian Creole has to say on the subject. Here’s an excerpt from a Boston Globe article on him and his work:

The Power of Creole
Beneath Haiti’s problems lies a deep conflict with its own language. An MIT professor has a bold plan to fix that.

When Michel DeGraff was a young boy in Haiti, his older brother brought home a notice from school reminding students and parents of certain classroom rules. At the top of the list was “no weapons.” And right below it, DeGraff still remembers: “No Creole.” Students were supposed to use French, and French only.

It was like this all over the country, and still is. Despite the fact that the vast majority of Haitian children grow up hearing and speaking exclusively Haitian Creole–the language used in their villages and homes, in their music, and in their proverbs, jokes, and jingles–the minute they start school they are forced to start all over in a language they don’t know. French is the language of Haiti’s tiny ruling class, and for children who come from that world, this poses no problem. But for all the others, being forced to use French makes it nearly impossible to learn. Many students just stop talking in class, going silent. And according to an estimate from the Ministry of Education, less than a third of students who enter first grade reach sixth grade, and only 10 percent of those who start high school pass the exam that is given at the end….

“Haiti will never be able to rise to its potential if you have 90 percent of Haitians who cannot be instructed properly,” DeGraff said. “Once you open up that reservoir, what can happen? So many things can happen….Imagine how many well-prepared minds you would have to try to solve the country’s problems.”

Were you to substitute Jamaican Patwa for the words Haitian Creole, the article would still be accurate because the situation DeGraffe describes is exactly the one that prevails here. Read what i’ve said on the subject before and see what i mean:

Cake Soap and Creole: The Bleaching of the Nation…
In Jamaica, Patwa, skin-bleaching, Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Historian Elsa Goveia put her finger on it several decades ago when she said the structuring principle of Caribbean societies is “the belief that the blacker you are the more inferior you are and the whiter you are the more superior you are.”

Until this reality changes people are going to think that the best way to advance in such societies is to lighten your skin colour. People can fulminate all they want and express litres of outrage, it will make no difference.

To me bleaching your skin is fundamentally no different from deciding that Creole /Patwa , if that is your mother tongue, is so lowly and contemptible linguistically that it is not worthy of being spoken or allowed in schools.  Edouard Glissant described how in Martinique it was common to see “In beautiful rounded white letters on a clean blackboard at the reopening of school: it is forbidden to speak Creole in class or on the playground.” And Jamaica is no different.

The logic is the same: English/French/Spanish is the language of universal currency so our children must only learn English and must actively be discouraged from speaking Jamaican or Patwa, the versatile, volatile language of the streets here that for many is their native tongue. Similarly skin bleachers reason that since white/light skin is almost universally valued higher than darker skin tones, they must use any means necessary to acquire it.

I find this kind of logic depressing. It’s as if to say that if your mother happens to be a poor, barely literate ghetto-dweller you must abandon her and cleave to the English missionary with her glowing white skin and impeccable English. Surely it’s not an either/ or game. Most people would agree that this was outrageous yet many of the same people would find nothing wrong with denigrating Patwa and banning it from official spaces as if it’s impossible to know and love Jamaican and also become fluent in English! The worst part is that for many children for whom Patwa is the only language available literacy becomes inaccessible because you have to know English to study any subject at school.  In fact the way some people react to the idea that Patwa ought to be recognized as a language and used as a medium of instruction in schools you’d think that to promote or accept Creole is to diss English!

To the World from Jamaica! Patwa Power Bolts the Stables
In Asafa Powell, Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremonies, Creole, Dancehall music, Jacques Rogge, Jamaican athletics, Patois, Portia Simpson-Miller, Shelley Ann Fraser, TVJ, Usain Bolt, Waterhouse on August 23, 2008 at 6:44 pm


Yes, we can…be worldbeaters! That’s the message from Jamaica’s relentlessly resilient and resourceful underclass who have proven yet again their ability to dominate global competition in the arenas where their lack of English doesn’t hold them back. This is Patwa power (patois or creole, the much reviled and disdained oral language spoken by the majority of Jamaicans) at its most potent: a lithe and flexible force–honed by adversity–flaunting its mastery of the universe of athletics.

