Sat | Nov 17, 2018

'Ah suh me see it, ah suh me say it' - A bold social commentary

Published:Sunday | March 25, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Gleaner Editor-in-Chief Garfield Grandison looks through a copy of educator Esther Tyson’s new book, ‘Ah Suh Me See It, Ah Suh Me Say It’. Tyson presented Grandison with a copy of the book at The Gleaner’s North Street, Kingston, offices on Friday, ahead of its official launch at Christian Life Fellowship on March 25. The book is a commentary on social and educational issues in Jamaica.

In her book Ah suh me see it, ah suh me say it author Esther Tyson presents a compilation of bold, authentic short articles which together form a bold and fresh social commentary that aerates her thoughts and ideas about key topical social issues observed over a period of eight years.

The book, published by Xulon Press, is divided into eight wide-ranging thematic sections: Education in Jamaica; The State of The Family In Jamaica; Societal Values; The Impact of Dancehall on the Jamaican Culture; The Church in the Jamaican Society; The Abortion Debate in Jamaica; The LGBT Agenda in Jamaica; and Government Leadership In Jamaica.

Even though the author addresses various issues throughout the book, her fascination with matters of education as a central theme is evident as the majority of the pieces surround educational issues throughout the first part of the book. In this section, she takes on many issues of import to the teacher and schooling.

Another striking highlight of the book is its reoccurring focus on the well-being of the nation's children and the role of adults in providing a safe environment - physical and emotional - for them to grow and develop.

Within this context, Tyson makes a distinct link between families and nation. In this regard, Tyson speaks from an experiential platform built from her personal life and years of educational leadership, and it comes out transparently in the book. It is, therefore, no wonder that she writes with passion and authority in several of the very reflective pieces, making the point that "strong families make a strong nation".

The reflections are a mixture of striking critique from diverse perspectives, yet she provides us with a reason to hope as depicted in the real-life stories of those who have pressed past challenging circumstances to accomplish success. This is a desperately needed antidote to the skewed perspective that crime and violence is inevitable if you are among the poor and or a youth at risk.

Not only is the writer reflective in this down-to-earth book (notice the title unashamedly uses Jamaican vernacular), but she simultaneously calls us as individual readers, parents, leaders (public and private), families, and churches to reflect on our actions and the impact they have on the society as a whole. She makes the call for strong leadership as a vital requirement for creating a healthy society.

 

USEFUL RESOURCE

 

The writing style employed in the book is simple, making it accessible to readers across a wide age group, and the testimonials of overcomers give us a template to rise above our circumstances. Additionally, the book has the potential to serve as a useful teaching resource in various disciplines. Tyson's diverse book of truths as enunciated in her eight thematic areas also has the potential to be used as a good resource for teachers in training since it provides rich cases, which can be discussed among learners as they interrogate issues related to the link between education and society.

This book is a highly recommended read as the readers would engage with the thoughts of a strong, bold, yet humble woman who is passionate about her country.