Thu | Oct 17, 2019

Carolyn Cooper | Queen Mother Samad – born an grow Garveyite

Published:Sunday | September 15, 2019 | 12:26 AM
Carolyn Cooper
The late Queen Mother, Mariamne Samad.
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CHAKA-CHAKA SPELLING

Pon Thursday, September 5, four day after her birthday, Queen Mother Mariamne Samad draw her last breath. She was 97, not 99, as some people a seh. She did born eena 1922, eena di belly a di Marcus Garvey movement. Fi her mother, Alice Brooks, an her father, George Olman, did meet through Marcus Garvey. Im did a talk outa road eena Harlem. An dem stop fi listen. Di two a dem join di Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). An dem join up wid one anodder.

Jamaica Journal did publish one special issue fi Garvey centenary eena 1987. Maxine McDonnough do one nice-nice interview wid Queen Mother Samad. It wuda good if Gleaner kuda publish it over. Hear weh she seh: “My childhood was all about this business of getting the mind of the black man to stand tall. The mind to stand tall! Not even the spine yet, but the mind. I grew and I heard that. I moved as a child between the legs of grown-ups who were sipping their tea or having their coffee, that’s all they could talk about – getting out the newspapers of the organisation.”

A so Mariamne meet fi her husband, Clarence Thomas. Eena di Garvey movement. Same like her mother an her father. She was a memba a di Garvey Legion. An Clarence did a teach di pikni dem. Dat time, she a ongle 14 year old. Three year after dat, dem married. Eena 1965, dem come a Jamaica fi live. Clarence did born ya. By dat time, im turn Muslim an im change fi im name to Abdul Samad. An Muriel change fi her name to Mariamne.

ONGLE RASTA

Wen Mariamne come a Jamaica, she couldn’t believe seh she deh eena di land a Marcus Garvey. She shock fi see how black people eena dem deh time nah gwaan like seh dem a African. Fi dem mind never stand up tall at all, at all. Ongle Rasta did a defend African consciousness. Queen Mother Samad come from foreign; an a she a fi a walk bout a teach Jamaica people bout Garvey!

An all now, wi still nah teach di pikni dem bout Marcus Garvey eena school. Wa mek? A shame wi shame? Or wi no want di pikni dem mind stand up tall? Wi want dem heng down dem head an fraid fi look eena wi eye? Marcus Garvey a national hero. Wa dat mean? A face card? Next month a National Heroes Month. Garvey picture deh pon school wall all over Jamaica.

How much pikni know bout di UNIA an di whole heap a people all over di world weh did follow back a Garvey fi claims African liberation? How much pikni eena Jamaica go a Liberty Hall pon King Street fi find out bout Garvey legacy? A high time wi put Marcus Garvey philosophy an opinion eena di pikni dem mind. Queen Mother Samad wuda be a happy, happy duppy.

PRAPA-PRAPA SPELIN

Pan Torsde, Septemba 5, fuor die afta ar bortdie, Kwiin Mada Mariamne Samad jraa ar laas bret. Shi woz 97, nat 99, az som piipl a se. Shi did baan iina 1922, iina di beli a di Marcus Garvey muuvment. Fi ar mada, Alice Brooks, an ar faada, George Olman, did miit chruu Marcus Garvey. Im did a taak outa ruod iina Harlem. An dem stap fi lisn. Di tuu a dem jain di Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). An dem jain op wid wan aneda.

Jamaica Journal did poblish wan speshal ishyu fi Garvey sentenari iina 1987. Maxine McDonnough du wan nais-naus intavyuu wid Kwiin Mada Samad. It wuda gud if Gleaner kuda poblish it uova. Ier we shi se: “My childhood was all about this business of getting the mind of th e black man to stand tall. The mind to stand tall! Not even the spine yet, but the mind. I grew and I heard that. I moved as a child between the legs of grown-ups who were sipping their tea or having their coffee, that’s all they could talk about – getting out the newspapers of the organisation.”

A so Mariamne miit fi ar ozban, Clarence Thomas. Iina di Garvey muuvment. Siem laik ar mada an ar faada. Shi woz a memba a di Garvey Legion. An Clarence did a tiich di pikni dem. Dat taim, shi a ongl 14 ier uol. An shi did niem Muriel. Chrii ier afta dat, dem marid. Iina 1965, dem kom a Jamieka fi liv. Clarence did baan ya. Bai dat taim, im ton Moslim an im chienj fi im niem tu Abdul Samad. An Muriel chienj fi ar niem tu Mariamne.

ONGL RASTA

Wen Mariamne kom a Jamieka, shi kudn billiiv se shi de iina di lan a Marcus Garvey. Shi shak fi si ou blak piipl iina dem de taim naa gwaan laik se dem a Afrikan. Fi dem main neva stan op taal at aal, at aal. Ongl Rasta did a difen Afrikan kanshosnis. Kwiin Mada Samad kom fram farin; an a shi a fi a waak bout a tiich Jamieka piipl bout Garvey!

An aal nou, wi stil naa tiich di pikni dem bout Marcus Garvey iina skuul. Wa mek? A shiem wi shiem? Ar wi no waahn di pikni dem main stan op taal? Wi waahn dem eng dong dem ed an fried fi luk iina wi yai? Marcus Garvey a nashanal iiro. Wa dat miin? A fies kyaad? Neks mont a nashinal iiroz mont. Garvey pikcha de pan skuul waal aal uova Jamieka.

Omoch pikni nuo bout di UNIA an di uol iip a piipl aal uova di worl we did fala bak a Garvey fi kliemz Afrikan libarieshan? Omoch pikni iina Jamieka go a Liberty Hall pan King Street fi fain out bout Garvey legasi? A ai taim wi put Marcus Garvey filasofi an opiniyan iina di pikni dem main. Kwiin Mada Samad wuda bi a api, api dopi.

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