To underscore its point Patwa hurled its most powerful lightning bolt at distant Beijing. Named Usain, this young and irrepressible son of Jamaican soil then re-inscribed forever the significance of the word Bolt. Both English-speaking and Patwa-speaking Jamaicans united in celebrating Usain Bolt’s extraordinary exploits (Gold and world records in Men’s 100m, 200m and the 4×100) and those of the nimble, determined young Jamaican team accompanying him. Over the two weeks of the 29th Olympiad they enthralled global audiences over and over again with their worldbeating skills.

I was delighted to read the article on DeGraff in the Boston Globe because when the linguists at UWI articulate identical views as his they come in for torrents of abuse from members of the public. Well, DeGraff, who’s at the top of his game–you don’t get to be an MIT professor if you don’t know your shit–has vindicated them. The article goes on to outline how Creole has been viewed in Haiti, historically and currently. What is striking is how eerily identical the language situation in Haiti seems to the one here in Jamaica:

Haiti’s 1804 slave revolt made it the world’s first independent black republic, but French remained the official language, and persisted as the language of the island’s land-owning, well-educated elite. Today, Creole and French are both designated official languages of Haiti, but they are nowhere near equal in status. All government business is conducted in French, including all court proceedings and records of parliamentary debate. French is also the language of all formal documents, like deeds, medical records, and building permits. Road signs are written in French. So are the names of most public buildings. The two main newspapers in the country, Le Nouvelliste and Le Matin, are primarily in French, as is Le Moniteur, which publishes all new laws and government decrees. The cumulative effect is that Haitian society is sharply and conspicuously divided between the minority of people who can meaningfully participate in the official, French-driven world around them, and the majority, who can’t.

There is an “ideology of disrespect and degradation” surrounding Creole, according to Arthur Spears, a professor at the City University of New York, who coedited a recent volume of essays on Haitian Creole. And it can be seen not just among members of the Haitian elite but the masses, as well. “It’s internalized oppression,” Spears said. “They’ve always heard that the way to succeed is to know French. The people who are important in society know and speak French. It’s all about French if you want your child to do better than you did.”

Given all that, it’s not hard to see why parents in Haiti would generally expect and insist that school be conducted in French. But when it comes to what actually happens in Haitian classrooms–total and sudden immersion in French, even if it means rote, singsong memorization–that whole idea breaks down. The kids end up missing out on math, science, history, and literature. In most cases they don’t end up learning to read or write at all. And it’s not just because they can’t understand their teachers. In the tiny village schools that dot the island, many of the teachers aren’t actually fluent in French themselves.

“Often what you find is that mistakes are being introduced by the teachers who don’t know French well,” DeGraff says. “And the kids, as they copy what they see on the board, because they don’t understand what they’re copying, they introduce further mistakes.”

The alternative–the future that DeGraff and his allies imagine for Haitian education–is to teach kids to be literate in Creole first, building up their basic knowledge in the language they know. They can then learn French later, as a foreign language. That vision is driven in part by long-accepted research from applied linguistics and education theory, which shows that children have a far easier time first becoming literate in the language they speak.

Jamaican linguists are recommending the very same thing. Can we now stop abusing them and start listening instead?

Bon Retou Prezidan Aristide!

Aristide’s return, some photos and video, to mark the event plus excerpts on Artistide’s eviction from Haiti by Jamaica’s fiercest columnist the late John Maxwell.

Aristide's return: Photo: Jacqueline Charles
Photo: Jacqueline Charles @jacquiecharles

It was a momentuous day in Haiti today. Jean Bertrand Aristide whom the Americans ignominiously hustled out of Haiti seven years ago returned to the beleaguered island today. The late Jamaican columnist John Maxwell must be smiling. Here is an excerpt from his much quoted 26 Oct 2008 Observer column Haiti: Racism and Poverty:

The reason Haiti is in its present state is pretty simple. Canada, the United States and France, all of whom consider themselves civilised nations, colluded in the overthrow of the democratic government of Haiti four years ago. They did this for several excellent reasons:

• Haiti 200 years ago defeated the world’s then major powers, France

(twice) Britain and Spain, to establish its independence and to abolish plantation slavery. This was unforgivable.

• Despite being bombed, strafed and occupied by the United States early in the past century, and despite the American endowment of a tyrannical and brutal Haitian army designed to keep the natives in their place, the Haitians insisted on re-establishing their independence. Having overthrown the Duvaliers and their successors, the Haitians proceeded to elect as president a little black parish priest who had become their hero by defying the forces of evil and tyranny.

