Am I proud to be Jamaican? Mhm.
Would I have desired to be born elsewhere? Maybe/Maybe not.
Am I proud of the things my country is doing? Mhm.
Now it’s a public holiday here in Jamaica. Emancipation Day at that too, where we celebrate being free from slavery. Okay. While I appreciate the holiday, falling on a Saturday, it makes no big deal. Secondly, Independence Day is only four days away, ergo that is two holidays just four days apart in the little island of Jamaica. Sounds like chaos and havoc to me. I’ve never been much of a celebrator or a fan for the proclivities associated with these days. Remembering my history is not a problem for me, but how has our history helped us in shaping our future as Jamaicans?
I think we’ve missed the point. I listened just now to the speech of Jamaica’s Prime Minister, The Most Honourable Portia Lucretia Simpson Miller and its quite politically correct. Whomever wrote the speech however should be fired, as they do not know the difference between forebears – ancestors, and the word that should have actually been used – descendants *sigh*
Here is the line – “These valiant men and women fought to emancipate us, their forbears, (even the spelling is wrong) from the cruelty of slavery.”
(quoted from Emancipation Day Message from the Prime Minister of Jamaica)
I never have anything to say on Jamaican affairs ever, but it behooves me to rant for just a few on all the injustices that are swung over our heads, day after day.
Public sector workers still have yet to be paid, but on the 6th of this month, the Jamaican government will spend millions ($57 million was spent in 2014) to host the Grand Gala concert.
It’s frustrating as a youth in Jamaica to see the lives of young people waste away because the government would rather pump money into a few holidays that repaint a history we should not adhere to replay, but are slowly headed back track towards.
It’s cyclical. We as a people spend money we do not have, to go out and enjoy ourselves for one day or two and then starve and lose sleep and miss school and work for the remainder of the month because we failed to plan. That, I assure you, is a plan to fail.
We fail. And rightly so too, we fail to acknowledge our failures.
As a blossoming poet in Jamaica, there are a multitude of things to write about, but the concept of why bother screams loudly to me at times, for frankly speaking the poetry unit of appreciators in Jamaica is few and almost centralized in one parish that is out of my reach 25/7! It’s heartbreaking too, to realize that even those who appreciate the genre that are inherently Jamaican, prefer Dub poetry and if you can’t process that style, you fail in there eyes to entertain or provide a message with your words.
From the eyes of a young educator, student and poet living in Jamaica, I fail to see the emancipation and independence in the actions, words or lives of the people here. Many still seek a hand-out rather than a hand-UP and fail to recognize that it was this behaviour that contributed in part to black enslavement.
It has been 181 years since Jamaica’s Emancipation and being alive for the last 22 years of it, I can’t recall one instance of true liberation blowing, even as a fleeting wisp of smoke through our island atmosphere.
Are we truly emancipated?
Be Kind and Share…