Tue | Jul 16, 2019

Carolyn Cooper | Black man nuh fi pree white woman?

Published:Sunday | May 20, 2018 | 12:00 AM

 

CHAKA-CHAKA SPELLING

 

'Pree' a one a dem word weh big eena dancehall. Ascorden to di Jamaican Patwah dictionary, weh deh pon line, 'pree' mean 'watch' eena English. An dem gi dis ya example: "Wah mek yuh deh pree mi [?]." Dem figet bout di question sign so mi ha fi put it een. Mi a language teacher.

Den it sweet mi fi find out seh, eena di Scottish language, 'pree' mean fi sample or taste sinting. Seet deh now! When man an woman a pree dem one anodder eena dancehall, plenty time a through dem want sample di ting. No man or woman no want no puss or cock eena bag. Mi know seh nuff man gwaan like seh dem nah pree to dat. Dem nah taste. Mout mek fi chat. An pree!

Anyhow, a no ongle eena dancehall dem a pree. One new literature magazine come out last month pon line name Pree. An di topic fi di first one a "Crossroads". It have een story an poem an interview. An nuff more tings fi sample an taste. All like di essay weh Kei Miller im write weh im call, 'The White Women and the Language of Bees'.

Kei throw im corn. Im no call no fowl. Im no call nobody name. Old-time people seh, "Wen yu fling stone eena hog pen, di one weh bawl, a it get lick." It look like seh di bees language sting nuff white woman. An dem a fight down Kei. All some black woman buy out di argument. Dem bex, too.

 

FIRE-BURN ESSAY

 

Hear weh di Guardian newspaper eena England write bout Kei: "An incendiary essay by the award-winning Jamaican poet Kei Miller that probed at white women writers' authority to speak for the Caribbean has been pulled from a new magazine after laying bare a long-festering anger in the islands' literary community."

'Probed'! Dat a di said same 'pree.' It come from Latin, 'probare', an it mean fi test. So Kei pree di white woman dem an dem no like it. But a no all a dem bex. Hear weh Diana McCaulay she write: "I'm acutely sensitive to male condescension and veiled insult, but I just didn't get what was disrespectful to women in Miller's essay. Then I saw a comment expressing outrage at his metaphorical field and the implicit comparison of women to turtles."

Oonoo ha fi go read Kei Miller fire-burn essay. Im mek dem put it back eena di magazine. Mi no have no space fi tell oonoo all a weh im seh. See di website ya: https://preelit.com/crossroads/. Me done know seh nuff white woman feel seh dem have di right fi pree black people. An wi no fi pree dem back. Who dem?

Koopon di bright an out a order white woman eena Merica we lost her pass go call police pon Bob Marley granddaughter, Donisha Prendergast, an her friend dem! Wrong smaddy shi pree! All a dem deh facety white woman want control up di cross-pass fi true. Nutten can't go so. Dem better cross go bout dem business. An mek odder people pass.

 

PRAPA-PRAPA SPELIN

 

'Pree' a wan a dem word we big iina dansaal. Azkaadn tu di Jamaican Patwah dikshaneri, we de pan lain, 'pree' miin 'watch' iina Ingglish. An dem gi dis ya egzaampl: "Wah mek yuh deh pree mi[?]." Dem figet bout di kweschan sain so mi a fi put it iin. Mi a langgwij tiicha.

Den it swiit mi fi fain out se, iina di Skatish langgwij, 'pree' mean fi saampl ar ties sinting. Siit de nou! Wen man an uman a prii dem wan aneda iina daansaal, plenti taim a chruu dem waahn sampl di ting. No man ar uman no waahn no pus ar kak iina bag. Mi nuo se nof man gwaahn laik se dem naa prii tu dat. Dem naa ties. Mout mek fi chat. An prii!

Eni ou, a no ongl iina dansaal dem a prii. Wan nyuu lichricha magaziin kom out laas mont pan lain niem Pree. An di tapik fi di fos wan a 'Crossroads'. It av iin stuori an puoem an intavyuu. An nof muor tingz fi saampl an ties. Aal laik di ese we Kei Miller im rait we im kaal, 'The White Women and the Language of Bees'.

Kei chruo im kaan. Im no kaal no foul. Im no kaal nobadi niem. Uol-taim piipl se, "Wen yu fling stuon iina ag pen, di wan we baal, a it get lik." It luk laik se di biis langgwij sting nof wait uman. An dem a fait dong Kei. Aal som blak uman bai out di aagyument. Dem beks tu.

 

FAIYA-BON ESE

 

Ier we di Guardian nyuuspiepa iina Ingglan rait bout Kei: "An incendiary essay by the award-winning Jamaican poet Kei Miller that probed at white women writers' authority to speak for the Caribbean has been pulled from a new magazine after laying bare a long-festering anger in the islands' literary community."

'Probed'! Dat a di sed siem 'prii'. It kom fram Latin, 'probare', an it miin fi tes. So Kei prii di wait uman dem an dem no laik it. Bot a no aal a dem beks. Ier we Diana McCaulay shii rait: "I'm acutely sensitive to male condescension and veiled insult, but I just didn't get what was disrespectful to women in Miller's essay. Then I saw a comment expressing outrage at his metaphorical field and the implicit comparison of women to turtles."

Unu a fi go riid Kei Miller faiya-bon ese. Im mek dem put it bak iina di magaziin. Mi no av no spies fi tel unu aal a we im se. Si di websait ya: https://preelit.com/crossroads/. Mii don nuo se nof wait uman fiil se dem av di rait fi prii blak piipl. An wi no fi prii dem bak. Uu dem?

Ku pan di brait an out a aada wait uman iina Merika we laas ar paas go kaal poliis pan Bob Marley grandaata, Donisha Prendergast, an ar fren dem! Rang smadi shi prii! Aal a dem de fiesti wait uman waahn kanchruol op di kraas-paas fi chruu. Notn kyaahn go so. Dem beta kraas go bout dem bizniz. An mek ada piipl paas.

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