• The new president of Haiti, Jean Bertrand Aristide refused to sell out

(privatise) the few assets owned by the government (the public utilities mainly);

• Aristide also insisted that France owed Haiti more than $25 billion in repayment of blood money extorted from Haiti in the 19th century, as alleged compensation for France’s loss of its richest colony and to allow Haiti to gain admission to world trade;

• Aristide threatened the hegemony of a largely expatriate ruling class of so-called ‘elites’ whose American connections allowed them to continue the parasitic exploitation and economic strip mining of Haiti following the American occupation.

• Haiti, like Cuba, is believed to have in its exclusive economic zone, huge submarine oil reserves, greater than the present reserves of the United States

• Haiti would make a superb base from which to attack Cuba.

The American attitude to Haiti was historically based on American disapproval of a free black state just off the coast of their slave-based plantation economy. This attitude was pithily expressed in Thomas Jefferson’s idea that a black man was equivalent to three fifths of a white man. It was further apotheosized by Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan who expostulated to Wilson: “Imagine! Niggers speaking French!”

The Haitians clearly did not know their place. In February 2004, Mr John McCain’s International Republican Institute, assisted by Secretary of State Colin Powell, USAID and the CIA, kidnapped Aristide and his wife and transported them to the Central African Republic as ‘cargo’ in a plane normally used to ‘render’ terrorists for torture outsourced by the US to Egypt, Morocco and Uzbekistan.

A link to photos showing Aristide aboard a South African plane shortly before heading off to Haiti were tweeted by Haitian journalist Jacqueline Charles. This was her tweet:

For all who refused to believe til they saw photos of #Aristide on the plane en route to #Haiti.

Danny Glover, the well-known American actor flew all the way to South Africa to accompany Aristide back to Haiti. Apparently the two have been close friends for many years.

 

There is also another view of Aristide well articulated by Alex Dupuy. Read it to get a more complete picture of this unusual leader.

Did Haiti Need this Blow, Jamaica?

A look at the protest march held in Haiti on February 18 against Jamaican treatment of their Under-17 football team and responses in Jamaica to the Haitian outrage.

The photos below are from the protest march held in Haiti on February 18 against Jamaican treatment of their Under-17 football team.

Poor John Maxwell must be turning in his grave. Jamaican officials, showing uncommon concern for the nation’s health saw it fit to send back the Haitian Under-17 football team which had come here to participate in the CONCACAF tournament.

According to an Observer source, fears about a potential cholera outbreak escalated after several of the Haitian players, who arrived in Jamaica earlier this month to compete in the tournament, fell ill. Others had symptoms including fever and headaches. Eight of the players were tested and three were found to have malaria. They were slated to be admitted at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, but there were no beds there, the source said.

As a precautionary measure, the team was to be quarantined. But after a day of waiting inside the hospital’s emergency ward, the Haitian coach got angry, left the hospital, and returned to the hotel at which the team was staying, the Observer was told. He was later allegedly handcuffed and forcefully removed from the hotel by representatives from the Ministry of Health, who had quarantined the sick players at the Falmouth hospital between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning last week.

 

The situation wasn’t helped by language problems and the different responses to malaria in each country. It’s a fact that in Jamaica anyone with malaria is immediately quarantined and in general the health authorities are quite punctilious about keeping the nation free from contagion of various sorts. I remember being astonished once years ago when i had just returned from India to receive a visit from a health official who came to my home to ensure that i wasn’t suffering from any illness i might have brought back with me. I did feel slightly insulted but then decided to look on it as a good thing–one small corner of the governance structure that actually works.

 

Even so i feel that the Jamaican reaction erred on the side of insensitivity. I was alerted to this situation three days ago when an irate friend in Haiti contacted me. At the time there was hardly anything in the media about it and I myself wasn’t fully pripsed on the situation. I asked him if the events were recieving a lot of attention in Haiti. “Attention? We are very pissed off,” came the annoyed reply.

 

So i went on Facebook and Twitter to find out what others felt about this and was quite horrified at the overwhelming tendency to simply dismiss the whole affair with a smug “Better safe than sorry” response. According to one tweeter “if it were anywhere else. Like China they would b sent home too. This is not a precedence. Been done b4. Remember swine flu!”

