Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Carolyn Cooper | Black paint redeem di naked statue dem?

Published:Sunday | December 17, 2017 | 12:00 AM

 

CHAKA-CHAKA SPELLING

 

Mi never like dat deh Emancipation Park monument at all, at all. Two stark-staring naked smaddy outa road! Dem emancipate? From wa? Clothes? Oonoo fi read Steeve Buckridge book, The Language of Dress: Resistance and Accommodation in Jamaica, 1760-1890. A di University of the West Indies Press publish it. Hear weh dem seh:

"This book is a study of how African slave and freed women used their fashion and style of dressing as a symbol of resistance to slavery and accommodation to white culture in pre- and post-emancipation society. Africans brought aspects of their culture such as folklore, music, language, religion and dress with them to the Americas. The African cultural features were retained and nurtured in Jamaica because they guaranteed the survival of Africans and their descendants against European attempts at cultural annihilation."

Seet deh now! Di Emancipation Park monument a "cultural annihilation". Kill off black people culture. Tek weh wi style an fashion! Lef wi inna wi birthday suit! But mi no blame di artist to dat. Laura Facey do weh shi ha fi do. Dat a fi her vision a black people: di whole a wi private parts outa door! Who mi condemn a dem who pick di naked statue dem fi represent emancipation from slavery. Who know better suppose fi do better.

All like Rex Nettleford! Im was one a di judge fi di competition fi pick di monument. Mi did tackle im bout it. An mi never get no good explanation. As fi David Boxer, one next judge! Mi feel seh im pick Laura Facey statue through im tink seh shi a carry on Edna Manley legacy. Anyhow, old-time people seh yu no fi talk nutten bad bout dead smaddy. Duppy wi box yu. An Nettleford an Boxer a two powerful duppy. So mek mi lef it.

 

RHINO TANK

 

Di ongle ting mi did like bout di monument a di colour. It did rich, rich. Me want know a who down a Housing Trust lik dem head an come up wid di 'bright' idea fi clap on black paint pon di naked statue dem. Wen mi hear bout di paint, mi tink seh a smaddy nasty up di monument. Same like how dem fling paint an feather pon Marcus Garvey bust up a University of the West Indies.

A now di statue dem favour Rhino tank! Dem did big an boofootoo from time. Di black paint show dem up. Dem gone from bad to worserer! Mi couldn't believe seh a Housing Trust paint up di statue dem pon purpose! Fi wa? Housing Trust mussi tink seh paint come een like clothes. An it woulda mek up fa di 'cultural annihilation' weh Laura Facey drop pon wi. Dat a wa 'redeem' mean. Mek up fa!

Wen mi aks Laura Facey weh shi tink bout di black paint, shi seh, "It could be worse". Shi right. Di Housing Trust vandal dem coulda put on feather, too. Di ongle real-real 'redemption' fi 'Redemption Song' a fi tek it outa Emancipation Park. An mek wi start sing Marcus Garvey tune: "We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind."

 

PRAPA-PRAPA SPELIN

 

Mi neva laik dat de Emancipation Park maniment at aal, at aal. Tuu staak stierin niekid smadi outa ruod! Dem imansipiet? Fram wa? Kluoz? Unu fi riid Steeve Buckridge buk, The Language of Dress: Resistance and Accommodation in Jamaica, 1760-1890. A di University of the West Indies Press poblish it. Ier we dem se:

"This book is a study of how African slave and freed women used their fashion and style of dressing as a symbol of resistance to slavery and accommodation to white culture in pre- and post-emancipation society. Africans brought aspects of their culture such as folklore, music, language, religion and dress with them to the Americas. The African cultural features were retained and nurtured in Jamaica because they guaranteed the survival of Africans and their descendants against European attempts at cultural annihilation."

Siit de nou! Di Emancipation Park maniment a "cultural annihilation". Kil aaf blak piipl kolcha! Tek we wi stail an fashin! Lef wi ina wi bortdie suut! Bot mi no bliem di aatis tu dat. Laura Facey du we shi a fi du. Dat a fi ar vijan a blak piipl: Di uol a wi praivit paats outa duor! Uu mi kandem a dem uu pik di niekid statyu dem fi riprisent imansipieshan fram slievri. Uu nuo beta sopuoz fi du beta.

Aal laik Rex Nettleford! Im woz wan a di joj fi di kompitishan fi pik di maniment. Mi did takl im bout it. An mi neva get nuo gud eksplanieshan. Az fi David Boxer, wan neks joj! Mi fiil se im pik Laura Facey statyu chruu im tingk se shi a kyari aan Edna Manley legisi. Eni ou, uol taim piipl se yu no fi taak notn bad bout ded smadi. Dopi wi baks yu. An Nettleford an Boxer a tuu pouwaful dopi. So mek mi lef it.

 

RHINO TANGK

 

Di ongl ting mi did laik bout di maniment a di kola. It did rich, rich. Mii waahn nuo a uu dong a Housing Trust lik dem ed an kom op wid di 'brait' aidiya fi klap aan blak pient pan di niekid statyu dem. Wen mi ier bout di pient, mi tingk se a smadi naasi op di maniment. Siem laik ou dem fling pient an feda pan Marcus Garvey bos op a University of the West Indies.

A nou di statyu dem fieva Rhino tangk! Dem did big an bufutu fram taim. Di blak pient shuo dem op. Dem gaan fram bad tu wosara! Mi kudn biliiv se a Housing Trust pient op di niekid statyu dem pan porpos! Fi wa? Housing Trust mosi tingk se pient kom iin laik kluoz. An it wuda mek op fa di 'cultural annihilation' we Laura Facey jrap pan wi. Dat a wa 'redeem' miin. Mek op fa!

Wen mi aks Laura Facey we shi tingk bout di blak pient, shi se, "It could be worse". Shi rait. Di Housing Trust vandal dem kuda put aan feda tu. Di ongl riil-riil 'redemption' fi 'Redemption Song' a fi tek it outa Emancipation Park. An mek wi staat sing Marcus Garvey chuun: "We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind."

- Carolyn Cooper, PhD, is a specialist on culture and development. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and karokupa@gmail.com.