 

Except that malaria, unlike swine flu, isn’t a contagious disease and China does a lot of things that a democratic country like Jamaica might want to think twice before doing. And of course when Jamaicans are ejected from Cayman, Barbados or the UK for fear of their culture ‘infecting’ local youth, i don’t want to hear any weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Those countries are also thinking “Better safe than sorry!”

 
Other tweets from the diaspora were more critical of Jamaica:

 
@public_archive I seriously doubt the Jamaican government would quarantine the Canadians with STDs running around Negril. Yeah, I said it. #haiti

 
Skin-bleaching and anti-Haitianism go hand in hand. #Haiti #Jamaica

 
@djaspora: #Jamaica should know/do better. Quarantine Haitian kids cause of suspected malaria? Is it malaria or blackness that is contagious? #Haiti

 

Incidentally the Haitian team coach is Brazilian. I heard him on RJR a little while ago describing the extremely long waits at the hospital and a clinic, we’re talking about hours, five or six hours, without treatment or explanation.He himself was one of the three sick members of the team and returned to Haiti with a very high fever and profoundly upset.

 

I would have thought that even if Jamaicans feel that they’re in the right they’d have shown more interest in trying to find out what had caused the Haitians so much offence instead of simply shrugging and saying “Better safe than sorry.” The Haitians are clearly hurt and humiliated. They may be overreacting too, just as the health officials seem to have done. I was surprised at how little attention the Jamaican media paid to this situation over the weekend. It wasn’t until the Haitians really made a big issue out of it that the media, today, started focusing on it.

 

It’s an extremely vexed situation. Jamaica has the upper hand. Does it cost so much to apologize and try to mend fences?

Picks of the week

Just sharing a potpourri of articles from the web i found compelling/interesting over the last week…

Twitter’s #dearpublisher hashtag takes off

Readers and publishers engage in new medium for debate

A Twitter page

A Twitter page. Photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Twitter is not to everyone’s taste – it’s no secret that many readers
of this blog suspect that the Guardian gives the microblogging service
far more attention than it deserves and might agree with Oyl
Miller’s stream of consciousness piece in McSweeney’s
this week that
begins: “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by brevity,
over-connectedness, emotionally starving for attention.”


Haiti at 6 months|Managing expectations by not naming them?

Posted on July 16, 2010 by Carla Murphy
A tree is a rare sight at a camp and here, in Tabarre, residents use the shade for community meetings.

When I nearly fainted in the second camp we visited in Tabarre this Monday, some of the women leaders who live there brought me a Tampico juice right quick.  It was sweating, ice cold. How do they get ice? And where do they keep it? Then I thought, Great. They’re running to bring me juice while the 250 families that live here get by on 500 gallons of water a day. That’s the same amount of water in a luxe hotel’s fish tank.

Op-Ed Columnist, New York Times
Can We Talk?
THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: July 16, 2010
On July 7, CNN fired its senior editor of Middle East affairs, Octavia Nasr, after she published a Twitter message saying, “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah,” one of the most prominent Lebanese Shiite spiritual leaders who was involved in the founding of the Hezbollah militia. Nasr described him as “one of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.”


The unpublished journal of a successful entrepreneur

by neo

One year ago, I spent an entire night dreaming that I was a giant fly. When I awoke, I was startled to discover that I was myself. I decided that this was a vision, and asked my Guruji (from Better Living through Conscious Snoring) what I should do with it.

Guruji told me to stop depending on other people to tell me what to do, become an entrepreneur, and document my journey and daily achievements in a journal.

This is the journal:


And finally:

Ataklan flavours up The Mix

Gillian Moore

Published: 10 Jul 2010

Audience members dance and wave during Ataklan’s performance. Photos: Gillian Moore

The crowd went crazy for Ataklan on July 3, at the T&T launch of The Mix at Casa de Ibiza on Tragarete Road in Woodbrook.

Ataklan has been coming to Jamaica frequently over the last year to record songs for his next album here. Identified as the “Trinidadian friend” in the photo below when it appeared in a Jamaican blogpost, Klan even penned a Dudus song called Kingston Town (“Man, so many of dead bodies, so few recovered guns…Tell me what a gwaan roun here, is there no love for life roun here…“) while here in June. I’m indebted to Corve Dacosta who took the photo for his blogpost on the Jamaica Pegasus tweetup.

L-R (@hubertnealjr @anniepaul and a Trinidadian friend
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